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South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP not seeking re-election

NDP MP Richard Cannings plans to retire and focus on his family when the next election happens
South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings speaks Monday, June 5, in the House of Commons during an emergency debate about wildfires in Canada. (Parliment of Canada)

After a decade in office, NDP MP Richard Cannings will not be seeking re-election.

Cannings announced his decision on Sept. 12 that he would not run again in 2025.

“It’s been the greatest honour and privilege of my life to have this position,” Cannings told the Western. “It’s difficult to represent 115,000 people with all their different views, but I’ve done my best and I’d like to thank the people of South Okanagan - West Kootenay for the privilege of serving them, and it’s really been the high point of my life.”

When the next election happens in 2025, barring a snap election being called sooner, Cannings will have served a decade as the MP for the riding, ever since it came into effect in 2015.

The decision was not an easy one, but it was one that was made with his family and the future of the community in mind.

“It’s simply time. I’m 69 years old, and I’ll probably be over 70 by the time the election is called. I think it’s just time to step back and let someone else take that role,” said Cannings. “People always chuckle when politicians say they’re not running again to spend more time with their family as if it’s some lame excuse, but I would say it’s almost always the most important reason.”

Cannings said that he was proud to have joined Parliament and to have brought his background as a scientist to offer a unique voice. He said he was proud to have had discussions with not just members of his own party but with ministers who crossed the aisle to talk on certain issues with him, part of the work that he said he did in the background.

In the foreground, Cannings said he was proud of the work that he and his party have done in pushing for the establishment of dental care for all Canadians, the Canada Child Care Act, and measures of financial support for everyday Canadians, including support during COVID-19. He also pointed to changes he led including cutting loopholes in the Species at Risk Act.

The work he is most proud of is in his private member’s bill for using environmentally sustainable products in government buildings and infrastructure. The Use of Wood in Federal Infrastructure bill he pointed to as supporting not just environmental progress, but also supporting the industry of communities in his own riding.

READ MORE: South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP brings back bill for greener federal infrastructure

Cannings said he will continue to push hard to see a national pharmacare plan adopted, his Environmental Bill of Rights passed and for significant investments in housing and affordability measures.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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