A year and a half ahead the Provincial election in 2017, Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm has announced his intentions to retire when his term ends, instead of seek re-election.
He said he has chosen to make this announcement now so that a suitable candidate for the BC Liberals can be selected. His daughter, Kristi Pimm-De Maid, joined him at his office for the emotional announcement.
Pimm was first elected in 2009, following Richard Neufeld’s departure to the Canadian Senate. Previously, he served 12 years of City Council.
He was re-elected in 2013 and appointed the Minister of Agriculture, a role he had to unfortunately step down from due to a cancer diagnosis. Since then, his cancer has officially gone into remission.
In a detailed letter, he described all the achievements of his tenure, including highway improvements, projects like the recently-announced new North West elementary school, and finishing the Fort St. John Regional Hospital.
The one he said he was the most proud of, for the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, is the Fort Nelson Fair Share Agreement.
“For unknown reasons, Fort Nelson was not involved in the original Peace Area Fair Share agreements,” he said. “I felt it was incredibly important to get this deal done. This took every ounce of effort in my first term to get the deal signed. This agreement will see $10 million per year going into the Northern Rockies infrastructure for the next 20 years.”
But his two terms in office haven’t gone without difficult times; as Pimm said his political role demanded a lot out of him and his wife, Jody, and he publicly thanked her for being understanding over the years.
Following his retirement, he plans on staying in Fort St. John and spending more time with his family. Part of his decision to retire now was also due to a commitment he made to his family to only serve two terms, which he will complete in 2017.
Looking towards the rest of his term, Pimm feels there are local-hiring issues that he would like to help fix, and says he is happy to see main civic works on Site-C have been offered to local workers.
Premier Christy Clark issued a statement thanking him for his years of work.
“I would like to personally thank Pat for his hard work and commitment to the people of Peace River North, serving them for six years as MLA. While I understand and respect his decision not to run again, I will be sorry to see him go.
Pat served in a variety of roles, from Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Gas to the Minister of Agriculture. When cancer forced Pat to step down from cabinet, he fought back with the same tenacity we have come to expect – and he won.
No matter other roles he took on, Pat never stopped being a vocal champion for his constituency, the North, and the issues he felt passionate about.
I know I speak for all of Pat’s colleagues in caucus when I wish him and his family the very best.”