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Liberal MLA Rob Howard won't seek re-election

It was last spring when Richmond Centre MLA Rob Howard’s wife Trudy, a two-time breast cancer survivor, had some minor surgery.

It didn’t go well, but Howard was committed to his duties in Victoria, and couldn’t be at her side.

“That didn’t feel good,” Howard told The Review Tuesday, shortly after announcing via a press release that he will not be running in the May 2013 provincial election.

While Trudy is alright today, he’s been spending some time over the course of the last couple of months, looking at the future of his political career.

“It becomes a cause for thought, it makes you think about the future a little more,” Howard said about his wife’s most recent health incident. “Looking out over the next four years, I didn’t want to put myself in that position again.”

Howard said it was toward the end of July that he realized he might make the decision to retire from politics, but wanted to give it some more thought during planned holidays in August.

“It’s been a remarkable journey,” said Howard, who was elected MLA of Richmond Centre in 2009, after serving as a city councillor since 2001. “When I think of all the different issues that our community has grappled with and worked with over the past 12 years, including the Olympics and the Olympic Oval, the Canada Line, there’s been so much that’s happened...It’s been an absolute honour to have been elected four times... it is very humbling and I’m very thankful for that.”

In recent weeks, Howard has posted a couple of YouTube videos, calling out NDP leader Adrian Dix to tell B.C. voters about his plans to run the province.

“If Adrian Dix wants to be premier, he owes it to the people of B.C. to say what his plan is. He’s been remarkably silent for somebody who wants to be premier.”

 

Statement from Rob Howard, issued Sept. 4, 2012:

“I am today announcing my decision not to run in next May’s provincial election.

“I want it to be clear that my decision is based purely on personal reasons, and that I will continue to work hard to ensure the BC Liberal team gets re-elected. I have a strong belief that it can, and will, happen.

“Our Premier and our BC Liberal team will continue to lay out an exciting and invigorating vision for the future of our province. This vision is built on a foundation of prudent fiscal management, a rebuilt Triple-A credit ratings, and a debt-to-GDP ratio that is the envy of most other jurisdictions in the entire world. This is coupled with the belief that at some point in the near future Adrian Dix will have to start to lay out his vision of big government and big spending that will surely erode the support he has gained by saying nothing.

“I have been heavily involved in politics for 12 years (first elected as a city councillor in 2001), and the time has come to spend more time with my family. The demands of political life make this difficult if not impossible. Some of you may know that my wife Trudy is a two time breast cancer survivor, the last time was during the 2009 campaign. She is doing very well now; however we have a few other things on our ‘bucket list’ we would like to accomplish.

“I want to thank the Premier for having the confidence in me to appoint me to a number of positions including Chair of the Finance Committee, and most recently as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation. This has allowed me to tackle issues which are important to me, and in fact are the reasons that drove me to into politics in the first place. Those issues include ensuring we are doing everything possible to grow and diversify our economy, to protect and create jobs to ensure families have a secure future in this province. The Premier has asked me to continue my work on Air Access, as Parliamentary Secretary, and I am pleased to continue as I see it as critical to the success of our province in the ever changing and evolving global economic world in which we find ourselves.

“To my wife Trudy, and my son Jay, who have supported me and played a big part in the success I have enjoyed, and to my riding executive who have been invaluable to me as an MLA, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Finally, I want to thank the citizens of Richmond who have entrusted me with public office. It has been a true pleasure serving the most diverse and dynamic city on the planet. I have met many new friends and acquaintances and I look forward to  staying in touch with you all in the future.”

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