MPP Darryl Kramp won’t be seeking re-election when communities throughout Ontario go to the polls this June.
“I’m leaving on my terms which is wonderful,” says Kramp. “It’s an awesome privilege to do what I’ve been able to do, to be able to work hard and try to deliver results for your riding, your province, your country.”
A fixture on the political scene for almost two decades, it seems he’s done it all politically.
“(There are) very few, maybe less than a handful of people, who have ever had the privilege serving municipally, federally and provincially, so you get a real cross-section of the responsibilities,” he says.
The 74-year-old says he won’t run again for family and health reasons.
He says an aggressive form of sinus cancer may have slowed him down, but he’s certainly not out.
“The prognosis was not good, but thank the good Lord for the people at Kingston Health Sciences,” Kramp says. “The professionalism and the talent of the entire health team … It’s been a lengthy, long way back. But the prognosis is very, very good and I consider myself one of the fortunate people.”
Kramp has represented the riding since 2004, first as a Conservative MP in Ottawa and in 2018 he was elected as a provincial member.
“Probably one of the things I’m most proud of is the ability and, I suppose, the happenstance I’ve been able to work collectively with all members from all parties,” says Kramp. “It doesn’t matter to me. There’s good people everywhere, you just try to find a way to move forward and work collaboratively as best as possible and I’ve had a tremendous amount of cooperation over the years.”
Todd Smith is a friend and colleague of Kramp, in addition to being MPP for the neighbouring Bay of Quinte riding.
“(Kramp) was a role model certainly for me,” says Smith.
“It was guys like Daryl who were kind of that magnate that would draw the new members in to get the experience that Daryl had and understand what it takes to be a good parliamentarian and a good MPP in your constituency,” Smith continues.
While Kramp may be stepping back, he still plans to stay involved in the community.
“Am I just going to fade off into the sunset? No. I’ll never do that,” Kramp says. “But will I still be engaged somehow doing something without that 60-70-80 hour a week commitment? Yes.”