Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone will not seek the leadership of the BC Liberals. On Thursday, Stone announced in an online statement that he has decided not to put his name forward, citing family as the reason.
“The past few months have been a difficult time for our party,” Stone said. “Following the resignation of our former leader, I have been carefully considering whether this was the right time for me to once again put my name forward for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party. … However, after spending the holidays with my family carefully weighing the decision, I have decided that I will not be a candidate to be the next leader of the BC Liberal Party at this time.”
Stone was re-elected in the fall in a landslide victory. Meanwhile, his party was defeated in a landslide loss. Stone told KTW at the time he was considering another run but that his party needed time to reflect.
In his statement on Thursday, Stone said that he wrote a letter to the party outlining two critical things for the successful renewal of the party. He said the party must engage with British Columbians across the province, including those for whom the party is “no longer relevant.” He said the party must inspire more young people and women and reflect diversity, including LGBTQ members.
“Young and old, urban and rural, coastal and interior,” he said. “If we want to be the party for all British Columbians, then all British Columbians need to know that their voices, their views and their priorities are reflected in what we stand for.”
Stone pointed secondly to a need for diverse candidates to step up with new ideas.
Stone has previously ran unsuccessfully for the party leadership. He is currently the jobs and economic recovery critic for the party.