"No matter how good an idea you have as government, if you can't bring the public along with that idea the idea mustn't be that good. And we have made a strategic error here..." That's how Blair Lekstrom summed up his opinion of the harmonized sales tax in a conference call late this afternoon. Mr. Lekstrom resigned from cabinet and the provincial Liberal caucus earlier in the day after failing to convince his fellow executive council members to halt the introduction of that tax so the government could consult with British Columbians. Speaking with reporters, Mr. Lekstrom said his decision to step aside was based solely on that issue and had nothing to do with some of the controversial initiatives he stickhandled as the minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources - specifically the Clean Energy Act and Site C.
As for his political future, the Peace River South MLA said he intends to run in the next election. But Mr. Lekstrom said there is "no intent whatsoever in my thought process that I'm doing this to try to start something else" when asked if he resigned to establish a Wildrose-type political party. As for whether he might join another party, he said, "I'm not even thinking that right now. To be honest, I'm trying to get through and answer as many questions as I can. And what's on my mind, to be honest with you, is going home to see my family."
The preceding recording includes a selection of clips from Mr. Lekstrom's aforementioned conference call.