Beaches-East York NDP MPP Rima Berns-McGown announced this morning that she is retiring from politics and will not run in this spring’s provincial election.
In a statement released on the morning of Thursday, March 10, Berns-McGown said:
“It has been an extraordinary honour to represent the people of Beaches-East York and to fight alongside Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP to make life better for everyone in Ontario, and I am grateful for every moment of the past four years.
“The opportunity to serve as the Official Opposition critic for Poverty and Homelessness is one I have treasured — it gave me a chance to do exactly the kind of advocacy I came to Queen’s Park to do. It has also been a privilege to be part of Ontario’s first Black Caucus; I am so proud of the work I have been able to do alongside MPPs Laura Mae Lindo, Jill Andrew, Faisal Hassan, and Kevin Yarde.
“Because I am a deeply introverted person, this job takes an enormous toll. For my well-being, I’ve decided not to run for re-election. This decision was difficult to make, because I am so proud of the work we’ve been able to do in Beaches-East York. We kept people housed during the pandemic and got eviction notices overturned; forced rapacious landlords to back down; put the Ford government and Metrolinx on notice over its callous treatment of our beloved Small’s Creek; addressed issues of anti-Black racism; supported Indigenous neighbours; and worked hard to help local businesses survive and thrive despite the pandemic.
“I stepped up to do a term in politics because I wanted to help highlight the need for deep, systemic change across institutions and public policy. I am extremely proud of that work and advocacy.
“I love our caucus of 40 strong MPPs, I love Beaches-East York, and I believe with all my heart that, in June, we will form a government with Andrea Horwath as premier that will finally be on the side of working people and the most vulnerable Ontarians. But I know that the way I want to contribute to that effort going forward is to work with community and to return to a life of letters and libraries.
“I have been extremely grateful for the enormous love and support I have received from neighbours and community in Beaches-East York throughout my four years as MPP. I want to thank my fellow NDP MPPs for four special years of camaraderie, my team for working so hard for the people of Beaches-East York, and the amazing progressives on the riding association for always having my back. I want to thank Andrea Horwath for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime and for keeping our shared values at the heart of the NDP. I especially want to thank my family – and most particularly my incredible partner, David McGown – for all their unwavering support, strength, and love.”
Berns-McGown served only one term as the MPP for Beaches-East York, first being elected in the 2018 provincial election. In that election she won the seat from incumbent Liberal Arthur Potts.
In a statement also released this morning by Ontario NDP and Official Opposition leader Howarth. Berns-McGown was thanked for her service to the party and the Beaches-East York riding.
“I want to send my heartfelt thanks to Rima for her work as an MPP, her friendship and her wise council these last four years,” said Howarth in the statement.
“Rima is a deeply caring person who brings empathy, hope and a vision for a better future to everything she does. She is a committed advocate for change, and her work to build a better province for vulnerable people has been inspiring and energizing for everyone in her orbit. I know Rima is going to continue to be an important part of our party, and a trusted friend. I wish her and David every success and all the joy life has to offer.”