Clark’s legacy is characterized by her determination to plan for future generations. She left BC with a significantly diversified economy, a greater diversity of markets, a plan for a new, clean energy supply, billions of dollars of new infrastructure, and a dramatic reduction in the burden of public debt that will be borne by future generations of British Columbians.
As Premier, Clark earned a well-deserved reputation as a consensus builder both within the Cabinet, and outside it. Her management style was to carefully set out a plan that included hard goals and deadlines for each Ministry and monitor progress through regular reporting to Cabinet and Committees which she chaired.
Clark’s vision focused squarely on improving the long term future for British Columbians. In her final budget, Clark’s government committed over $25B to infrastructure over the subsequent 3 years. This included a $8B to build Site C, Canada’s largest new hydroelectric dam – a project that had been under consideration, but never started, by previous governments for almost 50 years.
Her success in creating Canada’s strongest economy was founded on her ability to create and communicate a bold vision for growth, her gift for building and executing on a detailed plan, and a strong capacity to predict, mitigate and manage risks.
Inheriting a $1.2B deficit, her first priority was to contain spending. She reduced growth in government spending to the lowest rate in Canada while maintaining the best health and education outcomes in the country.