VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — British Columbia’s minister of social development and poverty reduction says he won’t run in the next provincial election.
Shane Simpson, who represents Vancouver-Hastings in the legislature, says he believes it’s the right time for change.
“My gut and my intuition told me it was a good time to go on and see a new adventure,” he says.
“I grew up in East Vancouver, I represent the area where I’ve lived most of my life. It’s been really an excellent opportunity.”
My announcement regarding the next provincial election. It has truly been and continues to be my greatest honour to serve as the MLA for Vancouver Hastings. pic.twitter.com/PnwviIvSYT
— Shane Simpson (@ShaneLSimpson) September 4, 2020
Simpson says he is proud of having legislated the province’s first Poverty Reduction Plan.
Another key accomplishment, he says, has been to change the way the ministry does its work.
“One of the big ones for me has been to work to change the culture of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and make it one that’s more engaging, and more compassionate to people than it might have been under previous governments.”
He does acknowledge work to address housing and homelessness in this province is far from over.
“I’m looking at the homelessness situation and the struggle of our vulnerable citizens in British Columbia and we’ve made some progress over the last few years in support, but there’s an awful lot more work to be done. That will be work that I’ll be continuing during the rest of my time but it will be a challenge for a new minister and the government moving forward no doubt”
He says in a statement that serving in the cabinet portfolio has been the “icing on the cake'” of his political career, considering his own childhood growing up in a housing project in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Simpson first won the riding in 2005, replacing New Democrat Joy MacPhail after her retirement from politics.
The riding has been represented by a New Democrat since its creation in 1991. Simpson was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his contribution to the community.
With files from The Canadian Press