Recently re-elected Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux has been selected as BC Liberal caucus chair for the new Official Opposition in Victoria, headed by interim leader Shirley Bond.
MLAs were sworn in Tuesday (Nov. 24) during virtual ceremonies conducted by BC Lt. Gov. Janet Austin.
“I am very very pleased that my fellow caucus members feel I have the right skill set for this role,” Cadieux said, acknowledging it is the same one performed by former MLA (later South Surrey-White Rock MP) Gordon Hogg during the latter part of his 20 years in the B.C. Legislature before retiring in 2017.
“He did it very well,” she noted.
She said the tone-setting assignment is “to be a bit of a leader in caucus” and will involve running meetings and moderating discussions among the 28 BC Liberal MLAs, as well as serving on some other committees in the Legislature.
“Part of it is to create an environment for the whole group to have respectful exchanges and dialogue around issues,” she said.
She said she is prepared for some lively discussions in the process.
“We have an incredibly strong team heading to Victoria; experienced and accomplished people who have strong opinions,” she said, adding she fully expects there to be differences among caucus members.
“We all have our experiences in life, and they’re all valid,” she said. “We have to be able to respect each other’s opinions and agree to disagree, sometimes.”
Cadieux – first elected MLA for Surrey-Panorama in 2009, followed by successful election bids in Surrey-Cloverdale in 2013, and Surrey South in 2017 and 2020 – is not lacking in experience herself.
During her first eight years in government she served in cabinet as Minister of Children and Family Development, Minister of Social Development, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.
Most recently, her role was as the opposition critic for ICBC, and prior to that she was critic for Finance and Advanced Education. She has also been a member of the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations and served as deputy chair of the committees to appoint the Representative for Children and Youth and the Human Rights Commissioner.
Cadieux said she is also confident that the tone for an effective opposition will be set by Bond, five-term MLA for Prince George and area.
“She’s a terrific person with tons of experience and tons of compassion,” she said.