Ontario’s Economic Development Minister, Brad Duguid, won’t be running again in the provincial election next year.
The veteran politician said his decision has nothing to do with the polls, which have not been favourable to his Liberal party lately.
“I remain as passionate today as ever about the vital work that our government is doing to build a strong Ontario,” he said in a statement Friday.
“I believe the Ontario Liberals will win the next election and Kathleen Wynne will be re-elected as our premier.”
Duguid, who had a heart attack last year, said he made the decision after discussions with his wife, family and friends.
The representative for Scarborough Centre, elected to the legislature in 2003, also served as a city councillor in Scarborough and Toronto for nine years.
He has also served in cabinet as labour minister, aboriginal affairs minister, energy and infrastructure minister, and training, colleges and universities minister.
Duguid did not indicate what his post-political life will include, saying in his statement that when the time is right he will consider what his “next challenge” will be.
Premier Kathleen Wynne said that Duguid’s work, particularly the frequent travel needed, meant he had to make sacrifices in his personal life.
“Brad has been in public service for longer than his sons, Kennedy and Jordan, have been alive,” she said in a statement.
“I know that in recent years, he has had opportunity to reflect on his priorities in life and I can appreciate that for him, his wife Crystal, and their family this was a difficult but mutual decision.”
Wynne credited Duguid’s work as economic development minister as helping drive strong economic growth, push Ontario’s unemployment rate to historic lows, and fighting against Buy American legislation.
Speaker Dave Levac, the Liberal representative for Brant, and Monte Kwinter, Ontario’s oldest MPP, have also announced they won’t seek re-election.
Former environment minister Glen Murray recently left government for the private sector.
Statement from John Tory:
I want to thank Minister Brad Duguid for standing up for the City of Toronto as a cabinet minister, MPP and, before that, as a City Councillor.
As Minister of Economic Development and Growth, he has been a great fighter for jobs here in Toronto and Ontario.
Most importantly to this city, Brad joined me in championing the Bloor-Danforth subway extension further into Scarborough. His efforts have helped us get on with building a transit network that finally delivers what Scarborough residents have been promised in several municipal, provincial, and federal elections.
On behalf of the people of Toronto, I thank Brad for his work in politics and wish him well in his next endeavours.