Stockwell Day steps down in Okanagan Coquihalla

Okanagan Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day announced today that he is stepping down from his seat in the Okanagan Coqhihalla riding after a 25-year political career.

Stockwell Day campaigns in Penticton during the 2008 election.

Stockwell Day campaigns in Penticton during the 2008 election.

Stockwell Day made quite a splash when he arrived in Penticton, riding a jetski up to the Penticton Lakeside Resort in September 2000 for his first press conference as the newly elected leader of the Canadian Alliance party. Almost 11 years later, Day was considerably less showy when he announced his resignation.

“After 14 years in provincial government and almost eleven years at the federal level it is time to move on,” said the Conservative MP for Okanagan Coquihalla during a press conference at Quail’s Gate Winery in West Kelowna. “I hereby announce that I will not be seeking re-election at the end of this mandate.”

Day made the announcement almost 25 years to the day after his first nomination to public office on St. Patrick’s Day in 1986, which led to his election as a Progressive Conservative MLA for Red Deer North in Alberta.

That was a position Day held until 2000, when he took over as leader of the national Canadian Alliance Party and chose to run in Okanagan Coquihalla to earn a seat in the House of Parliament.

In 2002, Day was replaced by Stephen Harper as leader of the Alliance Party, but remained with the party as foreign affairs critic, continuing in that role as Alliance reformed itself into the Conservative Party of Canada.

Day has also served as the Federal Minister for Public Safety, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and in most recently was named President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia Pacific Gateway.

“Though there would be exciting and satisfying days ahead in public office, after prayerful consideration, Valorie and I feel at peace with our decision,” said Day. “Along with memories which I will forever cherish, I will also forever carry a debt of unrepayable gratitude to so many people.”

Day particular extended his appreciation to Prime Minister Harper, wishing him ongoing success and pledging “ongoing, whole-hearted support” for Harper and the Conservative government.