Norm Macdonald not running in 2017 British Columbia election

Norm Macdonald, the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke, announced he will not be running for re-election in 2017

  • May. 25, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald speaks at the 2013 all-candidates forum in Revelstoke. He will not be running for re-election in 2017.

By Alex Cooper and Jessica Schwitek

After 11 years serving the people of Columbia River–Revelstoke, as well as many years before that serving Golden as Mayor, MLA Norm Macdonald has decided it is time for his political career to come to a close.

He has decided that he will not seek re-election next spring. Instead he will be returning to his first passion, teaching.

At 58, Macdonald has decided that he can’t push it back any further if he wants to end his working life as an educator.

“I really enjoy teaching,” he said. “In fact, when people ask me what I do, I still say I’m a teacher.”

With a year still left in public office, Macdonald has not yet had time to reflect too much on his long political career.

“I still have a year left to go, so my main thing right now is finding someone to take the nomination,” he said. “As MLA, my staff and I have been able to assist so many people, often at the most difficult times in their lives, and that is very, very important work. But I feel it is time for someone younger, with more years to give, to take on the position of MLA in 2017.”

Even though politics won’t be in his life in any official capacity, Macdonald recognizes that being civically active will always be important to him.

“Before running myself, I was always involved in campaigns,” he said. “I’ve always thought that was very important, and I will continue to do that.”

For rural communities, like those that make up Columbia River–Revelstoke, having a voice in Victoria for residents has always been Macdonald’s main focus.

“It’s important not to be just a mouth piece,” he said.

Macdonald is expecting a vigorous nomination contest to replace him as the NDP candidate, including a range of candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

It’s far too early to make any predictions regarding the election’s outcome, but Macdonald says he is always optimistic.

“You never know how things are going to unfold, but as always I’m optimistic,” he said. “There’s such a sense of community in rural towns, and that impacts the way campaigns are run. We all know each other, and want to make sure everyone will be looked after.”

Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee, who ran for the BC Liberals against Macdonald in 2009, gave the MLA credit for his work as a credit and his concern for local communities.

“He understood what his role was and where he could help and where he couldn’t help,” said McKee. “I think a BC Liberal rep would be better, but Norm did a good job representing the community.”

He said he and Macdonald has mutual respect for each other in 2009.

“It was probably more of a gentleman’s election than normal,” said McKee. “Which might be why I lost.”

Bill MacFarlane, the head of the Columbia River–Revelstoke NDP constituency association, said he was happy for Macdonald being able to step down on his own terms, but that it would be tough to replace him.

“He was a really effective MLA,” MacFarlane said. “He really took people’s concerns to heart and worked on their behalf.”

He said the NDP will begin planning to nominate a successor starting next month. No one has officially announced their candidacy yet.

“It’s going to be an exciting time for us as we build towards the next election, which is less than a year away,” he said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

While Revelstoke has one of the oldest bear awareness societies in the province, the city has yet to implement a community wide bear-proof garbage system. (Submitted)
Saving bears: Revelstoke’s garbage dilemma

More than 400 bears have been killed in the city since 1986

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

The Columbia River Revelstoke riding saw three candidates, Nicole Cherlet for the NDP, Samson Boyer for the Green Party and Doug Clovechok, incumbent, for the BC Liberals. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: Polls now closed in 2020 provincial election

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
One case of COVID-19 identified at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health will follow up directly with those who may have been exposed to the virus

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)
‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO)
UPDATE: One dead after Highway 97A crash near Armstrong, police watchdog investigating

The crash happened as RCMP attempted to stop an alleged stolen vehicle

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Most Read