Kevin Falcon names critic portfolios; plans to run for legislature

Former leader Andrew Wilkinson to resign his seat

A byelection is set to be called for the Vancouver-Quilchena seat in the B.C. legislature | Albert Pego / Getty Images

New Liberal leader Kevin Falcon plans to run in a byelection later this year in Vancouver-Quilchena, which would be called after former leader Andrew Wilkinson officially resigns his seat, Falcon told media today. 

Wilkinson announced earlier today that he decided to resign his seat. Once that happens, the NDP government must call a byelection within six months. 

Falcon listed some key appointments at a press conference.

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond will continue in her role as the leader of the official opposition in the legislature, while Falcon seeks a seat in the house. Bond is also the Liberals' critic for health, seniors services, and long-term care.

Kamloops South MLA Todd Stone is the party's new house leader, and will also be the critic for jobs, economic recovery, trade and innovation.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar is the party's new finance critic.

Falcon also announced several critic appointments for people who ran against him in the leadership race that was decided on Saturday night

He has appointed Skeena MLA Ellis Ross, who came second in the leadership race, as critic for energy and LNG. Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee, who placed third in the race, wil be critic for Indigenous relations. Renee Merrifield, who came sixth in the race, will be critic for the environment and climate change. 

Some of the other critic portfolios include: 
• whip, and Columbia Basin initiatives critic: Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok;
• deputy whip and rural development critic: MLA Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson;
• housing: Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier;
• attorney general: Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong;
• gender equity, accessibility, inclusion and sport: Surrey-Panorama MLA Stephanie Cadieux;
• mental health and addictions and TransLink: Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford;
• education, children and family development and childcare: West Vancouver-Capilano MLA Karin Kirkpatrick;
• labour and skills training: MLA Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo;
• transportation and infrastructure: MLA Westside-Kelowna Ben Stewart;
• tourism, arts and culture, and multiculturalism: Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat;
• fisheries, aquaculture and BC Ferries: West Vancouver–Sea-to-Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy;
• municipal affairs: Penticton MLA Dan Ashton;
• citizen services: Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman;
• public safety and solicitor general: Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris;
• agriculture and food: Delta South MLA Ian Paton;
• forests, lands and natural resources: Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad; and
• mines, and low carbon innovation: Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka.

The Liberal caucus elected Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes as the caucus chair. She is also the party's critic for advanced education.

The party is putting forward Fraser Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart as its nominee for assistant deputy speaker.