B.C. Liberal finance minister Kevin Falcon quitting politics
High-profile B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Falcon has announced he will be quitting politics.
Falcon today (August 29) said he is stepping down as finance minister effective immediately and will not run in the next provincial election. He said he plans to remain the MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale until voters head to the polls in May 2013.
Falcon cited a desire to spend more time with his family and seek career opportunities in the private sector as playing a role in his decision.
He said he and his wife are expecting their second child in February, the same month the provincial budget is due.
“I think that putting together a budget and delivering a budget at the same time my wife is delivering a new member to our family is timing that I would say is not exactly great,” he told reporters during a news conference in downtown Vancouver.
“I don't think it is appropriate for me to assume that role [as finance minister] and that position of making all of those decisions when I'm not going to be running in the [election] campaign and able to fight and defend the decisions that will be made in that,” he said.
“When I think about what's happening with my family, the addition of a new baby, which I'm very excited about, and I think about my own future I really want to explore opportunities in the private sector. I think I'm still a young man.”
Falcon said he informed B.C premier Christy Clark of his decision during a meeting today.
In a statement today, Clark thanked Falcon for his service as a politician.
"Kevin Falcon has been the hardest working Finance Minister in the country and I want to thank him for keeping us on strong fiscal footing, with a triple A credit rating despite the worst global recession in generations,” Clark said. “He has made a remarkable contribution to our province and his public service is beyond distinction.”
Clark has appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond as acting finance minister.
Falcon was first elected as a Liberal MLA in 2001 and has previously served as health minister and transportation minister.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve my constituents and the public of British Columbia at large over the last almost 12 years,” he said.