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Breaking: Liz Sandals announces she won't be running in next election (Updated)

'Liz Sandals is one of the most competent, caring people I’ve ever worked with' - Premier Kathleen Wynne
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Guelph MPP Liz Sandals said she has given 30 years of her life to politics, now its time to give some time to her three grandchildren.

Sandals, who has represented the Guelph riding since 2003, announced Friday afternoon that she will be retiring from the political arena.

She will finish out her current term as Guelph MP and President of the Treasury Board but will not run in June’s provincial election.

“It’s just time to relax a bit,” said Sandals, who turns 70 next year.

“This time it just seemed like (turning) 70, that sort of symbolic crossing the line, and you look forward to the end of another government and I would be 74.

“At some point it is time to actually stop and relax and enjoy grandchildren and be able to do things without looking at two schedulers to see if I can actually do it.”

Sandals fought back tears, as did her constituency office staff, as she made the announcement.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but she knows it was the right one.

“It was something that you always think in the background ‘what’s the right point to stop?’ But I think the decision in 2014 was that Kathleen (Wynne) is making such a difference as Premier and I want to be there and carry on.”

She said she talked to the local riding association Friday morning and the process for her successor has already begun.

Sandals has won four consecutive provincial elections in Guelph. The past three elections, her margin of victory has been at least 8,000 votes.

She has been president of the Treasury Board since 2016 and before that served three years as the Minister of Education.

Her foray into the political realm began in 1988 when she was elected to the local school board. She would be re-elected four times and served as the board's chair as well as president of the Ontario Public School Board Association prior to entering provincial politics in 2003.

Politicians of all stripes chimed in on the news:

 

Premier Kathleen Wynne, in a written statement, said Sandals “is one of the most competent, caring people I’ve ever worked with.”

She said Sandals can retire knowing that she has made a positive difference in her community and in people’s lives all across our province.

“Today I want to thank Liz for a job well done and wish her all the best in retirement … It is inspiring to think what Liz has been able to accomplish in 30-years of public life.”

Sandals served as Wynne’s parliamentary assistant when Wynne was Minister of Education.
“I will miss Liz’s steady hand, wise counsel and friendship. Her years of experience and strong set of values have always been a guiding light for me and our whole team,” Wynne said.