Former BCIT president Don Wright says he does not regret his decision to leave the institute for a potential position with the BC New Democratic Party (NDP), despite their surprise defeat by the BC Liberals in last night’s provincial election.
In an interview on the morning after the provincial election, Wright told The Link that he enjoyed preparing for his potential role as deputy minister for the NDP.
“The last couple months have been a lot of fun,” said Wright. “I was going through the process of trying to be ready for government if, indeed, the NDP did win the election.”
The news of the NDP loss did come as a surprise to Wright, who will now try to figure out what he will do in this next stage in his life.
“Given what the polls had said — [the election results] were definitely a surprise,” said Wright.
Wright said he does not know what steps he will take now in terms of work and his career, but when it comes to the short-term he has some plans.
One of Wright’s daughters is getting married in Boston within the next two weeks.
Wright said the upside to the provincial election results is that he will be more relaxed at his daughter’s wedding than if he was worrying about the transition of power.
While the institution looks for a new president to take Wright’s role, former vice president of institute planning, learning, and technology services Chris Golding has stepped in as acting president. Golding told The Link that BCIT is looking forward to working with the newly elected provincial government for the benefit of students and all citizens of the province.
[pullquote]”I knew I was taking a risk when I made the decision but it was a risk worth taking because I thought that if things had worked out.”[/pullquote]
“We look forward to working with the newly elected members of the legislative assembly while we provide the best possible educational experience and the most relevant career-training for our students,” said Golding.
Despite Wright’s surprise after the majority Liberal win, he was careful to note that he did not predict what the people of BC would decide on election day.
“I don’t presume to know how people will vote,” said Wright. “In a democracy people get the final word and so I was at least at some level mentally prepared for the fact that the NDP could win.”
Wright is not sure where we will go from here but is thankful looking back on what he has been able to do to date.
“I don’t have a plan B but I’ve been a very lucky person in my life and I’m in a position where I don’t have to work,” said Wright. “I will only do work that is meaningful and that I will enjoy, so I’m just trying to think of what some of the option would be in that regard.”
Wright said that although he misses BCIT very much, he does not regret his decision to leave his position as president of the institution.
“I knew I was taking a risk when I made the decision but it was a risk worth taking because I thought that if things had worked out, I would have had a chance to make a real contribution in several ways,” said Wright.
Wright said he will be fine and looks to the future optimistically and with an open mind.
Neetu was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley (minus the few toddler years she spent living in Punjab, India where her line of heritage is from). She moved to the lower mainland to attend BCIT and is now in her graduating year of the Broadcast and Online Journalism Program. Her writing and editing for Link magazine often happens late at night because when she’s not at school she works as a reporter and anchor for CKNW Newstalk 980 and is also involved in the start up of a charity called the Beautiful World Foundation. She loves to travel and feels fortunate to be in a field where she can share the stories of interesting and inspiring people from around the world.