Windsor MPP Percy Hatfield won't run in next year's election, saying it's 'time for new voices'
NDP MPP to retire from provincial parliament in 2022
Windsor—Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield says he won't be running for re-election next year.
Hatfield made the announcement Friday, after serving as the riding's MPP for eight years.
"I just think it's time for new voices," Hatfield told CBC News on Friday. "I really enjoyed the job, I really did."
"I worked hard at it ... I worked and lobbied every day."
Looking back on his career at Queen's Park, Hatfield said he was proud to have established Ontario's first poet laureate and to have served as deputy speaker.
Hatfield said he believes "now is a good time" to step down.
"I think Andrea [Horwath] is going to be the next premier, and I think this area will do well to have another New Democrat at Queen's Park," he said. "I've been there, as I say, and I've done what I can do."
"I still look forward to working hard for the next eight or nine months, and I think it's ... time for new voices. So I'm ready to go."
Hatfield said there were some disappointments, including how the Provincial Conservatives handled the COVID-19 pandemic, and the vaccine rollout.
"I'm just pleased I was there," he said. "I think if you checked with the mayor of Windsor, the mayor of Tecumseh, they'll tell you I worked hard, I kept them in touch, brought their priorities forward, so they had a voice at Queen's Park."
WATCH | Hatfield explains why he doesn't believe Queen's Park is diverse enough, calls for replacement to not 'look like me.'
Andrew Dowie, the PC candidate for Windsor-Tecumseh in the upcoming provincial election, said he had "truly mixed emotions" about Hatfield's retirement.
"Percy Hatfield has been a lasting friend and mentor to me during the entirety of my professional and political career and I can't thank him enough for his service," Dowie said in a statement issued Friday. "Time and time again, I've witnessed firsthand the quality of his character."
"Never afraid of challenging disrespect and treating those around him with dignity and poise, he has embodied in both Windsor City Council and the Ontario Legislature the best human qualities one can show in representing our community."
With files from Sanjay Maru