Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett will not be running in the 2021 provincial election.
Barnett issued a statement through the BC Liberals Thursday evening thanking family, friends, constituents, colleagues and many volunteers for supporting her since she first ran for MLA.
“Serving as the MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin has been both an honour and privilege,” she said in the statement. “I have enjoyed working with and for the wonderful constituents whom I serve.”
Sharing Barnett’s statement on his Facebook, Cariboo Regional District Area D director Steve Forseth noted he wanted to publicly thank her for dedicated public service.
“It should be equally noted, she was equally as dedicated as the mayor of 100 Mile House,” Forseth added.
Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb said he his a little saddened by the news.
“I don’t believe we have had a better supporter and advocate for constituents in this riding,” he said. “She will be hard to replace and thoroughly missed.”
Cobb said Barnett is always there for anyone who needs help, regardless of party lines.
“It will be a great loss,” he added.
Forseth echoed Cobb noting Barnett has delivered many times for the people in the region.
“Through thick and thin, whether it was the Mount Polley incident in August 2014 or the 2017 and 2018 wildfires or delivering grants to both Williams Lake and or 100 Mile House or the rural areas for many desired and needed infrastructure projects – she has stood by and up for her consituents.”
Forseth confirmed he is not considering being a candidate for the BC Liberal Party in the next election as he has many projects within his own area in the CRD that he hopes to continue working on.
Barnett ran for the Social Credit government in 1991, and then for the Liberals in 2009, winning that election and the subsequent two elections.
She said she will continue serving the region until the next election.
“Remember, my door is always open,” she added.