Stronach latest MP planning to leave
[PoliticsWatch updated 1:30 p.m., April 11, 2007]
|Liberal MP Belinda Stronach has become the
latest MP to announce she won't be running in the next
OTTAWA - High-profile
Liberal MP Belinda Stronach announced Wednesday she plans to leave
federal politics and won't run in the next federal election.
Stronach's decision means there are 20 current MPs who have announced their
intentions to retire from politics. Fourteen of those MPs are
The Liberal MP said she is immediately returning to her previous
role as an executive with Magna International.
"After being encouraged by members of the corporate leadership at Magna to return, I have decided that the timing of my return to the business should not be delayed,"
she said in a statement.
Stronach had a memorable, but brief, three-year stint in federal
politics since leaving the business world.
Having no elected political experience, she entered and finished
second to Stephen Harper in the first Conservative party
leadership campaign in 2004.
She was elected to the House of Commons in June of that year but
less than a year later left the Conservative caucus in dramatic
fashion to join the Liberals on the eve of a major confidence vote
that would have led to an election in the spring of 2005. The
Liberals narrowly survived the vote thanks to Stronach.
Stronach served six months as a cabinet minister in Paul Martin's
government before the Liberals were defeated in the 2006 federal
The MP was reportedly considering entering the Liberal leadership
race to replace Martin but surprised many when she announced she
would not be running. Stronach remained neutral during the
leadership campaign and has had a very low profile in question
period since Liberal Leader Stephane Dion announced his
shadow cabinet in January.
Other notable MPs who have recently announced they are not seeking
re-election include NDP MP Bill Blaikie, who is the Dean of
the House of Commons.
Blaikie's departure means that the next person in line to be Dean of
the House of Commons in the next Parliament is a separatist MP. Bloc
MP Louis Plamondon was first elected to the House of Commons
in 1984 as a Tory with former prime minister Brian Mulroney.
He later joined the Bloc in 1990.
After Plamondon, the longest serving MPs are a core group of
12 Liberals who were first elected to opposition in 1988 with John
Four of those MPs have already announced their plans not to run in
the next election.
Paul Martin - Lasalle - Emard, Quebec
Jim Peterson - Willowdale, Ontario
Joe McGuire - Egmont, P.E.I.
Tom Wappel - Scarborough Southwest
The remaining eight Liberals from the Class of '88 are:
Joe Volpe - Eglinton - Lawrence
Albina Guarnieri -- Mississauga East-Cooksville, Ontario
Joe Comuzzi - Thunder Bay - Superior North, Ontario
Peter Milliken - Kingston and the Islands, Ontario
Maurizio Bevilacqua - Vaughan, Ontario
Diane Marleau - Sudbury, Ontario
Jim Karygiannis - Scarborough - Agincourt, Ontario
Derek Lee -- Scarborough--Rouge River, Ontario
Of those eight, Comuzzi, who was recently kicked out of the Liberal
caucus and now sits as an independent, is the only one whose name has been mentioned
in recent news reports about a possible retirement.
In addition to Stronach and the four from the class of '88, nine other Liberal MPs have already announced plans not to run
Bill Graham, Toronto Centre (first elected in 1993)
Andy Scott, Fredericton (1993)
Ray Bonnin, Nickel Belt, Ontario (1993)
Brenda Chamberlain, Guelph, Ontario (1993)
Paul Steckle, Huron-Bruce, Ontario (1993)
Lucienne Robillard, West Mount -- Ville-Marie (1995)
Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Nunavut (1997)
Bill Matthews - Random-Burin-St. George's, Newfoundland
Stephen Owen, Vancouver-Quadra (2000)
Four Conservative MPs are also not running in the next
John Williams - Edmonton St. Alberta, Alberta (1993)
Ken Epp -- Edmonton--Sherwood Park, Alberta (1993)
Norman Doyle -- St. John's East (1997)
Brian Fitzpatrick -- Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (2000)
Williams and Epp's departure leaves 13 Conservative MPs from the
1993 group of Reformers who came to Ottawa with Preston Manning.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is among this group, but he
briefly retired from politics in 1997.
The Bloc Quebec will also lose one of its
long-time MPs when this session of Parliament concludes. Bloc House
leader Michel Gauthier announced in late March that he will
not run in the next election.
Liberal MP Ralph Goodale was first elected to Parliament in
1974, but was defeated in 1979 and later returned 1993. There are
four other MPs still in the House who were first elected in 1988 but
were defeated in the interim and later returned. Tories Bill
Casey and Greg Thompson, Liberal Garth Turner and
New Democrat Dawn Black.
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