Children and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil resigns
BC Children and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil has resigned today, saying she would not seek re-election in the upcoming provincial election in May 2013. John Les and Education Minister George Abbott are also expected to resign today, only a day after the departure of former Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.
Below is her statement:
Today I am announcing my decision to not seek re-election as the MLA for Vancouver-False Creek in the upcoming provincial election. I have informed the Premier of my intention to stay on as MLA until the election in May, and that I will be happy to serve in any capacity she requires.
My decision comes after much discussion with my family over this summer. It was not an easy one to make as I have very much enjoyed my time in public office. When making such an important decision as this, there are many factors that need to be considered, just as there were many factors when I first decided to run for public office over four-and-a-half years ago. The most important for me was my family, especially my thirteen wonderful grandchildren, who I know have lost out on quality time with their grandmother these past four years.
I want to sincerely thank Premier Christy Clark for giving me the tremendous opportunity to serve as the Minister of Children and Family Development this past year-and-a-half. She knew before I did how much I would enjoy this portfolio, and for that I am so very grateful to her personally. I am grateful for her trust in me, and her never-ending support. It has been a true pleasure to work with her to make the lives of the children and youth in this province better.
In addition, my time spent as the Minister of Citizen Services, and the Minister of State for the Olympics and ActNow BC, under then Premier Gordon Campbell, was also a tremendous honour. I want to recognize his dedication to British Columbia over the past decade and I know that his efforts made this province better for us all.
British Columbia has been a leader in so many areas, and to have had the opportunities to participate as I have these past few years has been truly fantastic. Has it always been an easy time? No, I can’t say that it has. But I am very thankful for having been given so many occasions to work with so many great people.
I would also thank my colleagues for their camaraderie and for their hard work and dedication to British Columbia. I now know firsthand the personal dedication and sacrifices of each and every politician, and I want to publicly acknowledge them for their hard work. Every person putting themselves into this life deserves recognition for doing so, as do their families who also sacrifice time without their loved ones around for a great deal of the time they serve in public office.
I also want to acknowledge our B.C. public service for their efforts to make this province better today than it was yesterday. Each and every day they come to work to make a difference, and they do. I also want to thank all of the dedicated staff in each of the ministries who without their support, ministers would not be able to make the tough, challenging decisions that are required.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my constituents for allowing me to represent them in Victoria. Vancouver –False Creek was one of the new constituencies established in 2008, and it is in a constant state of change still today. Although it is located in the middle of a large city, it is very much a neighbourhood with singles, couples, and families out walking and experiencing the very best of city life. It has been a privilege to serve the residents of Vancouver-False Creek.
I am often asked by those I have known for years, “what has it been like in politics? Are you glad you did it?” I can say, without hesitation, it has been one of the most interesting and exciting times of my life. I have learned more in these past few years than I have in any other role previous to it. I regret not getting involved earlier than I did, and in many ways, that is what made this decision as difficult as it was for me to make.
I look forward to my next challenge, whatever that may be. I also look forward to welcoming a new Liberal Government on May 14, 2013, under the leadership of Premier Christy Clark–a government that will continue to work every day to ensure that British Columbia, and all its great people, reaches its true potential.
MLA, Vancouver-False Creek