Battlefords-Lloydminster Member of Parliament Gerry Ritz is retiring.
Ritz made the announcement on Thursday following some speculation.
“I still have a passion and a fire in my belly for agriculture and trade issues but at the end of the day it’s just time to move on,” says Ritz.
Ritz says his focus will turn to his family.
“I’ve ignored my family for almost two dozen years as I focused on the federal scene… It’s just time. After 20 plus years climbing on a plane every Sunday doesn’t hold the thrill for me like it used to,” says Ritz.
He adds, “I’ve got a honey-do list that’s probably going to take me three years if I roll up my sleeves and hurry, but at the end of the day it’s spending more time with family and reacquaint myself with friends I’ve been ignoring over these number of years.”
Ritz is confident in the new leader and the shadow cabinet that was announced.
“We’ve got a dynamic, young new leader, who has proven himself coast to coast to coast this summer getting our message out. [Andrew Scheer has] young people around him who are just waiting to prove their bones in the house of commons and the committees.”
He adds, “I feel happy that we’ve got a good, strong team there that will continue to hold the federal Liberals to account.”
The politician has held the seat as MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster since 1997.
“It’s been a great run, the 20 years went by so quickly, I notice the changes when I look in the mirror,” says Ritz.
“Let me end by thanking all the constituents of Battlefords-Lloydminster for the seven elections wins and the 20 plus years that they gave me to represent them in the House; the staff that I had, exceptional people and of course the civil servants I worked with in all of the different departments that rose to the challenges and directions that we gave; and of course my colleagues in the house and the senate and a lot of provincial people to.”
A by-election has yet to be announced for the now vacant seat.