Blair Lekstrom, a B.C. MLA for almost 12 years, confirmed Tuesday he won't be running again in the next provincial election.
Two of his Liberal caucus colleagues -- Joan McIntyre, the MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, and Rob Howard, MLA for Richmond Centre -- also made their intentions known on Tuesday to forgo the spring campaign.
A string of announcements by more than 10 sitting Liberal MLAs means that Premier Christy Clark is losing almost 30 per cent of her caucus. Polls show her party continues to sink in popular support.
"I leave to pursue new opportunities in life and want to again thank Premier [Christy] Clark for her support. I know that she will continue to lead this province in a positive direction," he said in a statement released by the Liberal caucus.
"Always remember this, on our worst day here in British Columbia, we will still have it better than 90 per cent of the world will ever enjoy on their best day," Lekstrom added.
Lekstrom was first elected in 2001 in Peace River South. Before being appointed transportation minister in 2011, he served as Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and Minister of Community Development.
Clark thanked Lekstrom for his 19 years of public service late Tuesday.
"Well regarded by members of both sides of the house, Blair’s outgoing positive personality transcended party lines," Clark said in a statement. "He will be missed greatly by staff and all MLAs."
Before joining provincial politics, he was the mayor of Dawson Creek.
The MLA for Parksville-Qualicum was re-elected in 2009 and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Technology in September 2012.
John Slater, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen, was elected in 2009. In January 2013, he announced he was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/14/john-slater-quits-bc-liberals-boundary-similkameen_n_2474761.html?1358201798">leaving the B.C. Liberal caucus to sit as an Independent</a> after the party refused to approve his candidacy to run again.
The Liberal MLA for Peace River South was first elected in 2001. Since 2011, he has served as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena was elected in 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2009.
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/30/george-abbott-mary-mcneil-john-les-resign-liberals_n_1844026.html" target="_hplink">Liberal MLA for Shuswap</a> was first elected in 1996. A member of the Priorities and Planning Committee and the Cabinet Committee on Families First, Abbott was appointed the Minister of Education in 2010.
The Liberal MLA for Richmond Centre was elected in 2009. He cited "personal reasons" for not running again.
The <a href="http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CC4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.ca%2F2012%2F08%2F30%2Fjohn-les-resigns-liberals_n_1843238.html&ei=_EFGULrjHIrM9QSVqIGQBQ&usg=AFQjCNGhfOlOO6ZJqZ4ko1aVyKTXSYiNTg" target="_hplink">Liberal MLA for Chilliwack</a> was first elected in 2001. He served as parliamentary secretary, Minister of Small Business and Economic Development and Public Safety and Solicitor General.
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/30/george-abbott-mary-mcneil-john-les-resign-liberals_n_1844026.html" target="_hplink">Liberal MLA for Vancouver-False Creek</a> was first elected in 2009. In 2011, she was appointed Minister for Children and Family Development.
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/29/kevin-falcon-quits-bc-finance_n_1840174.html" target="_hplink">Liberal MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale</a> was first elected in 2001. He has served as ministers of finance, health and transportation.
The Liberal MLA for Surrey-Tynehead was first elected in 2001. He served on the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/04/rich-coleman-joan-mcintyre_n_1854981.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia" target="_hplink">Liberal MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky</a>, who was first elected in 2005, said she always planned to serve no more than two terms.
The Liberal MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed was first elected in 2001. He was the only member of the B.C. Liberal caucus to support Christy Clark's bid for the party leadership. He served as Minister of Social Development and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism.
The Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview was first elected in 2009. He served as minister of public safety and solicitor general.
The Liberal MLA for Saanich North and the Islands was first elected in 2001. He has headed the ministries of labour, environment and advanced education.
The Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson was first elected in 1996. He served as Minister of State for Mining, Minister of Small Business and Revenue and Minister of Community Development.
The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/20/bill-barisoff-penticton-mla-quits_n_1811456.html" target="_hplink">Liberal MLA for Penticton</a> was first elected in 1996. In 2005 he was named Speaker of the B.C. Legislature.
The North Coast NDP MLA was first elected in 2005, and again in 2009.
The NDP MLA of New Westminster was elected in 2009.
The NDP MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows was elected in 2005 and 2009. He was the Opposition critic for fisheries.
The MLA for Abbotsford-Mission was first elected in 2001, and again in the 2005 and 2009 elections.
The NDP MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville was elected in 2005 and again in 2009. She was the deputy opposition critic for education.
The NDP MLA for Delta North was elected in 2005 and 2009.
FULL STATEMENT BY BLAIR LEKSTROM
Having served nearly 20 years in elected office – three years as a city councillor, five years as mayor of Dawson Creek and close to 12 years as MLA for Peace River South – I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election in the 2013 May provincial election.
I have been honored to serve the people of my riding and this great province; and I am proud of the work I have done on their behalf. I have had the opportunity to serve under two premiers, both of whom I want to thank for their support and commitment to helping build a stronger province for all.
I am proud to have served as Minister of Community Development and Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Development under Premier Campbell and most recently as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure under Premier Clark. I have enjoyed all of these portfolios and have always done my best to ensure that I served the public's interest in each of them.
I want to say thank you to my cabinet and caucus colleagues for all of their hard work and dedication and most importantly for their friendship over the years. I also want to thank my colleagues from the opposition side of the house, many of whom I have developed friendships with, and in some cases have even seen some issues from the same perspective.
Politics can be an unforgiving profession, but I have always believed that – whether you are on the government side of the house or on the opposition side – we are all here because we believe we have something to offer which will make our province a better place, not only for the people today, but more importantly we want to build a better province for our children, grandchildren and future generations.
To government employees and the entire staff of the Legislative Assembly, I want to thank you for all that you do on behalf of British Columbians. Your work in many instances goes unnoticed, but without all of you we would not have the province we have.
Thank you to the residents of Peace River South for their continued support over the years. I am truly honored and humbled to have served as your Member of the Legislative Assembly. This has been an incredible experience filled with challenges and opportunities and certainly a job that has changed my life in so many positive ways.
A special thank you goes to my family for all of their support over the years. Without their continued support, none of what I have been able to help accomplish in office could have been possible.
I leave to pursue new opportunities in life and want to again thank Premier Clark for her support. I know that she will continue to lead this province in a positive direction.
Always remember this, on our worst day here in British Columbia, we will still have it better than 90 per cent of the world will ever enjoy on their best day.
Liberal MLA for Vancouver Point Grey, 15 years $98,175 per year to start $1.7 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Penticton, 17 years $90,992 per year to start $1.57 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, 17 years $89,000 per year to start $1.54 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Shuswap, 17 years $89,084 per year to start $1.54 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, 17 years $87,700 per year to start $1.5 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Chilliwack-Hope, 15 years $78,500 per year to start $1.35 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, 12 years $62,893 per year to start $1.09 million lifetime
Liberal MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed, 12 years $49,000 per year to start $720,000 lifetime (13 years until he turns 80)
Liberal MLA for Chilliwack, 12 years $48,289 per year to start $835,000 lifetime
Liberal MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, 12 years $47,600 per year to start $824,000 lifetime
Liberal MLA for Vancouver False Creek, 4 years Ineligible for MLA pension, less than six years of service
Liberal MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam, 6 years $30,000 per year to start $520,000 lifetime
NDP MLA for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge. 8 years $28,500 per year to start $490,000 lifetime
Liberal MLA for Vancouver Fraserview, 4 years Ineligible for MLA pension, less than six years of service