Move comes amid escalating PMO scandal.
T.J. Harvey, a first-term Liberal MP from New Brunswick, won’t be running in 2019.
Despite not even having served long enough to get his lucrative MPs pension, Harvey says he’ll be returning to the private sector.
Here’s Harvey’s full statement:
“To the People of Tobique-Mactaquac,
I have decided not to re-offer in the upcoming federal election. This is an important decision and not one that has come easily. Earlier this month, I informed the Prime Minister of my decision and conveyed my sincere thanks for having had the opportunity to work on behalf of New Brunswickers and rural Canadians from across the country. I remain fully supportive of the efforts of our Liberal government, our Prime Minister and the Liberal Party of Canada and have thoroughly enjoyed my public role.
Serving as the Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac has been so much more than a job. It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to provide a strong, independent, New Brunswick voice on behalf of my constituents. I cannot express enough thanks to the residents of my riding for placing their trust in me. I am so fortunate to have been part of policy changes and legislation which will leave a lasting positive impact in the lives of so many constituents and Canadians.
It has been said that there is no bad seat in the House of Commons and I honestly believe that to be true. I would like to acknowledge the friendships and dedication of the Members, from all sides of the House and Senate, as we worked together on the important issues facing Canadians. We may have had a few disagreements regarding process, but I never had cause to question our collective objective of providing responsible and compassionate governance.
New Brunswick is my home and the place I love most. I have dedicated much of my service to advocating for rural economic development, small business growth, agriculture and innovation, rural infrastructure, accessibility, and a host of other issues which are important to New Brunswickers. I am very proud of the accomplishments we have made as a government as well as the accomplishments that have been made for the benefit of those living in Tobique-Mactaquac. The potential of New Brunswick as a province, Tobique-Mactaquac as a riding, the people who live here, their businesses and our communities is immense. Having grown up here, I am always taken aback by the sense of pride that the people of the Saint John River Valley have of their region and its role in an ever-changing global economy.
I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. My personal decision is about my desire to return to the private sector. Although I am not certain on my specific plans, I very much look forward to continuing to work with and advocate on behalf of New Brunswick businesses and the growth of our economy. Small and medium size businesses are the backbone of our economy, and I know I can continue to play a role in their success and contribution to economic development for the benefit of those not only in my community but for New Brunswick as a whole.
The personal impacts of this job and the decisions about my future are not felt, or made, in a vacuum and I want to recognize and thank my family and friends for their support in that regard.
I would like to thank all the volunteers and those who have shared their time, concerns, advice as well as those who attended events and reached out to my office with their concerns around the issues that are important to them – I thank them for their support and encouragement.
It is my intention to continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the people of New Brunswick and my constituents specifically until the federal election.
I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. Thank you to the people of Tobique-Mactaquac for placing their trust in me.”
Harvey had defeated the Conservative candidate to take the riding for the Liberals in 2015 with under 50% of the vote.
And while he’s saying all the usual ‘political things’ about supporting the PM, the fact that he’s leaving sends a message amid the controversy.
As I said a while back, this is what happens when MPs can feel things shifting on the ground. When they start to feel that the public may not be receptive to their party, many will decide not to run again, rather than risk defeat.
While it remains to be seen whether that’s why Harvey left, the timing – coming amid the chaos of the PMO SNC-Lavalin scandal – is very interesting, and is unlikely to be the last of the Liberal resignations.
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