After four terms in office Cathy McLeod, MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, has announced she will not be seeking re-election.
McLeod said serving as MP for the last 12 years has been an honour, privilege and pleasure and she’s has enjoyed the opportunity to influence the direction of Canada on the national stage. She also takes pleasure in driving through the community and looking at all the projects she’s supported over the years with “the wonderful people I’ve met” after starting the job.
As a member of government, McLeod served as a parliamentary secretary who worked to reduce red tape around small businesses and later, while working for the Minister of Labour, she focused on mental health in the workplace. As an opposition member, she said her work centres on strengthening Indigenous relations with the Crown to work towards reconciliation.
With a minority government, McLeod said you never know when the next election will be called, whether it be in a few weeks or a year. She decided to step aside, she said, as every election requires a four-year commitment.
“We have a lot of work to do with the current parliament, so I got to stay focused in terms of my current job. I think my next job will be a little less time and life-consuming. The job of an MP is 100 percent every day of the week for significant hours of the day,” McLeod said.
While she won’t be running for re-election, McLeod recognizes there will be challenges for the country ahead and supports Erin O’Toole and his Conservative Party in their efforts to meet this challenge. As a private citizen, she plans to do whatever she can to get him elected.
McLeod said the local riding association will be engaged in the coming weeks to select a new candidate to represent the riding. She did have some advice for whoever will replace her as MP in the next election.
“Be there for the right reasons, be there for your community and realize that your opportunity is time-limited, so if you have something you really want to accomplish make sure you stay focused,” McLeod said.
She thanked the people in her riding office and in Ottawa, as well as all those who have supported the party locally and been “behind me and most of all the constituents who have had faith in me for four elections.
“I hope to write a few more chapters in my life before the final conclusion, and I thank you all very much.”