Gary Schellenberger, Perth-Wellington Conservative MP

Schellenberger Reflects On Career As MP

Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger likened his final address at Parliament Hill as a graduation.

The 71-year-old left the House of Commons for the final time on Thursday, after deciding not to run for re-election in this year’s federal election.

The Conservative spent 12 years as an MP, first being elected to represent the former riding of Perth-Middlesex in 2003 as a member of the Progressive Conservatives.

“It’s kinda like graduating from school, as you’re going into the unknown,” Schellenberger tells CKNX News. “You’re leaving a lot of friends that you’ve grown through life with and you know a lot of those people you will never see again.”

When asked if there was a high-point during his time in office, the Sebringville native drew on one story in particular.

“I got a call to try and help get an Afghan interpreter out of Afghanistan. He’d received a night letter, which means if the Taliban catch you, they are going to chop your head off. Between me and my office, it took over a year to get him and his wife here,” says Schellenberger. “I met him two or three months later, and he looked at me straight in the eye and thanked me for saving his life. Never in my life did I think someone would say something like that to me.”

Schellenberger, who owns a cottage in Huron County, tells CKNX News he’s looking forward to playing a bit more gold after he retires. Specifically, Schellenberger is looking forward to hitting the links with fellow Conservative MP Ben Lobb.

“For the last couple years, I’ve had a Schellenberger-Ben Lobb tournament. My challenge is to try and beat him. I beat him the first year, then he beat me this past summer. There’s quite an age difference between us,” says 71-year-old Schellenberger of 38-year-old Lobb.

John Nater has been selected to replace Schellenberger as the Conservative Party’s representative in Perth-Wellington for the upcoming election.

Nater will be up against the NDP’s Ethan Rabidoux, the Liberal Party’s Stephen McCotter and the Green Party’s Cody Sebben.

The next federal election is scheduled to occur on October 19, 2015.

To hear Gary’s full discussion with CKNX News’ Marty Thompson, click play on the element below.