Sudbury MPP Rick
Bartolucci has announced he is stepping down from his position as minister of
northern development and mines and will not seek re-election during the next
politician made the announcement Feb. 7 during a private function held at
Sudbury’s Caruso Club, where his family and supporters were in attendance.
“I am withdrawing
my name for a possible cabinet position and, therefore, effective next Monday
(Feb. 11), when the new, dynamic cabinet is sworn in, I will step down as
minister for northern development and mines, but will continue as MPP for
Sudbury until the next election is called,” he said.
Kathleen Wynne and her cabinet will be sworn in on Feb. 11, after which they
will hold their first meeting.
There has been
unconfirmed speculation that Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti will pick up
the northern development and mines portfolio. Bartolucci did not confirm that
rumour but said that, following his announcement, he was heading to a Northern
Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. meeting in the Sault, which was scheduled to begin
at 4 p.m.
his decision to leave his post was made following a discussion with family at
Christmas. Citing his advancing age and a desire to spend more time with his
family, the 69-year-old said that after 28 years in politics, it was time to
“I always said if
couldn’t give 100 per cent to the people who voted for me, it was time to move
on,” Bartolucci said. “I found it increasingly more difficult to give 100 per
cent and I never want to shortchange the trust that was placed in me.”
Nipissing MPP Vic
Fedeli issued a statement shortly after the announcement, congratulating
Bartolucci on his retirement.
"I want to
congratulate Minister Bartolucci on his retirement from cabinet,” Fedeli said.
“I look forward to meeting with the new minister of northern development and
mines at the earliest opportunity to discuss the future of Ontario Northland
and other issues vital to Nipissing and Northern Ontario."
Standing before a
collage of photos of Bartolucci at various events throughout his career, under
the heading ‘The Road Ahead,’ Bartolucci outlined some of Sudbury’s
achievements over the last several years.
Among them were
the four-laning of Highway 69, the construction of the new hospital, the
creation of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Laurentian School
of Architecture, and the implementation of research and educational facilities
such as the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation and the Vale Living with
Bartolucci has helped bring $8 billion in provincial funding into Sudbury since
“We had our work
cut out for us,” Bartolucci said. “The community worked together to advance its
priorities and today we see the unprecedented results all around us. We went
from being a have-not to a have community.”
Bartolucci, who entered
politics in 1979 and became Sudbury’s MPP in 1995, conceded his career has
meant time away from his family, being demeaned in the public sphere and facing
criticism for his decisions.
But he said he
had “no regrets—I stand by every decision I’ve made,” and would continue to do
so until he exits politics at the next election.
he’s “not a legacy person,” but is proud of working with the community to
accomplish the projects his constituents wanted to see achieved.
“The only legacy
piece I want is that we’ve worked as hard as we possibly could for the people
we represent and we were fair to them,” he said, “and I look forward to
continuing to work with them.”