South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert has dedicated his final community newsletter to outlining his achievements over the years and thanking constituents for their support.
Describing his 11 years in office as “life changing”, Hiebert named his private member’s bill becoming law – requiring labour organizations to publicly disclose finances – as a highlight, along with his stance on crime, role in improving trade and transit with the U.S. and “being an active participant in the significant accomplishments and milestones of our government.”
First elected in 2004, Hiebert held the seat for four consecutive terms before making a surprise announcement in February 2014 that he would not be seeking a fifth term.
In a news release issued at that time, he explained that it “has never been my ambition to be a career politician.”
Last week, he told Peace Arch News he plans to return to the private sector to “pursue some business opportunities,” and spend more time with his family.
“I’m looking forward to this next chapter,” he said in a voicemail.
A spokesperson for Hiebert said the Conservative MP would be “pleased” to talk more about his time in office after the election.
“He is currently working on clearing out 11 years worth of materials from two offices, and this, along with his regular duties, is keeping him pretty busy at the moment,” Peter Stock said by email.
Hiebert’s time in office has not been without controversy.
He weathered a storm of criticism over personal spending, after his 2008-’09 expenses claim – $637,093 – was the highest for a B.C. MP and the second-highest for an MP in Canada.
He also came under fire for his private member’s bill, which was challenged as “unconstitutional.” Hiebert said last week its passing is “going to finally bring some transparency and accountability to unions.”
The four-page farewell also included more than three dozen photographs, as well as a list of local projects that have received federal funds during Hiebert’s tenure.