BC's mine minister won't run for re-election

Bill Bennett won't be running for re-election in his Kootenay East riding in next year's provincial election in British Columbia.

The current Minister of Energy and Mines announced he would retire at a cabinet retreat in Cranbrook.

Bennett has been the face of mining in BC in recent years having coped with the Mount Polley mine disaster and also shepherding his government's approval of Site C.

In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Bennett said he was tempted to run again but decided to leave at the "top of my game."

“My family would have supported me if I decided to do it again but I think it might break (my wife’s) heart,” Bennett, 66, said in an interview.

“I’m kind of top of my game — not that the opposition would agree with that obviously — but I’m a reasonably effective minister and I’ve got the confidence of the premier and my colleagues and I love my file and there’s work still to be done … so it’s tempting to think about well I should do another four years to get more stuff done. But that comes at the expense of what’s more important. And it’s taken me a long time in my life to really come to grips with that but what’s most important to me now at this stage of my life, and probably should have been all the way through, is my family”

Bennett has been an MLA for 15 years. He lost a cabinet position while serving with former premier Gordon Campbell. However, he came back to cabinet with premier Christy Clark and gained stature within her government where he oversaw both energy and mines.