Manitoba

Conservative MP Pallister to leave politics

Brian Pallister, Conservative MP for Portage-Lisgar, has announced he will not run in the next federal election.

Brian Pallister, Conservative MP for Portage-Lisgar, has announced he will not run in the next federal election.

"I certainly plan to stay involved [with the party] … My future role will be different, as I will not be contesting the next federal election whenever that occurs," Pallister said in a letter posted Wednesday on his website.

The 56-year-old said he wants to spend more time with his daughters, aged 11 and 16.

Pallister was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1992 and to the House of Commons in 2000. He did not make it into cabinet after the Conservatives achieved federal power, but he insists he's not leaving because of that.

"I'm not sure that it would be fair to say my abilities weren't recognized. I think there's a reality that Manitoba, comprising four per cent of our nation's population, is going to have a limited number of cabinet participants. But I guess frankly, in hindsight, of course I would love to have had the opportunity," he said Wednesday.

"I did have the opportunity, of course, in Manitoba to serve in [Premier] Gary Filmon's cabinet, and I'll treasure those memories because it was a great group of people to work with."

Two years ago, Pallister considered leaving federal politics to take a run at becoming leader of the provincial Tories.

That job eventually went to Hugh McFadyen, who has weathered lingering criticism over his disappointing performance in the last provincial election.
 
Pallister said he's not after McFadyen's job now.

"Those criticisms haven't come from me, certainly — I'm a very strong supporter of Hugh and I think that he will make a fine premier," he said.

"I certainly will be supporting him," he added. "I will continue, of course, my interest and involvement in politics from the sidelines, if you will — but no, [leadership] is not my interest or my intention at this point, and nor will it be in the future."

Pallister will stay on as MP until the next federal election.

Then, he plans to return to the insurance business. Before entering politics, Pallister taught in a high school in rural Manitoba and later founded Pallister Insurance and Financial Services.

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