Lunenburg West MLA Mark Furey not seeking re-election


  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Lunenburg West MLA Mark Furey, pictured in 2018 outside his Bridgewater constituency office, is not seeking re-election.</p>

Mark Furey isn't reoffering in the next provincial election, the Premier's Office announced February 19, meaning the Lunenburg West riding will not have an incumbent on the ballot for the first time since 2003.

"I have been fortunate to be part of a transformative government and I am incredibly proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved together," Furey, a local MLA since 2013, said in a statement released by the province.

Furey is the province's justice minister, but served in other cabinet portfolios in the Stephen McNeil Liberal government over the years.

"I have always believed in our community, and will continue to work toward the continued growth of our region. I look forward to what the future holds," Furey posted on one of his social media platforms.

"I am genuinely looking forward to spending more time with loved ones, while enjoying everything this beautiful community has to offer – and which we are so fortunate to call home."

Furey was a long-time RCMP officer, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant before his retirement from policing after 32 years.

His first crack at entering elected politics ended in a loss. Running for the provincial Liberals in 2009, he finished third, well back of Gary Ramey, who was elected in the Dexter NDP "orange crush" majority government at the time.

Furey got his revenge in 2013, defeating Ramey with 43 per cent of the popular vote as the Liberals ascended to power where the party has remained ever since. Furey was re-elected with nearly half of the popular vote in 2017.

The advocacy group, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, estimates Furey is in line for a provincial pension of nearly $35,000 per year upon his retirement. The annual amount, as of February 19, would be $34,735.84, federation spokesman Renaud Brossard told LighthouseNOW in an email.

Furey was among officials criticized last summer for a joint federal-provincial announcement of an independent review into the April 2020 deadly shooting and arson tragedy in the province - instead of the public inquiry families wanted. Five days later, under public and political pressure, the review was scrapped in favour of a public inquiry.

McNeil's tenure is coming to a close and Iain Rankin is due to be sworn in as premier, along with a new executive council. Furey is among several cabinet ministers who aren't seeking another opportunity on the ballot. The next election has not yet been called.

Don Downe was the last incumbent Lunenburg West MLA to call it a career and decline another chance on the ballot. The Liberal legislator resigned from the seat in February 2003, months before the general election in August.

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