Bill Barisoff Won't Seek Re-Election


Penticton MLA and house speaker Bill Barisoff confirms he won't seek re-election next year.

Barisoff says it is time to pass the torch to the next generation and he looks forward to spending more time with his children and three young grandchildren.

The 63-year-old was a school trustee for 18 years in the Okanagan before winning the Penticton riding for the Liberals in 1996,
serving as revenue minister and minister of water, land and air protection in the Gordon Campbell government.

Barisoff is also the only person in more than four decades to be re-elected as Speaker of the House, but his seven years at that post ends under a cloud after harsh criticism from the auditor general.

The Speaker chairs the committee that oversees MLA salaries and operating expenses of the legislature, but the auditor general found the committee's bookkeeping falls far short of basic financial management practices.   

At the time, Barisoff brushed off calls for his resignation, but he has now joined five other MLAs -- Dave Hayer, Murray Coell, Kash Heed, Kevin Krueger and Harry Bloy -- who have announced this year that they will not run again.

According to the Canada Taxpayers Federation, Barisoff will retire with an annual pension of $90,992.

Anita Sthankiya -Penticton

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