The New Democratic Party MLA representing Nanaimo-North Cowichan has announced that after nearly two decades in the job, he plans to retire next fall.
Doug Routley, 62, will have served almost 20 years when the next provincial election is called on Oct. 19, 2024. He won’t seek re-election for a sixth term.
Routley was first elected to represent the Cowichan-Ladysmith riding in 2005, and after the boundaries were redrawn was re-elected in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2020.
When Premier David Eby chose his new cabinet in December last year, Routley, who has never served as a cabinet minister, retained his post as parliamentary secretary for forests — one of 14 parliamentary secretaries outside the executive council.
Routley made the decision not to seek re-election with his partner of 15 years, Leanne Finlayson, a constituency assistant for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford NDP member of Parliament Alistair MacGregor, New Democrat caucus communications said Tuesday.
In a statement, Routley said he has been “struggling with health issues” and thinking about his future.
“I have decided that it’s time for some new energy,” said Routley, who received a pacemaker about a decade ago for an arrhythmia, or irregular heart beat, he’s had since birth.
Born in New Westminster in 1961, Routley grew up Duncan, where he lives today.
He said the next election is an opportunity to bring in someone with new ideas. He vowed to support the next NDP candidate for the region.
“Until then, I will continue to represent the people of Nanaimo—North Cowichan in the Legislature and bring their voice and perspectives to our work as a government,” he said in the statement.