Jon Gerrard

Jon Gerrard, who has led the Manitoba Liberal Party for the past 15 years, will hand over the reins on Saturday after members elect a new leader. (Mike Aporius/Canadian Press)

Today is Jon Gerrard's last day as Manitoba Liberal Party leader.

And the pediatrician-turned-politician said he's proud of his 15 years at the party helm, especially with what he's accomplished for children.

"Done a lot of things that speak to the health of children [and] to child and family services. [There was also] a major report recently [about] getting newborn hearing screening — finally the bill passed after some tough negotiations."

While he's pushed for the issues that have meant a lot to him, Gerrard, 65, admits he's been lonely at the legislature. For years, he's been the only Liberal that has managed to get elected.

"Well, I think that there are some times in politics that you catch the wave and you're lucky and things work out and you know everything goes your way. And sometimes it doesn't."

A new Liberal leader will be chosen Saturday at a convention in Winnipeg. There are three candidates: Dougald Lamont, Rana Bokhari, and Bob Axworthy.

Gerrard first entered public office in 1993 when he was elected a Member of Parliament for the then Portage-Interlake riding. After taking over as Manitoba Liberal leader from Ginny Hasselfield in 1998, Gerrard ran and won the River Heights riding in 1999.

Gerrard, who intends to stay on as an MLA for River Heights, hopes the new leader continues to fight for health and the environment.