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Clark won't lobby ministers to stay on for another term

B.C. Premier Christy Clark speaks to media at the Legislative Building in Victoria, Tuesday March 27, 2012.

Chad Hipolito for The Globe and Mail/chad hipolito The Globe and Mail

Premier Christy Clark says she won't lobby two senior cabinet ministers, both undecided about seeking another term, to remain in politics because she wants to leave them space to make "a personal decision."

Ms. Clark was referring to Finance Minister Kevin Falcon and Education Minister George Abbott, both rivals for the leadership of the B.C. Liberals that Ms. Clark won in early 2011.

Both men said this week they haven't yet decided to run for re-election in the May, 2013 provincial election, raising questions about their commitment to the embattled Liberals and Ms. Clark.

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Ms. Clark told reporters at a housing announcement they had told her about their musings so their comments this week came as no surprise.

In response to a question, she said she did not see their possible departure as signalling a lack of faith in her leadership, noting Mr. Falcon said he supported her even as he said he might end a career in elected politics that began when he won a provincial seat in 2001.

"Did I sit down with them and say, 'I need an answer and I want to know right now?' No. I didn't do that because I have been there before."

Ms. Clark said she went through the same reflection herself when she initially left politics to spend time with her young son. She did not seek re-election in 2005.

In particular, she said Mr. Falcon, who has a young daughter, was in a similar situation to the one she faced.

"There's a year to go to the next election so no rush," she said.

In the meantime, Ms. Clark said she is out recruiting new candidates for her party.

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"We're developing a list of really exciting people that I think will really bring a lot to the ticket for all of us," she said, adding she will eventually provide more details.

Mr. Abbott, a former health minister, has been an MLA since 1996.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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