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

In Pictures: Masset Main Street packed for Harbour Day

Sunshine and a fun set of games, sports, BBQs, fish bakes, pancake… Continue reading

Province to fund social housing in Queen Charlotte

People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will soon have… Continue reading

Study highlights Queen Charlotte housing needs

A new housing report highlights lack of social and seniors housing

Northwest family doctors win awards for B.C. launch of CHANGE Program

Northwest family doctors win awards for B.C. launch of CHANGE Program

Duu Guusd expands to include creek near Rennell Sound

More than three decades since the Haida Nation first resolved to protect… Continue reading

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

VIDEO: How to use naloxone to stop a fentanyl overdose

ANKORS’ Chloe Sage shows what to do when someone is overdosing

UPDATED: BC Ferries freezes plans to nix fuel rebates pending government funds

Claire Trevena says she is ‘extremely disappointed’ by a plan by BC Ferries to remove fuel rebates

B.C. sues Alberta over bill that could ‘turn oil taps off’

Lawsuit is the latest move in the two provinces’ ongoing feud over the Kinder Morgan pipeline

Liberal government introduces measures to update Canada’s family laws

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years

B.C. mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

Most Read