Posted on 12 September 2012 by Keith Lacey
After the recent death of his beloved mother Pearl, Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater said he’s going to do some serious soul-searching in the next few days before making a formal announcement about his future political aspirations.
“I don’t want to make any final decision until after we have the ceremony for my mother on Sept. 20,” said Slater, who is 3.5 years into his first term as an MLA following 18 years on Town of Osoyoos council, including six years as mayor. “I have to do a lot of thinking before I make a final announcement in a couple of weeks.
“When you lose someone very close to you, it makes you re-evaluate things and I really want to take my time before I make a final announcement of what my intentions are about running again or not.”
Even though she was 81 years of age, his mother’s death came very unexpectedly and has affected him deeply, so he wants to take some time to consider all of his options before making a formal announcement, said Slater.
“I don’t plan on prolonging this and I will be making a formal announcement, but I don’t want to make any rash decisions before I have the ceremony for my mother,” he said. “This is a very emotional time for me, so I want to make sure I consider everything before I decide exactly what I’m going to do.”
After 22 years in public service, Slater said he will step down if he doesn’t believe he has the same energy and commitment he has possessed since first joining Town of Osoyoos council back in 1990.
“If I can’t commit to doing the best I possibly can and doing everything I can for the communities I represent, then it will be time to do something else,” he said.
With 13 Liberal MLAs, including several prominent cabinet ministers, stepping down over the past couple of weeks, and Premier Christy Clark announcing a major cabinet shuffle last week, Slater said a lot of people have asked him about his plans with a provincial election looming next spring.
While he was leaning towards officially announcing his plans a couple of weeks ago, his mother’s sudden passing changed things, said Slater.
Being an MLA is very time-consuming and most of his fellow Liberal MLAs who announced they were leaving politics are veteran politicians who have worked hard for many years to serve their constituents to the best of their ability, he said.
“I worked with a lot of these people who have stepped down over the past three-and-a-half years and I can tell you they’re all great people,” he said. “Most of them have committed their lives to the people in their ridings and the people of B.C., but this is a very difficult and time-consuming job and most of them have children and grandchildren they want to spend time with.
“These people have a life outside of politics and they want to do something else and I respect that.”
The Boundary-Similkameen riding covers 18 communities, two school districts and two regional districts, which presents many challenges, but he’s loved his more than three years of working as an MLA, said Slater.
“I think I’ve been very vocal in cabinet and I have tried to get as much as I can for every area in my constituency over the past three-plus years,” he said. “You don’t get everything you ask for, but I believe we’ve received more than our fair share throughout the riding since I became the MLA.”
Slater said he will make his formal announcement on whether or not he will run again in the next provincial election before the end of September.