Longtime Liberal MLA Denis Landry announces retirement from legislature

·2 min read
Denis Landry was first elected in 1995 and is the only remaining member of the legislature to have served with former premier Frank McKenna. (Jacques Poitras/CBC News - image credit)
Denis Landry was first elected in 1995 and is the only remaining member of the legislature to have served with former premier Frank McKenna. (Jacques Poitras/CBC News - image credit)

Long-time Liberal MLA Denis Landry says he wants to make the jump to municipal politics,  potentially opening his provincial seat for new party leader Susan Holt.

Landry, first elected in 1995 and the only remaining member of the legislature to have served with former premier Frank McKenna, plans to run for mayor of the new municipality of Hautes-Terres in the Acadian Peninusla.

"It's rare that people see a provincial politician go to municipal politics, but I want to confirm Denis Landry will be a candidate for mayor of the new municipality of Hautes-Terres," he said.

The new entity created by local government reform will include St-Isidore, the village where Landry now lives.

Jacques Poitras/CBC
Jacques Poitras/CBC

With boundary changes over the years, the veteran MLA has represented three different riding configurations, but he says the new municipality closely resembles the boundaries of the first one, Centre-Péninsule.

"I think with my experience, I'm the right person to represent that new municipality," he said.

Municipal elections for new entities and existing municipalities that have seen major changes will take place Nov. 28.

Landry offered on Aug. 6 to resign his Bathurst East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isidore seat so that Holt could run in a by-election and get into the legislature quickly.

But Premier Blaine Higgs has refused to commit to calling the by-election immediately. He would have six months from a declared vacancy to set a date.

Landry now says he'll remain an MLA until the municipal vote, unless he decides he can't be an effective provincial member while campaigning, or Holt and the party want him to go sooner.

"If the party asks me to leave faster, I'll do it. If they need my seat to get her into the legislature faster, that'll be it," he said, snapping his fingers.