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B.C. Gets New Premier


British Columbia is getting get a new Premier.  Over the weekend, the province elected a new leader. The new Premier, which is equivalent to a state governor, is pledging to maintain good relations with Washington State.

Christy Clark, 45, won the Premier’s office after being elected the leader of the BC Liberal Party.

Canada follows the British parliamentary system, where the party who has the most elected members forms government, and the party leader becomes Prime Minister or a provincial Premier.

Clark won the Liberal leadership after three ballots.  Voting took place over a twelve-hour period on Saturday when party members voted via telephone and the Internet.

The new Premier-Designate says she will continue developing cross-border ties with Washington State that her predecessors started:

"We want to work with our friends, south of the border. We want to make sure that we have a great relationship, particularly with those states just immediately to the south of us. That has always been a big part of British Columbia’s success. I want to work with the states south of us."

Outgoing Premier Gordon Campbell spent a considerable amount of time talking with American counterparts, hosting joint cabinet meetings with Governor Gregoire and meeting several times with now former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As for policy, she says families will be at the heart of her agenda, a pledge she made often during her campaign.

Clark told the Vancouver Sun's Jonathon Fowlie she's also concentrating on party unity following the vote:

“Everybody has a real, real willingness to work together and make sure we’re united,” she said.

Clark was most recently a talk show host on a Vancouver radio station.  From 2001 to 2005 she served as Deputy Premier and held several cabinet portfolios.