Premier says Liberals resilient

Christy Clark in Parksville on Saturday to help local candidate Michelle Stilwell open a campaign office

Premier Christy Clark was in Parksville on Saturday to help candidate Michelle Stilwell open a campaign office.

Premier Christy Clark was in Parksville on Saturday to help candidate Michelle Stilwell open a campaign office.

Premier Christy Clark thinks highly of Michelle Stilwell, in fact, she said she doesn’t know anybody else as determined and hard working as the local Liberal candidate.

“I know people say that politicians say that about each other all the time, but I think Michelle’s history stands by itself. I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody like her get into provincial politics before,” Clark said in an interview with local reporters Saturday.

Clark was on hand to celebrate the official opening of Stilwell’s campaign office in Parksville, and took a moment to answer questions following her address to the crowd.

Clark’s message to her crowd of supporters was frank but enthusiastic, in her usual style, starting off with, “you know we’ve had a heck of a week, I don’t know if you heard about that…” she joked.

But despite the media’s best efforts to make the ethnic vote scandal seem like “the doom of the province” the Liberals “miraculously survived” in the eyes of that doubtful bunch, she said.

Whatever the Liberals will be called in the days leading up to the election, resilient is sure to be on that list, she said, and the best example of resiliency?  Michelle Stilwell, she added.

Clark said when people around the province ask her how the Liberals are going to win the election she begins by listing all the group’s candidates, and the person she always starts with is Stilwell.

“Here’s what I say,” she began, “we have a candidate who has won multiple paralympic gold medals, she just set her 17th world record in Australia two months ago, she home-schools her son and she runs her own small business,” she said.

Clark went on to say the approaching election isn’t a sure bet and if ever there was an underdog, it’s Clark, but it’s worth it, she said.

She concluded that the fight to win the election and make sure the children of the future aren’t saddled with debt is the most important fight that the BC Liberals and any free enterprise party have been engaged in in the last several decades.

Stilwell alluded to the tough situation the Liberals have found themselves in recently, but kept it brief and positive.

“When I first met (Clark) I admired her for her openness and her compassion and her intelligence and that hasn’t changed despite all the challenges she has faced.”

When asked by The News if Stilwell would be traveling to train for athletic events even if she was elected (having just returned from Australia)  she responded that the issue seems to be a huge deal for everyone right now.

“That’s obviously not going to happen,” she said with a smile. “I will always have sport in my life and I will always have  healthy, active living as a part of my life but I won’t be taking off for eight weeks at a time to compete or train in Australia.”