Yurek won’t run in next election

Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Jeff Yurek. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

The MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London says his time in politics has “run its course.”

Jeff Yurek announced Friday that he will resign his seat at the end of February and will not seek re-election in June.

“My decision was not made lightly or in haste,” he said in a statement released Friday. “In fact, it has been an arduous one because I will sincerely miss the day-to-day interactions with the people of Elgin-Middlesex-London. The many acquaintances and new friendships I have been fortunate to make have been the most rewarding aspect of my time as MPP.”

Yurek, a pharmacist, was first elected as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2011, and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He held three cabinet positions in the Ford government; Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Minister of Transportation, and Minister of Environment, Conservation, and Parks.

“Together with a strong team, we accomplished much both locally and provincially over the past 10 years,” he said. “In my Ministerial roles we launched the Forestry Strategy, announced the subway expansions in Toronto, provided funding for London’s BRT, approved the building of concrete barriers on highway 401, initiated a provincial hydrogen strategy, and provided record funding for wetlands while also overhauling and improving the province’s recycling program. At the cabinet table I stood strong, being a persuasive voice for rural and southwestern Ontario.

But it is the passage of a Private Member’s Bill that Yurek holds highest among his accomplishments. His bill, called Ryan’s Law, allowed students with asthma to carry their inhalers with them, rather than having them kept in school offices. The bill was named after Ryan Gibbons of Straffordville. The 12-year-old died in October of 2012 after suffering an ashtma attack while his inhaler was locked in the school office.

The next provincial election is scheduled for June 2, 2022.