AN UNEXPECTED TURN OF EVENTS!

A few months be­fore the pro­vin­cial elec­tions, in­cumbent MPP Grant Crack an­noun­ced that he will not be run­ning.

Le Reflet (The News) - - LA UNE - GREGG CHAM­BER­LAIN gregg.cham­ber­lain@eap.on.ca

Grant Crack ex­pects Li­be­ral Red will re­main the po­li­ti­cal co­lour for Glengarry-Prescott-Rus­sell, even if he is no lon­ger MPP for the ri­ding af­ter the June pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

Crack is­sued a news re­lease Thurs­day mor­ning, April 5, to an­nounce his de­ci­sion to step down as MPP, about a month be­fore the of­fi­cial cam­pai­gn per­iod starts for the June 7 pro­vin­cial elec­tion. The an­noun­ce­ment comes about two months af­ter he was re­con­fir­med wi­thout op­po­si­tion as the Li­be­ral can­di­date for GPR, du­ring the ri­ding as­so­cia­tion’s Ja­nua­ry no­mi­na­tion mee­ting.

“This is so­me­thing we’ve been thin­king about,” Crack said du­ring a la­ter af­ter­noon phone in­ter­view, ad­ding that he and his fa­mi­ly had dis­cus­sed “for well over a year, how we wan­ted to live our lives”, and whe­ther or not he felt up spen­ding ano­ther four years away from home, ei­ther in To­ron­to at the pro­vin­cial le­gis­la­ture or on the road tra­vel­ling throu­ghout the ri­ding.

Crack said his de­ci­sion to step down as MPP was made “with a clear mind and a so­mew­hat hea­vy heart”. It is not due to any concern that the Li­be­rals could lose the elec­tion and he might end up spen­ding the next four years on the Op­po­si­tion side of the le­gis­la­ture.

"We are going to win again," he said. "If it’s not with a ma­jo­ri­ty, it will be (with) a strong mi­no­ri­ty. Whe­ther I was to be ree­lec­ted or not had no bea­ring on this de­ci­sion.”

Grant is not alone in wi­th­dra­wing from the ranks of in­cumbent On­ta­rio Li­be­ral MPPs for the June pro­vin­cial elec­tion. Two mem­bers

of Pre­mier Kath­leen Wynne's cur­rent ca­bi­net have al­so an­noun­ced their re­ti­re­ment. Ci­ti­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Mi­nis­ter Mi­chael Chan, of the Mar­kham ri­ding, and Go­vern­ment and Con­su­mer Af­fairs Mi­nis­ter Tra­cy MacC­harles, of Pi­cke­ring-Scar­bo­rough East have al­so de­cla­red that for per­so­nal rea­sons they will not run for ree­lec­tion.

From mayor to MPP

Crack has spent 17 years in po­li­tics, first as a mem­ber of coun­cil and la­ter as mayor for North Glengarry Town­ship. He then jum­ped in­to pro­vin­cial po­li­tics to re­place Jean-Marc La­londe as the Li­be­ral MPP for Glengarry-Prescott-Rus­sell af­ter win­ning the 2011 pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

Du­ring his two terms in of­fice, Crack has ser­ved as par­lia­men­ta­ry se­cre­ta­ry to the edu­ca­tion mi­nis­ter and now is the par­lia­men­ta­ry se­cre­ta­ry for agri­cul­ture, food, and ru­ral af­fairs. At present, he has no im­me­diate plans fol­lo­wing the June 7 elec­tion.

“I’m in­ter­es­ted in a num­ber of things,” he said. “I’m open to any­thing that will make me hap­py.”

Crack’s fo­cus for now is on fi­ni­shing as much bu­si­ness for Glengarry-Prescott-Rus­sell as pos­sible be­fore his of­fi­cial de­par­ture from the le­gis­la­ture, and al­so on sup­por­ting the new Li­be­ral can­di­date fol­lo­wing the GPR Li­be­ral As­so­cia­tion’s no­mi­na­tion pro­cess.

Pierre Le­roux, mayor of Rus­sell Town­ship, has an­noun­ced that he will see the no­mi­na­tion as the new Li­be­ral can­di­date for Glengarry-Prescott-Rus­sell. Crack ex­pres­sed sup­port for Le­roux’s chances of suc­cess. The ri­ding as­so­cia­tion has a can­di­date no­mi­na­tion vote in Saint-Isi­dore April 13, 7 p.m., at the re­crea­tion centre.

—pho­to ar­chive

Le dé­pu­té pro­vin­cial Grant Crack lors de la réunion de no­mi­na­tion de jan­vier 2018, qui l’a re­con­duit dans ses fonc­tions de can­di­dat li­bé­ral dans Glengarry-Prescott-Rus­sell pour les pro­chaines élec­tions pro­vin­ciales du 7 juin. Le dé­pu­té a de­puis an­non­cé qu’il quit­te­ra la po­li­tique provinciale pour des rai­sons per­son­nelles.

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