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‘There just comes a time’: Kelowna-Mission MLA Merrifield not seeking re-election

Renee Merrifield made the announcement on Thursday
Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield in the B.C. Legislature during Question Period on April 11, 2023. (Legislature video)

Important life decisions usually require lengthy, careful thought.

That was the process for Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield before announcing Thursday (May 16) that she would not be running in the next provincial election.

“There just comes a time in your life when you have to make the right one for you and your family, and ultimately for my business.”

When it comes to family, Merrifield added her husband, children, siblings, and parents sacrificed much so that she could fulfill her MLA responsibilities.

“They championed me in this role. When I would get attacked or negative things were said they would all want to jump in and defend. They’re impacted by it.”

Her children are glad to be getting their mom back, she said.

“They’ve all been sending text messages saying how proud they are of what I’ve been able to accomplish in a short amount of time and how I’ve been able to serve our community.”

Merrifield said one of the toughest things about not running again is the feeling that there is more to accomplish.

“I feel like I’ve left things undone,” she said. “But I’m going to continue.”

While she won’t be an elected official after the next provincial election Merrifield said she will continue to serve.

“By trying to create as much housing as we can and make sure we fill the needs of our communities.”

She’ll do that through Troika Developments, a company she cofounded more than 20 years ago.

“Troika has been on a tremendous growth trajectory and the leadership team has been extraordinary in holding down the fort and expanding and growing.”

One thing she won’t be doing is crossing the floor to join the BC Conservatives, as former United MLA Bruce Buchanan has done.

“Never,” she said emphatically. “Serving as a member of this Legislative Assembly has been one of the greatest honours of my life.”

Merrifield added she was proud to have helped make a difference on vital issues for British Columbians such as housing, healthcare, mental health, and substance use along with her BC United colleagues.

Merrifield said she is excited about the future of the party and new candidates coming forward.

“I’ll tease it a little bit, there is a candidate chosen to replace me.”

She could not divulge who it is but added the announcement will be made soon.

During her farewell address in the B.C. Legislature Thursday Merrifield left her colleagues with these words:

“Don’t ever stop believing in what can be accomplished or settle for where things are at. You’re not Pollyanna or too optimistic or too idealistic. You might not be dreaming big enough.”

Merrifield was first elected in 2020.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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