Barisoff not seeking re-election

Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff has announced he will not be running for re-election in 2013

Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff

Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff

After decades in politics, Bill Barisoff is finally stepping out of the provincial spotlight.

Speaking from his home in Oliver Sunday afternoon, the Penticton MLA and Speaker of the House announced that he would not be running for re-election in 2013, putting an end to months of rumour and speculation about the possibility.

Former school board chair Connie Denesiuk was one of the small group of friends and family who assembled to hear Barisoff’s announcement. She describes it as a tribute to his career and the many benefits he has brought to the South Okanagan over his years in office.

When I put my name forward to run in the 2005 provincial general election, I did so with the intent that if successfully re-elected it would serve as my final term in public office,” said Barisoff in a release after the event. As 2009 neared, however, Barisoff said that many projects were nearing reality, but not having reached ground-breaking stage. Among them, he said, was the Okanagan College expansion and the Penticton pool project. Okanagan Falls was very close but still yet to receive final funding approval for the important sewer expansion and relocation project, he continued, and the Skaha Bluffs Provincial park was still only an idea in progress at that point.

With so many important pending projects on the go I made the decision to run in the 2009 provincial general election that unfortunately became the nastiest of my entire political career,” he said. Despite B.C.’s rapidly deteriorating financial situation and fragile global economic environment making it difficult to ensure that those projects moved forward, Barisoff said they are all now a reality.

“There also comes a time when it must come to an end and the torch must be passed on to the next generation of leaders who share the same passion to make a difference in the communities we serve,” said Barisoff. “I have enjoyed an incredible journey in my time as a Member of the Legislative assembly.”

Though riding boundaries have changed since he was first elected, Barisoff has held a South Okanagan riding for the B.C. Liberal Party since 1996, when he defeated NDP incumbent Bill Barlee by a narrow margin to take the Okanagan Boundary riding. Barisoff was re-elected in the Liberal sweep of 2001, then again in 2005 and 2009.

As a member of the ruling Liberals, Barisoff served as Minister of Provincial Revenue and Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection before taking over as Speaker of the House in 2005, a position he has held since. Prior to that, while in opposition, Barisoff held a variety of critic roles, including agriculture, transportation and highways and aboriginal affairs.

Born and raised in Oliver, Barisoff owned a trucking firm before entering provincial politics. He also served as a school trustee for 18 years, including eight as chair of the Southern Okanagan school board, was a volunteer firefighter in Oliver for over 25 years and sat on the Okanagan Labour Relations Council. He was also chair of the Oliver Recreation Commission for one year.

Barisoff and his wife Edna have three sons: Glen, Michael and Darren, two daughters-in-law Hilary and Eliza and one grandchild, Kayla.

The race to replace Barisoff as the Penticton Liberal candidate will begin almost immediately, with word of a least two hopefuls preparing to announce their intentions.

 

Just Posted

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

(File photo)
Additional service coming to two Penticton bus routes

Both service changes were made to meet increased demand over the summer

It's believed the Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Sunday night. (Aileen Mascasaet Maningas)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Okanagan Connector to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation recently announced $1 million in funding for the upgrades

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to three incidents involving women concerned for their own safety between June 13 and 17, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP respond to concerns about women being watched, followed

In one of three incidents a woman was invited into a vehicle but declined

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Traffic will be diverted through Radium along highways 93 and 95 as a part of the closures. (Claire Palmer photo)
Extended closures to Trans-Canada Highway announced east of Golden this fall

It’s the second round of extended closures as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

Wild Sky Sisters
Wild Sky Sisters: Cancer Season

Wild Sky Sisters is a joint venture between Angela Moffitt and Tamara McLellan

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read