EDMONTON — Edmonton East Conservative MP Peter Goldring will not seek re-election in the 2015 federal election.
“I think that it’s time now for me to pass the torch,” the 69-year-old said Monday.
“I think it’s time that I spend some more time with my family – my wife, my grandchildren, my children.”
First elected in 1997, Goldring said his highlights include his work with the Special Committee for Canadian Unity following the 1995 Quebec referendum; his three years as Veterans’ Affairs critic in the 1990s; and his involvement in Ukraine, where he helped oversee the 2004 presidential election.
Goldring’s political career hasn’t been without controversy. In 2011, he was charged with failing to provide a breath sample during a police checkstop, and resigned from the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent.
Goldring later admitted he had been drinking before he was pulled over, but was found not guilty at his trial in June 2013 and rejoined the Conservatives.
Earlier this year, Goldring revived his pitch for Canada to annex the Caribbean island territory of Turks and Caicos and make it the 11th province.
“There are opportunities that are going to be growing in the Caribbean,” he said in May. “I think it would be good for business if we were to develop a good, strong relationship and maybe even a marriage.”
The idea was quickly shot down by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
“We’re not in the business of annexing islands in the Caribbean to be part of Canada, so that’s not something that we’re exploring,” said Baird.
Goldring will continue to serve as Edmonton East MP until the 2015 federal election. He said he endorses Omar Tarchichi, who worked with him in the last three election campaigns, as his replacement.
“He knows full well what we’ve been doing for the social issues here in the riding, as well as the significant other issues that the party has.”
Tarchichi would run in the new electoral district of Edmonton Griesbach, which encompasses portions of what are now Edmonton East and Edmonton-St. Albert.
“I have learned a lot,” said Tarchichi. “I have learned how to serve the community with pride, patience and passion and I will continue to do so.”