An awful lot of people have asked me if I plan to run again in the 2015 election. The overwhelming encouragement and support is wonderful and humbling at the same time.
It has been, however, almost 10 years since I entered the world of politics. It has certainly been an eventful decade — for Canada, for the Liberal Party, and for me personally. 2 nomination battles, 4 general election campaigns, 2 leadership campaigns… But I loved being the Member of Parliament for Willowdale.
I loved my shadow cabinet roles in the Official Opposition and the work I have done with the Liberal Party. I loved working with constituents and different communities in Willowdale and beyond, doing what we could to help where needed. I loved the many opportunities to meet, converse with and learn from Canadians — of all political stripes — all across Canada. I have been very fortunate, and it has all been a tremendous honour and a privilege. Politics does, however, take its toll, and as 2015 is still two years away, I am taking time to focus on family, friends, earning an income with exciting business interests, pursuing my policy ideas, and indulging in other interests that I have not paid as much attention to as I’d like (like kiteboarding!). I’m not saying no completely – but I am taking time to think very hard about running again. It’s a big commitment, and a big decision. If I do choose to re-enter politics, Willowdale is where I’d like it to be, and where I would run for nomination. It is where I spent wonderful childhood years; it is where my mother and all of her family were born and raised; and it is where, as the Member of Parliament, I developed additional, wonderful friendships and connections which I continue to enjoy and treasure, regardless of politics.
I’m extremely glad for all the extraordinary, continued support in Willowdale and across the country, and for everyone’s understanding while I take some time to deliberate.
I want Canada to be the best country it can be – and there are various ways to be engaged and to contribute to achieving that goal.