Guy Gentner is retiring from politics.
The 57-year-old New Democrat has held the Delta-North riding since May 17, 2005, when he took it away from Liberal MLA Reni Masi.
During the last parliamentary session, Gentner served as the Opposition Critic for Seniors’ Health as well as the Critic for Crown Croporations and Agencies including ICBC and the BC Lottery Corporation.
He also served as the Legislative Assembly’s Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committee of Crown Corporations and sits on the crucial Select Standing Committee of Public Accounts.
Prior to that, Gentner was a member of Delta Council, under the Tri-Delta banner.
Gentner is described as a tireless advocate for the preservation of the Agricultural Land Reserve and the conservation of Burns Bog.
Gentner is looking forward to spending more time with family and getting back to his passion for travel.
“I have family, friends and good health, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Gentner said.
He said now that he’s closer to 60 than 50, it’s time to open up the spot for someone younger.
He doesn’t plan on returning to politics.
“Fourteen years of public life, I can’t see myself coming back,” Gentner said. “It doesn’t mean I won’t be an advocate – I’m more of an advocate than a politician anyway.”
Asked about some of his prouder moments in politics, he reaches back to his time on Delta council, when he helped acquire Burns Bog.
Most of his time as MLA, it was the “small victories” that he remembers most, the advocacy work with people in his constituency.
“Those are the big wins for me,” Gentner said. “In the (Legislature), it’s all theoretical, it’s all conceptual.”
New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix said in a statement Gentner will be missed.
“The entire caucus and I wish Guy all the best as he moves forward with the next chapter of his life,” Dix said. “He will be missed by constituents and our caucus alike, for his commitment to the issues that mattered to him and the people of Delta North.
“You can see Guy’s influence on his community everywhere you go, whether it’s the protection of Burns Bog, improved parks or the Tour de Delta, a premier cycling race for which he has been a tireless booster.”
Gentner isn’t the only NDP MLA who’s said they won’t run again.
NDP MLAs Dawn Black (New Westminster), Michael Sather (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows), Gary Coons (North Coast) and Diane Thorne (Coquitlam-Mallardville) have also said they will not run again in May 2013.