Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party MLA-elect for Kelowna-Lake Country. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party MLA-elect for Kelowna-Lake Country. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Liberal Party needs youth, urban presence: Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect Norm Letnick

The Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect also said he will not vie for party leadership

A lack of youth and urban presence contributed to the BC Liberal Party’s decisive defeat in the 2020 B.C. election, according to Kelowna-Lake Country MLA-elect Norm Letnick.

While Letnick is confident the opposition caucus — the party’s smallest since its 1991 resurgence with a projected 29 seats — will be strong, he admitted the election results signify a need for change in the party.

“We’re very in tune with what’s going on in rural B.C. and we have to become more aware of the priorities of the people that live in Metro Vancouver if we want to be considered as a government in waiting for the next election,” Letnick said.

Two days after the election party leader Andrew Wilkinson announced he will be resigning. He plans to continue to serve as interim-leader as the party undergoes the process of finding its new head.

Letnick said the party needs to become younger. As such, Letnick, on the verge of his 63rd birthday, does not plan to throw his hat in the ring for the upcoming leadership race.

“I think the party, for renewal purposes, needs a younger candidate — and I might even venture they probably need to be well known in the Metro Vancouver area.”

As for Wilkinson, Letnick said the results of the election are not indicative of a lacking leadership among the Liberals so much as it is the popularity of NDP Premier-elect John Horgan.

“It was hard, for any leader, to go up against a popular premier in a pandemic. Across the world, we’ve seen democracies that go to an election during a pandemic usually re-elect the incumbent government. People are hesitant to change governments during a crisis,” Letnick said.

“I don’t think the loss is reflective of Andrew’s brilliance or his work-ethic. Or the platform — I thought the platform was extraordinary.”

There are no plans as of yet for when the BC Liberal Party’s leadership race will take place.

READ MORE: Despite NDP majority, Kelowna remains Liberal stronghold

READ MORE: Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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