Farewell Statement

Published on January 07, 2022

“When I entered politics over ten years ago, I made three promises to myself: represent the people of Elgin-Middlesex-London to my fullest ability, remain authentic and true to my values and beliefs, and recognize when it is the right time to step down.

Today, I announce that my time in public life has run its course. I believe it time for the voters of EML to select a new voice to represent their interests at Queen’s Park. I will not be seeking re-election in June of this year as your Member of Provincial Parliament and will be resigning my seat at the end of February.

My decision was not made lightly or in haste. In fact, it has been an arduous one because I will sincerely miss the day-to-day interactions with the people of Elgin-Middlesex-London. The many acquaintances and new friendships I have been fortunate to make have been the most rewarding aspect of my time as MPP.

Together with a strong team, we accomplished much both locally and provincially over the past 10 years. In my Ministerial roles we launched the Forestry Strategy, announced the subway expansions in Toronto, provided funding for London’s BRT, approved the building of concrete barriers on highway 401, initiated a provincial hydrogen strategy, and provided record funding for wetlands while also overhauling and improving the province’s recycling program. At the cabinet table I stood strong, being a persuasive voice for rural and southwestern Ontario.

Locally, some of the achievements were securing funding for a new laboratory and MRI facility at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, a new hospice for Elgin, and a new homeless shelter for St. Thomas. Working with community members I secured funding for a new school for Belmont, saved 2 rural schools from closing; halted the construction of wind turbines in Dutton-Dunwich; and saved agricultural infrastructure from centralized planning. 

I am most proud of the work I did in opposition with Sandra Gibbons in the passage of Ryan’s Law, my Private Member’s Bill, which now enshrines protections for all Ontario students with asthma. 

My time in public life has been productive and there are many people to whom I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude. Without your encouragement and counsel the results may not have been as worthwhile for our community and province. 

I must extend a heartfelt appreciation to my wife, daughter, and family for their love, support and candour over these past years. You have kept me grounded and focused and were my source of strength.

To my team in the constituency office, your devotion and enthusiasm for helping those in need of our assistance has been exemplary and a standard by which future constituency offices ought to be measured. 

To the constituents of Elgin-Middlesex-London, you provided me with a rare opportunity to fulfil an idealistic dream of making our community a better place and I am honoured and grateful to have served you. Your unwavering confidence and trust is appreciated and will be remembered.

I wish you all much health and happiness.”

-Jeff Yurek, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London