The World Forum - July 21st, 2024

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Catherine McKenna retiring from politics, will not run in next election


Trudeau's Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna will not be running for re-election.

Announcing her decision to retire from politics, McKenna, who has held Ottawa Centre since 2015 when she won it from the New Democrats, said on Sunday that she will not be seeking re-election after her term expires. She is reportedly retiring from politics to pursue professional efforts to address climate change.

McKenna's decision to quit opens up what CTV News calls "prime real estate that could become a launching pad for former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney should he decide to run for the Liberals in the next election."

Carney has not made any commitments to run next April, but announced at his appearance at the Liberal Party's virtual convention that he would do whatever he can to support the Liberals.

McKenna is reportedly set to hold a news conference on Monday to announce her decision to stand down, but an advance copy of her speech was obtained by The Canadian Press, CTV News reported.

"When I got into politics now eight years ago, I made two simple promises to myself: always fight for what I believe in and leave when I had done what I got into politics to do," her remarks state, adding that McKenna intends to devote time to her three children and use her professional efforts to combat climate change.

"Like many Canadians, living through COVID-19 over a very long year, made me step back and reflect on what matters to me most. And it's two things: my kids and climate change,” the speech reads.

McKenna informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of her decision to quit on Sunday and has offered to continue to serve in her role until an election is called.

Under the Trudeau administration, McKenna led the national climate change plan as his environment minister. "As Trudeau's environment minister during his first mandate, McKenna stick-handled the introduction of the Liberal government's national climate change action plan, which included imposing a price on carbon emissions," reported CTV News. "The carbon price -- or 'tax' as it is called by the Conservatives -- was bitterly opposed by provincial governments in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, who challenged its constitutionality in court. The Supreme Court ruled in March that it is constitutional."

Trudeau moved McKenna to her post as Infrastructure Minister, where she was in charge of financing green projects aimed at helping Canada reach its carbon emission reduction targets.

"This is a critical year for climate action in the most important decade that will decide whether we can save the only planet we have," said McKenna in the leaked speech, explaining why she will not seek re-election.