Liberal MLA Joan McIntyre says she won’t seek a third term in political office.
The West Vancouver-Sea to Sky politician made the announcement on Tuesday (Sept. 4), as it has always been her plan to serve no more than two terms since first being elected in 2005 at the age of 55.
“That was the plan,” McIntyre said in an interview with The Question on Tuesday. “This was really the last decade of my working career.
“After over 30 years in market research, I had the opportunity to serve in public life and it has been so rewarding. For me the whole thing has been about the relationships and I have met great people.”
The now 63-year-old said her exit from politics is in fact to begin her retirement, which she hopes to spend travelling and spending more time with family.
Leaving public office also means when she turns 65 she will be able to collect a pension estimated worth $32,875 in the first year and $568,500 over her lifetime.
The B.C. Taxpayer’s Federation has been critical of political and public service pensions in the province, saying they don’t compare to those regular citizen’s in the private sector would receive.
“I think you have to look at the public and the private sector separately,” McIntyre said, adding that the vote to reinstate pensions for MLAs was passes unanimously by all political parties. “I don’t know where the fine line is, but I am not opposed to them being slightly different than the private sector.”
She pointed out that she as a small business owner for 30 years she had no pension. She added that in order to attract a diversity of people to public office there needs to be compensation for those who make that commitment.
McIntyre said B.C.’s pensions are not extravagant compared to the federal level and some other provinces and those leaving politics can’t collect until they are 65.
As of Wednesday (Sept. 5) more than 12 B.C. Liberals have announced do not intend to seek re-election in Premier Christy Clark’s government, including McIntyre.
In a press release Clark thanked McIntyre as an important member of her caucus.
“I also would like to thank Joan McIntyre, who has also stated her intention to retire from provincial politics, for her service to her constituents and to British Columbia,” said the premier. “Joan has been a passionate supporter of West Vancouver and the Sea-to-Sky corridor throughout her time as an MLA and earned the respect of all who have worked with her.”
McIntyre said a highlight for her has been being the region’s MLA during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
A personal memory was the three days she spent as part of the torch relay through the Sea to Sky corridor, which connected the communities and people of her riding together.
“For me that was a culmination of all the work I was trying to achieve,” she said. “They were very memorable events and all of us were working together to showcase the region.”
An active member of the B.C. Liberal party for close to 20 years, as riding president and member of the provincial party executive until 2004, when she pursued the nomination as MLA following the retirement of Ted Nebbeling.
She was first elected in May 2005 in the constituency of West Vancouver-Garibaldi and re-elected in a newly configured riding of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky in 2009.
McIntyre served in cabinet as Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) in 2008-09, after serving as the Premier's designate and Chair of the Environmental Working Group of PNWER (Pacific North West Economic Region) for several years.
She served as chair of Legislature's Children and Youth Committee for the last three years, and previously served on the Public Accounts and Crown Corporations committee. While serving as Deputy Chair of Public Accounts, she was extensively involved in the hiring of B.C.'s current auditor general.