Premier Gordon Campbell resigns

He was an embattled leader when he resigned today. Less than a year ago, he dominated the news during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Many  called them "Gordo's Games," and the premier seemed to appear everywhere, waving his Olympic mittens, a tireless booster and believer in the Olympic spirit.  Then came the controversial HST tax, which some said he jammed down the provincial throat, expecting acceptance that didn't come.  

Previously in his career, he was no less controversial. He privatized B.C. Rail. Then he garnered the world's attention and respect when he endorsed a provincial carbon tax, but created more controversy at home. He survived a drunken driving charge in Maui. He supported the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest.  He was different things to different people, a visionary on the one hand, a villian on the other.  His mark remains on the city he ruled over as  mayor, through projects like the new Vancouver Convention Center.

Gordon Campbell has resigned and the  B.C. Liberals are to hold leadership caucus.  Rumours are that Colin Hansen is taking over.  Kevin Falcon's name has also been mentioned.

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The National Post reports: 

Mr. Campbell made the announcement at 11:30 a.m. PT at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Mr. Campbell has come under increasing fire in recent months over his decision to introduce the controversial harmonized sales tax in British Columbia, a move that sparked unprecedented levels of protest from various citizen groups. Anger stemmed from Mr. Campbell’s promise not to introduce the tax before the May 2009 election.

The provincial Liberal leader’s announcement comes on the heels of cabinet shuffle and a television address he gave last week in which he promised to cut provincial sales taxes by up to 15% — a move many saw as an effort to placate critics of the HST.

Another source of controversy for the party came in the form of the
Basi-Virk scandal, in which two Liberal insiders, Dave Basi and Bob Virk, plad guilty to breach of trust and accepting benefits for information about the sale of the provincially owned B.C. Rail in 2003.

Mr. Campbell was criticized for defending his government’s decision to cover the legal fees of Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk — about $6-million — during the seven-year legal battle.

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/11/03/gordon-campbell-set-for-significant-announcement-amid-resignation-rumours/#ixzz14FKqecSI
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