North Coast MLA won’t run again

  • Sep. 14, 2012 3:00 p.m.

North Coast MLA Gary Coons has announced that he will not be running in the May 2013 provincial election. Mr. Coons has been elected MLA twice and will have served for eight years by the time of the next election. He said he never planned to stay in the position for longer than two terms, and after the “unrelenting schedule” of an MLA is looking forward to retirement. Mr. Coons, who also has 28 years of experience as a school teacher, said he wants to get back into working with kids, perhaps as a hockey coach, but expects he won’t be able to stay away from north coast issues like oil tankers, the Highway of Tears and BC Ferries. “It was a job and I had fun doing it,” Mr. Coons said. “I’ll still keep my finger in the pie.” Although several Liberal MLAs, including high-profile cabinet ministers like Kevin Falcon and George Abbott, have announced they won’t be running, Mr. Coons is one of the few NDP MLAs to do so. He said the possibility that the NDP will win the election did not entice him to stay on. “It’s never really been a high priority to be in government,” he said, adding that he has enjoyed his role as the opposition critic for ferries, where he was an outspoken advocate for many issues affecting islanders. Mr. Coons said the North Coast MLA is planning to pick its candidate in late January, giving people who are interested time to join the party and have a say. There are already a few candidates coming forward, he said. Meanwhile, Mr. Coons is busy in Victoria, having been named to the provincial finance committee that will be travelling throughout the province to hear people’s views on next year’s provincial budget. “It’s a huge tour,” he said. “When that’s done it’s three weeks-plus of working on the report. It looks like for next few months, I’ll be pretty busy.” NDP leader Adrian Dix said Mr. Coons has been an effective champion of coastal waters and communities since he was first elected in 2005. “In the wake of the Queen of the North tragedy, Gary’s quest for answers helped bring about improvements in marine safety,” Mr. Dix said. “His knowledge of BC’s coastline and commitment to the people who live there, were on full display when I recently joined him for a tour of the Douglas Channel. He passionately demonstrated the importance of the tanker moratorium, now under threat from the Enbridge pipeline proposal, as we navigated through these beautiful but challenging waters.”

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

New school bus ready to go at Chief Matthews Elementary

Students at Chief Matthews Elementary cheered today as a woven cedar rope… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read