Abbotsford-Mission MLA Randy Hawes has added his name to the list of longtime Liberal politicians who will not be running in the next election.
He will throw his support behind Mission Coun.Tony Luck to be his successor.
He told The News this decision should not be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the Liberal party.
“There’s nothing wrong with refreshing the party, and getting new people involved,” he said.
Hawes explained he has future goals outside of politics.
“This is a high-pressure job. There are other things I want to do,” he said. “I don’t want to be 70 and sitting in the legislature.”
Hawes said he plans to go back to school, and become certified as a mediator and arbitrator. Hawes said it is unlikely he will be bringing labour peace between the BCTF and the province – he is aiming at corporate and family mediation.
“That’s the kind of work I’ve been doing for most of my life,” he said.
Hawes served one year on Mission council, was mayor for eight years, and will have served 12 years as an MLA.
“It has been an honour,” he said.
In 1996 Hawes first began work on the initiative to connect trails, parks and communities along the Fraser River from Hope to the Salish Sea, and the project has become known as Experience the Fraser. It is a partnership between the province and the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts.
He also initiated the aggregate Pilot Plan for the Fraser Valley, with a view to end conflicts between surrounding gravel operations, and has worked with a variety of health organizations.
“It has been a great privilege to work with Randy over the years,” said Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong. “He is a unique, delightful individual, who wears his heart on his sleeve.”
De Jong said Hawes has been a great ambassador and promoter of Mission and his constituency.
“As long as Randy Hawes’ heart beats, he will continue to be a leader in his community.”
Hawes will endorse Luck’s candidacy because the financial consultant is a free enterpriser who embraces the Liberal ideology, because he knows how governments works, and he has knowledge of both Abbotsford and Mission.
Luck lived in Abbotsford for 27 years, but has lived in Mission for the past three. He has been a financial consultant with Investors Group, and had a 28-year career with BC Hydro, including work as a business analyst.
“Tony has all the attributes I think are necessary to being an MLA,” said Hawes.
Despite what the polls say, Hawes doesn’t believe voters will give the NDP a mandate to govern once they finally get to their voting stations on May 14, 2013.
“People are going to do a reality check,” he predicts. “The two times they’ve been in power have been a disaster.”