British Columbia

NDP's Siksay stepping down as Burnaby MP

NDP MP Bill Siksay says he's had a good run on the Hill, but the Burnaby, B.C., politician will not run again for the Burnaby-Douglas seat in the next federal election.

NDP MP Bill Siksay says he's had a good run on the Hill, but the Burnaby, B.C., politician will not run again for the Burnaby-Douglas seat in the next federal election.

Siksay said he was announcing his decision in order to allow his party time to select a replacement.

"A federal election could come soon, and so, I wanted my federal riding association to have some opportunity to do a good candidate search and for folks in Burnaby who would think about running as the NDP candidate in the next election to have some time to think about that," he told CBC on Friday morning.

Siksay has worked in federal politics for the past 25 years, first winning the seat of Burnaby-Douglas in 2004 after former NDP Svend Robinson stepped down for stealing a ring. He won the seat again in 2006 and 2008.

Prior to becoming an MP, Siksay worked for Robinson for 18 years. He also ran in the 1997 election in Vancouver Centre but lost to Hedy Fry. 

Siksay was the first openly gay politician to be elected as an MP in Canada. All other gay politicians, such as Robinson, came out after they were elected.

In 2009, he tabled a private member's bill that would have allowed Canadians who object, on conscientious or religious grounds, to paying taxes that fund military purposes to have their income tax diverted into a special conscientious objector account. The bill did not pass.