After almost 40 years of public service and elected office, it's time for me to call it a day. I have worked hard as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for the last 18 years and I know it's time for me to pass the torch. I will not be seeking re-election in the next federal election.
It has been the most extraordinary experience to represent the people of Vancouver East. I have loved my work both in the community and in Ottawa and I thank the good folks of east Vancouver who elected me six times as their representative.
Over the years, I have taken on tough issues like the need for drug policy reform and I remember being told, "You'll never get re-elected if you take on issues like this." But the people of east Vancouver have stood by me. I deeply appreciate how they have placed their support and confidence in me throughout my many years in office.
I am tremendously proud of the work that I have been able to accomplish as part of the NDP team, and to have served as House Leader and Deputy Leader.
I am confident it will be a another New Democrat from Vancouver East who will join Tom Mulcair in Ottawa after the next federal election and, with such a strong team and experienced and committed leader, we will form the first federal social democratic government in Canada's history.
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