Jeff Yurek resigns, does not seek a fourth term as MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London – London

Elgin-Middlesex-London Ontario riding voters will give Queen’s Park a facelift when they go to the polls in June after longtime Tory MP Jeff Yurek announced on Friday that he would not be seeking a fourth term and from his seat at. will resign at the end of February.

In a statement, Yurek said he believed it was time for voters to “choose a new voice to represent their interests in Queen’s Park”.

“My decision was not made lightly or hastily. In fact, it has been a tedious business because I will truly miss the daily interactions with the people of Elgin-Middlesex-London, ”he said.

In an interview with Global News on Friday afternoon, Yurek said his decision to step down from public office was made after months of discussions between himself, his wife, daughter and members of the community.

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“(I) just feel that the time is right to leave public life. I’ve achieved a lot in these 10 years and I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity, ”he said.

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Yurek was first elected MPP in Elgin-Middlesex-London in 2011 when he switched from Liberal to Conservative for the first time since its inception in 1999, defeating Liberal candidate Lori Baldwin-Sands with 19,711 to her 11,075 votes .

Yurek was re-elected in 2014 and 2018 with solid leadership and has since headed several portfolios, as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry in 2018, Minister of Transport from 2018 to 2019, and Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks from 2019 to June last year.

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When asked why he resigned in late February and left riding until June without a dedicated provincial representative, Yurek said the time coincided with the end of the winter break for MPPs when politicians returned to Queen’s Park.

“The main focus will be on getting the campaign going, which will start sometime in April or May,” he said.

“I just felt like I had supported the riding folks as much as I could up to this point, and it’s for the best that they focus on the next campaign that I’m not going to be in, which it was a good opportunity to resign. “

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Yurek said Karen Vecchio, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London Federal Equestrianism, is likely to support voters during the post-retirement and primary period, and that other local MPPs will be available to help as well.

“I have certainly helped other regions at times in my 10 years when voters outside the region needed help,” he said.

Yurek highlighted the passage of a 2015 private member bill making it illegal for schools to keep inhalers away from asthma patients as a proud moment in his time as an MPP.

The law, Ryan’s Law, is named after Ryan Gibbons, a boy from the London area who died in 2012 after having an asthma attack while on school break. Despite repeated efforts from his mother and a note from his doctor, Gibbon’s school did not allow him to keep his puffer fish with him.

“Working with Sandra Gibbons to get this bill passed … was an amazing experience,” he said.

Before entering politics, Yurek was a pharmacist and said he had no specific plans yet for what he would do after his tenure.

“I just focus on the constituency work, do some more vaccination clinics, and lock things up here in the office, and make sure people get looked after until the end of February, and then we see how life goes on.” There, “said he.

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“Sure there is an option,” he said on returning to the family pharmacy game. “I still have my driver’s license and I really enjoyed the job.”

– with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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