Politics

3 Liberal MPs say they will not run in the next federal election

Liberals MPs Adam Vaughan, Karen McCrimmon and Will Amos will not run again in the next federal election.

Adam Vaughan was first elected in 2014, Karen McCrimmon and Will Amos in 2015

Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, seen during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa in March 2017, says he won't run in the next federal election. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Liberal MPs Karen McCrimmon, Adam Vaughan and Will Amos said Sunday they will not run again in the next federal election.

McCrimmon has served as parliamentary secretary to several ministers since her election in Kanata—Carleton in 2015, and is the chair of the parliamentary committee on national defence.

First elected in a 2014 byelection in the now defunct riding of Trinity—Spadina, Vaughan currently represents Spadina—Fort York and serves as parliamentary secretary to the minister of families, children and social development.

Will Amos has represented the Quebec riding of Pontiac since 2015. He was parliamentary secretary to the minister of innovation, science and industry from 2019 until earlier this year, when he stepped down after two incidents during hybrid sessions of the House of Commons, one in which he was caught on camera naked and another in which he said he "urinated without realizing (he) was on camera."

After the second incident, Amos said he would step away from his parliamentary duties and seek assistance.

Pontiac Liberal MP Will Amos responds to a question on Parliament Hill Dec. 11, 2020. (Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press)

Amos said in a statement Sunday he was "not closing the door to politics" but that now was not the right time to run for re-election.

"Politics is a beautiful and tough profession. But it is not the only means by which progressive, transformative change can be achieved to move our society forward," he wrote.

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Amos won convincing victories in 2015 and 2019 in a riding that is often considered a bellwether in Canadian politics.

Amos's statement came a short time after Karen McCrimmon tweeted her own announcement that she would not reoffer.

She said on Twitter she was facing health challenges and would not be running again, calling the news "disappointing." She added that the timing was "undeniably difficult" but noted that she "was not in any way pushed to make this decision."

"It is a painful realization that I cannot continue to serve you in the manner you so rightfully deserve and to the standard that I have always striven to achieve," she wrote.

McCrimmon kept her suburban Ottawa riding solidly red over the past two elections, in an area that was largely Conservative territory prior to redistribution of seats in 2012. She also participated in the Liberals' 2013 leadership race.

The news of Amos, McCrimmon and Vaughan's withdrawals come ahead of a widely anticipated election call later this summer. They join nine other Liberal MPs who have already announced they will not be running again.

'I've done as much as I think I can do': Vaughan

CBC News reported earlier Sunday Vaughan would not be running in his downtown Toronto riding.

"First and foremost it's a family decision," he said in an interview. Vaughan also said that turning 60 this year made him reflect on the stresses of life as a parliamentarian.

"It's not a job you can do at half-speed. When I looked at the term ahead and the work that is still to be done, I thought, 'I've done as much as I think I can do.'"

Liberal Karen McCrimmon speaks to supporters and volunteers after her re-election in Kanata—Carleton on Oct. 21, 2019. McCrimmon announced Sunday she would not run in the next federal election. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

"As my mother once told me, when you feel like you've run out of steam and out of fire, it's time to get out of the way and let someone else with the passion to be on the floor of Parliament or the office that you hold, to let them take that spot," Vaughan said.

He said he had notified Prime Minister Justin Trudeau several months ago that he would not be seeking re-election.

The Liberal MP first won a seat in Parliament in 2014 after a byelection in the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity—Spadina, which was scrubbed from the electoral map after redistribution. 

He has represented Spadina—Fort York since 2015, when he defeated NDP candidate Olivia Chow by a comfortable margin. He easily held the seat in 2019.

Vaughan says he won't run for office elsewhere

Vaughan also ruled out running for office at any other level of government, including for mayor of Toronto when that city holds its municipal elections next year.

"I think I'll leave it to the city to choose its next generation of leaders, and if I can support them I will," he said.

"But the idea of running for another term of office in another level of government is not in the cards. It's time for a new chapter."

Vaughan celebrates his byelection win in the Trinity—Spadina riding in June 2014. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press)

Vaughan said he was looking forward to revisiting, in some capacity, old projects he had envisioned during his years as a Toronto city councillor from 2006-14, such as the revitalization of city parks and other spaces.

He also said he had a "wicked" collection of cartoons that he'd never published. Vaughan was a cartoonist before working as a journalist for various outlets including the CBC.

Reflections on 7 years in Parliament

Vaughan said he was proud of the work he and the government had done around affordable housing and poverty reduction.

He also reflected on his years as an MP, saying there was too much of a partisan atmosphere in the House that got in the way of good policy.

"And this is coming from someone who's had as much fun as anybody heckling," he said, while emphasizing an equal focus on policymaking.

"Politics works better when it's collaborative and when we meet together on common ground, instead of always looking for the battleground."

Vaughan said he was looking forward to seeing what a new generation of politicians would be able to do in federal politics, pointing to work done by ministers Ahmed Hussen, Maryam Monsef, Karina Gould and fellow MP Marci Ien.

The MP said he would continue to make government announcements focused on housing as part of his role as parliamentary secretary.

"There is still work to do."

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