MP Chuck Strahl takes a phone call on election night

MP Chuck Strahl takes a phone call on election night

Strahl says he won’t seek re-election

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl brought down the curtain Saturday on a long and remarkable political career.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl brought down the curtain Saturday on a long and remarkable political career.

“There’s no particular reason, I’ve just done my time,” Strahl told The Progress Saturday morning, following his decision not to run for re-election.

A former logger, Strahl was first elected 17 years ago in 1993 under the Reform Party banner.

He quickly earned a reputation as an affable and “decent” politician, but also as an effective and popular one, winning each subsequent re-election in the riding by wide and comfortable margins.

Touted at one point as a rival of Stephen Harper’s for leadership of the new Conservative Party, he eventually stepped aside, yet was still entrusted by the new prime minister with several high-profile cabinet positions, including Indian Affairs.

This respect came even after Strahl had earlier led a group of dissident Reform Party MPs who sat as an independent caucus in parliament, talking with former Prime Minister Joe Clark about a conservative alliance.

But eventually a transformed Reform Party merged with the former Progressive Conservatives to form the new Conservative Party under Harper.

Strahl told The Progress that the lung cancer he was diagnosed with in 2005 had nothing to do “thank goodness” with his decision to leave politics.

In fact, he added, he was encouraged when Prime Minister Harper told him there was no reason, given his past work performance, for him not to remain in the cabinet as the new transportation minister following a recent cabinet shuffle.

Strahl is not resigning, so he will continue as MP for the riding and as the transportation minister until the next federal election is called.

Strahl said he came into politics “highly-motivated” and still enjoys the job, “but the party’s over.”

He said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Deb, their four children and ten grandchildren.

“I vowed I would leave politics one day with the one thing that mattered most when I entered into it – the love and respect of those closest to me,” Strahl said in a statement.

“Thanks to Deb (mostly) and the rest of the family, that’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s my life’s greatest accomplishment.”

Fellow Conservative MPs John Cummins (Delta-Richmond East) and Stockwell Day (Okanagan-Coquihalla) also announced Saturday that they will not seek re-election.

Political pundits have described the departure of the trio of veteran B.C. politicians as “clearing the deck” for a more Ontario-centric party in anticipation of an election that could come by the end of the month.

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read