It appears to be official—Delta-Richmond East Conservative MP John Cummins is quitting federal politics.
According to a statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper today (March 12), he thanked Cummins and fellow MPs Stockwell Day and Chuck Strahl for their contributions.
“I would like to thank Ministers Chuck Strahl and Stockwell Day, as well as Member of Parliament, John Cummins for their extraordinary dedication to public service throughout the years. I look forward to working with them in the best interest of Canada until the end of their mandate,” Harper stated in a news release from the Conservative Party of Canada. “They have served Canadians and their constituents with distinction.”
On Thursday (March 10) Cummins told the South Delta Leader he had been receiving support to turn his hand to provincial politics in B.C. and take on the role as leader of the B.C. Conservative Party.
Delta Board of Education Chair Dale Saip he would be interested in replacing Cummins at the federal level, adding he has always enjoyed public service and the federal level is one that has provided the most appeal for him.
Saip said Cummins has served the constituency well over the years but that if he ran as a candidate he would bring some fresh ideas to the position and constituency.
“I grew up in South Richmond and have lived my entire life in the (Delta-Richmond East) riding, so know the area very well and have a good idea of what goes on there,” Saip said.
Delta-South independent MLA Vicki Huntington issued a press release Saturday evening stating she has no intention to replace Cummins.
“I will not be running for John’s seat in the next election,” she said. “My commitment is to provincial politics and to representing the riding of Delta South in Victoria.”
Earlier in the release Huntington said Cummins leaves huge shoes to be filled and the community has lost “an outstanding politician and representative who has for more than 18 years never wavered in the positions he has taken on issues that impact his riding, province and his country.”