Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Iain Black is resigning his seat to take a new job as CEO of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
Premier Christy Clark said she is “delighted and saddened” to see the MLA who succeeded her as Port Moody-area MLA in 2005 leave politics.
After serving in several ministries in former premier Gordon Campbell’s cabinet, Black was dropped by Clark this spring and named parliamentary secretary for public transportation.
At a news conference in Vancouver Wednesday, Clark and Black both rejected suggestions that pressure from the premier’s office to prepare for the next election had anything to do with Black’s decision. Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner resigned as attorney-general last week, citing the need to declare his candidacy and appoint election officials.
Clark said she wasn’t expecting any further resignations from her caucus, and stressed that the board of trade position is a rare opportunity.
Black is spending a few weeks on constituency business before his resignation takes effect in late September. Unless a general election is called first, a by-election in Port Moody-Coquitlam would have to be called within six months of the seat becoming vacant.
Elected in 2005, Black was Minister of Labour from Oct. 25, 2010 to March 14, 2011. Prior to that he was Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development from June 10, 2009 to Oct. 24, 2010, and Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services from June 23, 2008, to June 9, 2009.
Asked about the results of the harmonized sales tax referendum, due out Friday, Clark said her government is ready for either result. The government has a “plan B” ready for reinstating the former provincial sales tax if the HST is rejected, she said.
“Whatever instructions British Columbians give me, I’m going to carry them out,” Clark said.