NDP byelection victory means B.C. Liberal renewal: Leader Andrew Wilkinson

NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson celebrates with Premier John Horgan after winning the byelection in Nanaimo, B.C., on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. The New Democrats won a key provincial byelection in British Columbia on Wednesday that allows Premier John Horgan's minority government to maintain its grip on power. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

NANAIMO, B.C. - Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says their candidate's defeat in the Nanaimo byelection has the party shifting into a period of renewal.

Wilkinson says every party needs new faces and new blood, adding he expects at least three members of the current Liberal caucus to announce they will not be running in the next provincial election, set for 2021.

He didn't name the three members expected to be retiring.

Wilkinson says Nanaimo Liberal candidate Tony Harris — who took 40 per cent of the byelection vote on Wednesday — is the kind of successful and well-known local representative the party needs in the next election.

New Democrat Shiela Malcolmson won the riding with over 49 per cent of the vote, but Wilkinson says the Liberals were able to increase their vote share from the last provincial election in the NDP stronghold.

Wilkinson also announced a 20-point Liberal plan to tightened spending at the legislature in the wake of the ongoing probes involving the suspensions of clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz.

"No more trips to Africa," Wilkinson says. "No more arcane hats. No more secret cabinets full of booze."

This image released by Universal Pictures shows the character Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, in a scene from DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World."
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