After a decade of being Penticton’s MLA, Dan Ashton has announced he won’t be running in the next election.
“I have made the very difficult decision not to seek re-election in the next provincial election scheduled for October 2024,” said Ashton on Dec. 20.
“It has been the honour of my life to be the MLA for Penticton. This decision did not come easily nor was it taken lightly.”
Ashton will continue to serve as MLA until the next election.
The long-time politician did not indicate who would be running in Penticton for BC United.
Ashton was first elected to provincial office in 2013 and has been serving Penticton ever since.
He took the majority of the votes in the last election in 2020.
Before his election to the legislature, Ashton served as mayor of Penticton from 2008 until 2013 and prior to that as a Penticton city councillor from 1999 until 2008.
In a conversation with the Western News, Ashton said he is most proud of his work to expand and better Penticton Regional Hospital.
The hospital now has a new David Kampe tower, renovated emergency room, state-of-the-art CT Scan machine and is working on an expanded oncology clinic.
He was vocal against Interior Health’s decision to stop funding Pathways Addictions Resource Centre and the NDP’s decision to decriminalize open drug use.
He worked with local RDOS directors to get traffic safety improvements at Highway 97 in Kaleden and was instrumental in getting concrete dividers along Highway 97 from the exit of Penticton to Trout Creek in Summerland.
Ashton said he’ll miss helping people the most.
“Penticton is an amazing and caring community,” Ashton said on Wednesday.
“Please accept my deepest gratitude and personal thanks to you the citizens, members, volunteers, donors, supporters, the wonderful staff at BC United headquarters and in the Legislature. We accomplished a lot over the years.”
Over the years, Ashton has been parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance and parliamentary secretary to the committee of finance. He was also a member of the Treasury Board and vice-chair of the cabinet working group on core review. In opposition, he has held the role of Indigenous Relations and is currently the critic for municipal affairs.