UPDATE Clark leadership could bring change to northeast

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 UPDATE Blair Lekstrom has been officially welcomed back into the Liberal caucus, Wednesday, by Premier-designate Christy Clark.

After more than 10 years under the leadership of Gordon Campbell, British Columbia will now have a new premier.

On Saturday, Christy Clark won the Liberal leadership race with 52 per cent of the vote, beating out Kevin Falcon, Mike de Jong and George Abbott.

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A change in leadership could bring changes for the northeast, one of the biggest contributors to the Province’s revenue.

Throughout the 2009/2010 fiscal year, B.C.’s natural gas and petroleum sector contributed $1.35 billion to the province’s revenue.

The northeast contributes a significant amount of wealth to the Province and Clark recognizes that, as well as recognizing that all residents have to work together to build a stronger province, Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom told Issues and Answers, on Wednesday. Lekstrom also says he feels Clark understands a bridge has to be built between the province’s rural and urban areas.

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Last summer, Lekstrom publicly resigned as the province’s Energy Minister and from the Liberal caucus over several issues, including the HST. The decision to have Lekstrom to rejoin the Liberals will be up to the party’s caucus members, however, he says he has already spoken to Clark about the reasons he originally resigned and about the possibility of rejoining the Liberals.

Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm told Issues and Answers that he has already personally met with Clark and will be happy to work with her in the future. He also says the Liberal caucus is supporting Clark and that it will be necessary to engage the general public to win back party support.

Clark is expected to be sworn in as B.C.’s premier on March 14.

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