Alliance MP Deborah Grey leaving politics

Alliance MP Deborah Grey says she's leaving politics after 14 years

Canadian Alliance MP Deborah Grey is calling it quits. Grey announced her decision in Edmonton on Thursday the 14th anniversary of her election to the House of Commons.

Her Edmonton North riding is being erased as a result of changes to the electoral map and Grey says she is leaving politics rather than trying for the nomination in another riding.

"I did not enter Parliament with any intention of being a career politician," she said. "I've had a wonderful career so I need to pass the torch to a new generation of reformers."

* Coverage from CBC Edmonton

Grey says she has no formal plans about what she'll do next. She says she's not disillusioned with federal politics it was simply time to move on.

"To be able to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em, that's important," she told CBC Newsworld. "I really don't want to wear out my welcome."

Grey began her career as a teacher at Alberta's Frog Lake Indian Reserve in 1979.

In 1988, the Reform Party, then a year old, recruited her to run for the federal seat of Beaver River, Alberta.

She lost, but when the seat was left vacant by the death of the Progressive Conservative member five days after the election, Grey tried again.

First Reform MP

On March 13, 1989, she became the first Reform Party MP elected to the House of Commons.

She was re-elected in Beaver River in 1993 and again in 1997 in the riding of Edmonton North when the Reform Party became the Official Opposition.

When Preston Manning stepped down as Reform leader in March 2000 to run for the leadership of the new Canadian Alliance, Grey became interim Leader of the Opposition.

She was one of a dozen Alliance members of Parliament to break with leader Stockwell Day in July 2001 to form the Democratic Representative Caucus.

She rejoined the Canadian Alliance caucus last April.