Statement from Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson and the next B.C. provincial election

VICTORIA – Doug Donaldson, New Democrat MLA for Stikine, has issued the following statement regarding B.C.’s next provincial election.

“I am announcing today that I will not be seeking re-election as MLA for Stikine in the next provincial election.

“First and foremost I want to thank the residents of Stikine for putting their trust in me to represent their views at the provincial level. It truly is an honour, and being your MLA is a privilege. I express a deep admiration and appreciation to all volunteers and community members who supported my four election campaigns since 2005.

“I’m in my twelfth year as Stikine MLA. I was first elected in 2009, and was a Village of Hazelton Councillor for a decade before that.  After 22 years in public life, it’s time to get back to the balance of spending more time on the land with family and friends, both in the backcountry and at home on Gitxsan territory. This is especially true with my wife Anne, who is a true partner in this endeavor together, through all the joys and challenges.

“One of my main motivations for running in provincial politics was to address grassroots struggles faced by northern, rural residents of Stikine that are linked to government policies and institutional biases. I vowed to work from the inside as your MLA to do that. I believe there have been successes and recognize there is much more to be done. For instance, the work on aboriginal title embodied by passing the groundbreaking Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and the Wet’suwet’en MOU has just begun.

“I’m also very appreciative to Premier John Horgan for his strong leadership, and have been honoured to serve as Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. In my history, I was on the path to a career as a biologist and I have spent most of my life in BC living in rural communities of under 500 people. So with that background, it is really a dream portfolio where the fact that we are part of the ecosystems in which we live, not apart from them, is constantly reinforced.

“The territories of six First Nations comprise Stikine which is the largest geographic constituency in the province.  It’s also the constituency with the least population of any in the province. Indigenous territories with big, often wild spaces, with few people. It’s all about the health of the land and waters where we live that influences the perspective I’m able to bring as your representative to Victoria. Thank you for the rare opportunity you’ve provided me as Stikine MLA to express that on your behalf. I’m forever grateful.”