The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau decided to leave politics in 1984 during a fateful walk in the snow. Sudbury Liberal MPP Rick Bartolucci arrived at the same conclusion after Christmas while walking a Florida beach with his wife, Maureen.
Nineteen years to the day after he agreed to run for the Sudbury Liberals, Bartolucci announced he will resign from cabinet Monday, will not run in the next provincial election, but will serve out his term of office. “Together we achieved great things for our community,” Bartolucci told a crowd of about 175 people Thursday at the Caruso Club, the same place he made the decision to enter provincial politics in 1994.
Bartolucci, 69, was unapologetic about the “stunts” he pulled to draw attention to issues in Sudbury when his party was in opposition. He shared credit for the $8 billion he said his government has invested in Sudbury since 2003 with the people of the city.
“In short, we went from being a have-not to a have community,” said Bartolucci, rhyming off a number of “key achievements.”
Among them were building and opening the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and seven elementary schools, investing $2.7 billion in health care including funds to reduce wait times, hire new nurses and build 450 more long-term care beds, and making headway on the four-laning of Highway 69 south.
Under a Liberal government, Sudbury also received funding for a new architecture school at Laurentian University, money to hire 26 new police officers, establish the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation and refocus the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. on job creation.
From 2003-12, Liberals invested $134 million in the City of Greater Sudbury in 784 projects that created 3,195 jobs.
“That’s only a short list of a much much longer list,” said Bartolucci.
But we mustn’t “rest on our laurels,” said Bartolucci. “We must move forward, and moving forward means renewal and change.”
Bartolucci said he was making the announcement now to give Sudbury provincial Liberals time to find a good candidate to run in the next election.
His “motive,” he said, was his “strong realization I want to focus on the one constant in my life and that’s the people who are most important to me, namely my family.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/02/07/rick-bartolucci-to-announce-retirement