The exodus of high-ranking Liberals has done nothing to diminish the party's morale heading into the next provincial election, the candidate for Kamloops-South Thompson said Thursday.
Instead, the resignations of Kevin Falcon, George Abbott and others is a way to breathe new life into the party at a crucial political time, said Todd Stone.
Stone, who was en route to the party's weekend convention in Whistler, pointed out that high-ranking cabinet ministers like Carole Taylor stepped down prior to the 2009 election.
"It's a natural thing that happens in politics in all parties," he said. "These retirements have paved the way for new people like myself to step up and throw ourselves into the mix."
Stone will campaign in place of MLA Kevin Krueger, who is retiring after 16 years in politics.
More than 40 constituents from Kamloops-South are bound for Whistler, where the Liberals will engage with more than a 1,000 grassroots party members this weekend. Stone said his is the largest contingent from any riding.
He attributes the turnout to a mix of young talent and veteran players, a combination that has people excited about the party.
"There's a whole bunch of new faces, a whole bunch of new people who we've attracted into politics, which is really exciting," he said, adding the ranks include everyone from working professionals to soccer moms.
Friday is free-enterprise Friday, a brainstorming session where party members can discuss how to keep the province's economy strong.
Day two will again focus on the economy, but also includes talks on how the government can make B.C. more affordable for families.
Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, the co-chairman of the Liberals campaign platform committee, acknowledged the Opposition New Democrats are ahead in the public opinion polls, but said voters are recognizing B.C. is doing well while other jurisdictions are experiencing steep economic declines.
"People are starting to notice that in the context of what's going on in the rest of the world, B.C.'s actually doing quite well," he said.
But University of Victoria political scientist James Lawson said the Liberals' traditional supporters in the business community may be put off by her government's attempts to stage manage the Northern Gateway pipeline debate.
"They are scandalized," said Lawson, suggesting business thrives on stability and consistency.
Premier Christy Clark will address convention delegates on Saturday afternoon.