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Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall joins list of BC cabinet ministers not seeking re-election

The Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness wants to spend more time with family. — Facebook photo

Another cabinet minister in the John Horgan BC New Democrat Party has decided not to seek re-election in the next provincial election.

Nelson-Creston MLA and Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, Michelle Mungall, has decided to take a step back from politics.

“I am announcing today (Wednesday) that I will not be seeking re-election in B.C.’s next provincial election,” Mungall said in a media release.

“It has been an honour to serve the wonderful people in Nelson-Creston as their MLA and most recently as a cabinet minister under the leadership of Premier John Horgan.”

Mungall joins Forests Minister Doug Donaldson, Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser and Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson as MLA’s from the minority government not seeking to run in the next provincial election.

Mungall said she and husband Zak have been contemplating their future raising a family, and with the travel and work schedule involved with representing a riding in Victoria, politics was not in the cards.

“As my husband Zak and I have been thinking about our family’s future and where we want it to be, we want it to be in the Kootenays and we want to be together,” Mungall explained.

“Our two year-old son Zavier loves his friends, the mountains, days on the beach at Kootenay Lake, playing in the snow in our backyard.

“We want him to grow up in our wonderful Kootenay community, and neither Zavier nor I want me to miss out on it for a large part of the year.”

Mungall is proud of the 12 years in office representing the Nelson-Creston riding. Travelling through the riding and throughout the province has allowed the former Nelson City Councillor the opportunity to make positive changes.

“It has been my honour to work with the Ktunaxa Nation in the spirit of reconciliation to preserve Qat’Muk, to keep Jumbo wild, and see it through,” said Mungall.

“We reduced child poverty by fighting policies that clawed back important funds for parents receiving disability and income assistance.

“We worked to make a world leading climate action plan, Clean BC, and implement it. We saved grizzly bears from being hunted for trophies.

“And we’ve worked to build an economic stimulus for a recovery in this global pandemic.”

Some of Mungall’s accomplishments include bringing home a health campus at Mount St. Francis in Nelson; new ferries and upgraded terminals for Kootenay Lake; more than 300 units of affordable social housing throughout the Kootenays; greater high-speed internet access, electric vehicle charging stations; 108 more childcare spaces and reduced the costs for families;  protected old growth forests; as well as building supports for the cannabis sector in transition.

“By working together, we are building a better BC, and none of this could have been done without the communities I’ve been lucky enough to serve,” Mungall said.

Mungall said a huge thank you needs to go to the Nelson-Creston constituency assistants since 2009, ministry office staff since 2017 — as Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and the Ministry for Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness.

“I have loved working with my colleagues in the ­New Democrat BC government caucus and cabinet with John Horgan as our Premier,” Mungall said.

“I am going to miss them very much.”

“And most importantly, thank you to my fabulous husband, Zak, family and friends for everything,” Mungall added.

Mungall’s news comes as there is speculation in Victoria Premier Horgan may call a snap election for BC.

Horgan said during a news conference Monday that he’s been preparing for an election since day one, as have the other political parties in BC.

If Horgan was to call a snap election, the decision would need to be made in the next few weeks in order to avoid the flu season and the possible surge in COVID-19 cases.

Over the weekend, the Green Party got ready for any decision Horgan might make after electing Sonia Furstenau leader of the party to replaces Andrew Weaver who stepped aside in January to sit as an independent in the legislature.