British Columbia

B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake will not run in upcoming election

One of B.C.'s political heavyweights, Health Minister Terry Lake, announced this morning he will not be seeking re-election in the spring.

Lake says strain of political life on his family was behind decision

British Columbia Health Minister Terry Lake, shown here addressing the Canadian Medical Association's General Council last month, will not run in the upcoming B.C. election, he has announced. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

One of B.C.'s political heavyweights, Health Minister Terry Lake, announced this morning he will not be seeking re-election this spring.

The Kamloops-North Thompson MLA cited the strain years of political life had on his family life for his decision to end his long political career.

"This was not an easy decision for me and my family as we are part of a tremendous team locally and provincially that has accomplished a great deal to ensure a strong future for B.C." he said in a statement.

Lake was first elected to the legislature in 2009 and re-elected in 2013. He served as both health and environment minister under Premier Christy Clark.

He also chaired the inquiry into the slaughter of the sled dogs in Whistler after the 2010 Olympics that led to changes in legislation.

Prior to entering politics he also served as mayor of Kamloops, and before that he was a practicing veterinarian and instructor in veterinary care at TRU, where he remains on the faculty.

Praised by the premier

Lake will stay on as health minister in Premier Christy Clark's cabinet for now, she confirmed in a statement Thursday morning.

"He brings a laser focus to public service and an unparalleled work ethic... Most of all, everyone around him knows he meets every aspect of his work with honesty and integrity," wrote Clark.

After the election Lake says he will continue to live in his home town of Kamloops as he figures out what comes next.

"I am at the time of my life when you can decide to run again and continue the work you are doing, or take on new challenges and kind of have a reinvention in yourself — which has been my history."

Other MLAs who have announced they will not run in the upcoming election include Energy Minister Bill Bennett and NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis.

With files from Richard Zussman

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