02.28.2011 10:30 AM

Christy Clark: young faces on the political landscape

From my friend and former colleague John Ibbitson:

Provincial governments are in the midst of generational change, as Christy Clark joins the swelling ranks of new premiers who will take on Ottawa in a contest for wealth and power.

Ms. Clark will replace outgoing British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell – an icon, if one were needed, for the old, tired crew who have either left, been pushed or face being pushed by voters who want new voices at the table playing a different political game.

Two comments.

One, it’s high time: too many old farts like me still dominate Canadian politics.  Perhaps Christy’s win – a smart, sensible, single mom – signals a new day dawning.

Two, her win makes me feel old! I remember well the 1993 federal campaign, when a younger Christy Clark was camped out at a smallish desk outside our cramped war room space.  Then, as now, she was an amazing person, and clearly destined for great things.

Go Christy, go!


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    Raymond says:

    Now if we can turf Eddie and the Alberta PC’s, the world will balance.

    (Yes, I said that)

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      Tim from Alberta says:

      A lot of us are saying that.
      Christy Clark,Danielle Smith and Brad Wall…….metaphors for our future in the west.

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    Namesake says:

    She’s youth-ful, sure, but still a (late) Boomer, by some reckonings (which cut that off for the ‘Gen-X’ end of that at born in ’66), and, um, she’s only 5 years younger than you.

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    allegra fortissima says:

    An “old fart” will also be an old fart, no matter how old in years. It’s “vivacita” that counts – some have it, some don’t. Christy does.

    Congratulations, Ms. Clark 🙂

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    Cath says:

    I echo your sentiments Warren. I knew Christy from her support of parents within the education system and her work with ParentNetwork and John Pippus (now has a band out of B.C.). She is fearless and fresh. Her enthusiasm for creative change and choice is infectious! I liken her to an Andrea Horwath in Ontario (sorry Dalton/Tim) who give me hope for our youngsters. Yep…..I’m feelin’ old today too.

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    dave says:

    Sometimes having a lot of political baggage can make a politician seem older. A person who has been working in politics since school would have a bit of baggage. She did work on talk radio, but even during that bit she tried to get into the Vancouver mayoral contest.
    There are still a few of us who would like to see an open public enquiry into the BC rail/CN/Burlington Northern deal. That would involve quite a bit of Ms Clark’s baggage.

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      allegra fortissima says:

      You should have read the Globe and Mail recently (won’t hurt once in a while): Documents released by BC Supreme Court show no evidence of wrongdoing by Christy Clark.

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        Happy says:

        That’s bullcrap.


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        dave says:

        You’re right about those press stories coming out just prior to the leadership vote. A couple of local media outlets carried them as well.
        There are some questions floating around out here about just when the docs were released to the chosen media outlets ( and how long it would take a reporter/editor to read and digest the info before publication – the articles came out pretty quick after the doc were supposedly released).
        There are also suggestions that the docs are incomplete, cherry picked to give only one side of the story.

        It still puzzles a lot of us how the two fellows in a 7 year pre hearing and trial would suddenly plead guilty just before the bigshots were to testify under oath, and why the cabinet would on the one hand vilify these two for being rascals (lone gunmen), and on the other, fork over $6 million to cover their trial expenses.

        But, again, the suspicions and questions about our politicians, our judiciary, our economy might be satisfied by an open public enquiry.

        It’s likely a vain hope though.

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        smelter rat says:

        You should go read Lailla Yuille if you want to know what’s really going on in BC.

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      James Curran says:

      Listen Dave, those are fighting words! And damn near slanderous. She was NEVER implicated. Neither were her ex husband or her brother. Yet somehow, the story happened to conveniently resurface right in the middle of a certain leadership race. And the two GUILTY guys entered please. So, give your head a shake. It’s been years of investigations and enquiries already. There’s NOTHING there. NADA. ZILCH. So piss off and use Google once in a while.

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        A. G. Tsakumis says:

        Mr. Curran:

        The only crapster here appears to be you.

        1) The stories about Christy Clark’s clear lying to the press about her participation in the sale of BC Rail came out around the same time as the leadership race only because the $6million dollar sweetheart deal with the :criminals” precipitated a caucus revolt, that in turn, precipitated the resignation of the Premier and the subsequent race. Synchronously, I was leaked trial documents that clearly showed Christy Clark meeting on several occasions with now admitted bribers of public officials and having the same individuals writing speaking notes for her when in Cabinet discussions. Additionally, in emails obtained through RCMP search warrants and one accompanying court order, Clark was used as a clear Cabinet leak.
        2) You need to either go to an accredited law school like some of the rest of us, or burn your degree. Your standard for slander (the stories were actually written so it would actually be libel, but good effort) is curious to say the least.
        3) Her brother was in fact implicated. He received advanced copies of RFP documents related to one leg of the BCR line. This is noted in several court documents. Why he wasn’t charged is a different matter. There can be several requirements met in a criminal charge but unless they are ALL met, then there is no substantial likelihood of conviction (which is a prerequisite at law in the province of British Columbia). You should educate yourself first before proffering foolish statements that portend a dearth of evidence related to Ms. Clark’s unethical behavior.
        4) Through the campaign, Ms. Clark claimed she never met with any of the corrupt lobbyists, except to “bump into to them at the Helijet pad”. Yet in court documents that were disclosed by the Crown to the defence, Ms. Clark appears several times in the diaries of three different lobbyists as having hosted one or all at her home for a toga party, and having hosted one or all at Cabinet officer in Vancouver, and having hosted one or all for dinner at here home. or having hosted one or all in meetings in Victoria while they were drafting notes for her to take into Cabinet and she was leaking confidential Cabinet information to them. These documents are indisputable and while they were not, in and of themselves, harbingers of necessarily illegal activity on Ms. Clark’s part, her behavior was resolutely unethical and dishonest.

        Perhaps in suggesting there was “NADA” or “ZILCH” to certain statements you might have been referring to your own. It certainly appears that way.

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    smelter rat says:

    What dave said.

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    Tceh says:

    I’m on the fence about Ms Clark but what gives me some solace is reported grumbling from the old guard within the BC Liberals who were hoping Falcon would edge her out. Every party needs renewal and getting a new face in the BC Libs will probably do the trick. “Families First” has nice ring to it and will steal some of the thunder from the NDP.

    Gordon Campbell as icon? Yecch. What happened to his political instincts re: HST?? He ended up with his head on a spike for one reason. ARROGANCE. A sad way to end but he did it to himself.

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      Tim says:

      From my perspective I’ll take Dalton any day over Gordon Campbell or Christy Clark. Right from the get go Dalton has handled the HST situation far better than Campbell or Clark and Ontarions in the future will thank him for it. In a Westminster system such as ours calling a referendum on an issue of such policy importance such as the HST is the ultimate sign of WEAK leadership.

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    MJH says:

    The BC Liberls are not Liberals. They are Conservatives masquerading as Liberals.

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    MJH says:

    Liberals are the Con Party.

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      Tim says:

      I would have to say neither my impression over the years is that she was and is much closer to Paul Martin’s crew than people like John Manley, Bob Rae, or Frank McKenna(As I mentioned before people like Chretien, McGuinty, McKenna, or Manley wouldn’t be caught dead ever calling a referendum on an issue like the HST). In the context of BC politics the Chretien/McGuinty “true grit” school never really caught on like it did in the east. One thing you can say about Martin is in 2004 he did actually boost the performance of the Federals Liberals in BC in that election.

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    Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    B.C. Liberals are a coalition of “keep the NDP out of office at all costs” Party.

    Made up of Liberals (Christy Clark), old Socreds, Conservatives and such.

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    gretschfan says:

    Yep. Knew her in university. And even that far back, she was one of those people who seemed to have the world my the tail already. Plus she’s a genuinely nice person. A rare mix in politics.

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    DJ says:

    The BC Liberals are such a mixed bag–pro-business but socially liberal. There’s never anything at all about abortion or gay rights. They’ve been actually pretty active in building social housing but incredibly stubborn about increasing the minimum wage. It’s still illegal to use replacement workers in BC during strikes but they eliminated the human rights commission (the tribunal still exists). They support the safe-injection site known as Insite which is opposed by the Harper government–even Kevin Falcon supports it.

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    CQ says:

    Sure enough, in checking her wikipedia page, she’s had outside of Canada education. That means she’s better, “just like Michael” and so many others; left and right, in political and power, music, media, and sport circles.
    Actually this is a bias found all over my region of Toronto. It was true for 40 years of Ontario’s community college under-tiering and grade 13 University admittance obstruction. It’s not a racial divide, it is a “never promote from our collective own” divide.

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    Dan F says:

    After the next provincial election in Ontario, (Dalton’s last, win or lose) Ontario Libs will also be looking for a new generation of leadership. Can I recommend Deb Matthews? I first met this brilliant young Minister when she was teaching sociology at the University of Western Ontario. She knows her stuff, and has the skills needed to do the job.

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      JenS says:

      Not getting your math – from what I can determine, Minister Matthews (who I would love to see as leader following Premier McGuinty) is two years OLDER than the current premier (and five years younger than my Mom … And I’m 40.)

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    Francis says:

    Doubtless you`re just as enthusiastic about the impressive, hard-working single mom running to be Premier of Ontario.

    Go Andrea!

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    Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Also let us not forget that it was Christy Clark, along with Marisen, that brought Dion to the Liberal leadership Convention.

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    BigMan says:

    “Perhaps Christy’s win – a smart, sensible, single mom – signals a new day dawning.”

    Let’s hope so. After years of being misled and repeatedly lied to by the current government, it would be nice to see a change. Sadly, her past record does not instill confidence. She resigned from government leaving her ministry in tatters (years later its still a mess), failed to win the NPA nomination for mayor, and most recently left her radio position after signing a multi year contract – what qualifications does she have to run a complex multi-billion dollar organization (our province) – She’s a single mom? Her smile and charisma?? All this and consider the stench of the BC Rail debacle.. C’mon, what kind of hollow nonsense is Mr. Ibbotson trying to peddle?

    A new day dawining? Perhaps. However, I’d have the umbrella handy as a storm may be on its way and I fear we are going to get soaked…

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