Austin Bids Farewell in BC Legislature

The end of the current session of the BC Legislature also marks the end of Skeena M-L-A Robin Austin's political career -- and this week, the New Democrat gave his farewell speech.

Austin was first elected in 2005, defeating incumbent Liberal Roger Harris, and was re-elected twice -- in 2009 and 2013. 

He announced last year that he would not run for re-election in 2017.

He says a career in politics was never originally in his life plan, but he's thoroughly enjoyed his 12 years as an MLA, adding that saying good bye in the Legislature was a very emotional moment for him.

"The most amazing thing and what was going through my mind was all the incredible friendships and relationships that I've had with all of the people, and who I've worked with in politics -- on both sides of the House, frankly -- you get to meet a lot of people on the other side and have private conversations and get to know them as human beings, which are very different from the sort of heated partisan battles of Question Period, so yeah that was very difficult to suddenly realize that this is all coming to an end," he said.

Austin said he'll continue to work behind the scenes in the upcoming campaign on behalf of the next NDP candidate for Skeena -- Bruce Bidgood -- who will run against Liberal candidate Ellis Ross.

No other parties have nominated candidates in Skeena thus far.

The election is scheduled for May 9th.