Update 12pm Jan. 31: After three consecutive terms as MLA for the Cariboo Chilcotin, Donna Barnett will not be seeking re-election.
Barnett made the announcement Thursday evening.
“I guess looking at the future and the grey hair isn’t getting any blonder and so it’s time to move on and it’s time to have a new face come forward,” Barnett told MyCaribooNow.
While the provincial election will not take place until October 2021, Barnett said she made the announcement in the hopes of being able to mentor the future BC Liberal candidate for Cariboo-Chilcotin.
“I have no intention of being quiet. I have no intention of not working as hard as possible for the constituents until the day I do leave,” she said. “I hate the word retire. I just say move on with life, and so that’s why I did it now.”
Barnett maintains she will not be going anywhere following the election and will remain in the community.
“A couple tried to talk me out of it but I said no, no. The decision’s made,” Barnett said of her announcement. “I will be here working for the community, volunteering or doing something. Who knows what the next journey in life brings.”
She added she hopes that at every level people become more involved in politics.
“It’s not what a lot of people think it is,” Barnett said. “It was interesting on Facebook there were a couple of comments that I read well now you get the big pension, and the whole pension issue is not what people think it is. When you become an MLA you pay into the pension the same way as any government employee does. My pension will only go until 2024 and I didn’t take the job for the money or the pension. I took the job because I care about communities, people, and rural British Columbia, and to me, if you can’t get into politics because you’re passionate about those three things then, in my opinion, don’t bother.”
Previous Jan. 30: The Cariboo-Chilcotin will have a new MLA after the October 2021 provincial election.
Elected MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017, Donna Barnett announced Thursday she will not be running in the next provincial election.
“I want to thank my family, my friends, constituents, colleagues, and many volunteers who have supported me since I first ran to become a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Serving as the MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin has been both an honour and a privilege,” Barnett said in a statement. “I have enjoyed working with and for the wonderful constituents whom I serve.”
Barnett said she will continue to serve as MLA until the election.
“We together have accomplished much, through many challenges, struggles and strife, but the resiliency of our people makes the Cariboo-Chilcotin a place we all call home,” she said.
Tonight @DonnaBarnett_BC let me know she’s not seeking re-election & I know I’m joining many across the province in thanking her for her relentless hard work to make B.C. the best place to live. (Luckily we’ve still got her & her Cariboo spirit until the next election is called!) pic.twitter.com/Ou60lEKa91
— Andrew Wilkinson (@Wilkinson4BC) January 31, 2020