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Barrett Disappointed He Didn't Get to Announce His Own Retirement

"After 27 years of service to the Province and the great people I represent, I am disappointed that one of my arch rivals has announced he is substituting for me and has indicated that I am retiring."

HALDIMAND/NORFOLK - Longtime Haldimand Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is calling it a career.

Barrett announced his retirement today. He has been an Ontario elected representative for Haldimand Norfolk, and previously parts of Oxford and Brant since 1995. Barrett was first elected in the Mike Harris Blue wave which took over the Province after the one term of the Ontario NDP led by Bob Rae. 

Longtime Haldimand Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is calling it a career.

He has been an Ontario elected representative for Haldimand Norfolk, and previously parts of Oxford and Brant since 1995. 

Barrett was very disappointed to see a story in the Simcoe Reformer today, where Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt essentially announced his retirement for him.

"After 27 years of service to the Province and the great people I represent, I am disappointed that one of my arch rivals has announced he is substituting for me and has indicated that I am retiring. I am the one who should be making the announcement on my own retirement." 

The Ontario PC party put out a press release today, confirming that Ken Hewitt would be the candidate for Haldimand Norfolk. The release made no mention of Barrett or his 27 years of service in public office. Barrett says he was a little surprised by that.

"Who knows what's going on there but apart from that, I have been a member of the Ontario PC party, longer than anybody up at Queens Park. I have been knocking on doors for the Conservatives longer than anybody. I started knocking on doors in 1965, I have been knocking on doors in this riding for not only 27 years, but I was knocking on doors for 20 years before I got elected, this used to be a Liberal and NDP riding." 

Barrett was first elected in the Mike Harris Blue wave, which took over the Province after the one term of the Ontario NDP led by Bob Rae.

Barrett did confirm his retirement just before noon today, after the article was published in a letter to the community, which you can read below: 

For 27 years, it has been an honour to serve my province and to serve the people I represent as the Ontario elected representative for Haldimand-Norfolk, and previously parts of Oxford and Brant. The past 27 years have been a bit of an adventure, to say the least.

I will not be running in the coming election knowing that my capable staff and I, over those 27 years, have helped a very large number of people.

I continue to be forever grateful to the great people of our area who put their trust in me over seven elections. I find the work quite rewarding and truly value the open market for ideas and information all the while solving problems and seizing opportunities.

As an elected representative, I am known as a riding man and, for me, the people that I have had the privilege of representing have always come first . . . regardless of their ideology or political affiliation. What remains uppermost in importance is that we continue to fight for our small town and rural way of life in a democratic society where freedom prevails and justice rules.

My tenure has not been without controversy and disagreement . . .with a fair share of comment on mainstream and social media, coupled with a healthy dose of protest at both Simcoe and Queen’s Park. Being a fiscal conservative, regardless of which party was in power, I consistently fought red tape, objected to waste, foolish spending and borrowing that jacked up Ontario deficits and debt. Outside the riding, I have also consistently been at odds with decision makers on tobacco farmer policy, the 16-year Caledonia debacle and, more recently, my opposition to a city of 40,000 people in the Nanticoke Industrial Park.

Importantly, I am indebted to my staff, their loyalty and hard work over the years for the people we serve in my local and Toronto offices. Bobbi-Ann Brady, my Executive Assistant of 23 years, is reflective of this and she’s a very large part of how we run our operation. 

I am proud of my 27 years and I am truly grateful to my constituents.

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