Former Transportation Minister Todd Stone has added his name to the list of candidates vying for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party.
Stone made the announcement in Tuesday morning in Surrey, and has scheduled events in Victoria and his hometown of Kamloops later in the day.
LISTEN: Todd Stone joins the BC Liberal leadership race
The Kamloops-Thompson MLA is now the 8th candidate in the hunt for the party’s top job.
Flanked by former Liberal MLAs Peter Fassbender and Terry Lake, Stone said the party has learned some “tough lessons,” and that regaining power will require hard work.
Stone, a former tech CEO, pledged to prioritize making the province a world leader in technology, while defending the slow pace of the former Clark government on tech files like bringing Uber to the province.
“Our plan was to embrace technology, but only do so with the existing industry to ensure a smooth transition. That included adding another year onto the implementation period for ride-sharing.”
Stone added that B.C. “needs to reclaim its role” as a leader in the fight against climate change, and pledged to work more closely with municipalities and put more resources into mental health support.
“When you are in government and you are making decisions, there are always some tough lessons along the way as well. And I think that the sign of true leadership is recognizing those lessons,” said Stone.
Prior to even declaring his run, Stone initiated one of the first policy debates among candidates by pledging to reject any taxpayer funding of the party under the NDP’s new corporate and union donation ban.
BC Liberals stalwarts Terry Lake and Peter Fassbender here for Todd Stone's party leadership bid announcement pic.twitter.com/ue5h6hECfJ
— Jeremy Lye (@jeremyjlye) October 10, 2017
Other former cabinet ministers in the race include Mike Bernier, Mike de Jong, Andrew Wilkinson and Former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan.
Former Surrey Mayor and federal Conservative MP Dianne Watts is also competing, along with lawyer and new MLA Michael Lee and Terrace businesswoman Lucy Sager.
Party members will choose their new leader by online and telephone vote between Feb. 1-3, 2018.
-With files from the Canadian Press
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