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Changing of the guard



MLA Ted Nebbeling announces he won't run in next year's provincial election

Sea to Sky corridor mums, your babies are safe from the election kisses of at least one local politician.

MLA Ted Nebbeling has decided not to run in the next election, set for May 17, 2005.

"I basically informed my riding president about six or eight weeks ago that I was not going to run again," said Nebbeling earlier this week.

It may be one of the major reasons why Nebbeling was not returned to cabinet by Premier Gordon Campbell during his cabinet shuffle this week.

Nebbeling said he had discussed some of his thoughts with the premier last August and he felt that with the two tasks set for him by Campbell wrapped up - the Community Charter and being part of the team which won the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games - it may be time to consider stepping back from the political spotlight.

Added to this was the personal decision Nebbeling and long-time partner Jan Holmberg made to get married this past November.

He is believed to be the most senior politician to have a same-sex marriage.

Nebbeling said he and Holmberg have been discussing spending more time together and that also played a part in his decision not to run again.

"I started to talk more and more with (Holmberg) at that time (and said), 'hey wouldn't it be great if we could do some of the stuff together that we haven't been able to do because I have had to spend my time in Victoria and travelling for my job,'" said Nebbeling.

Both love to travel and have little chance to do so for most of the 19 years Nebbeling has been in either municipal or provincial politics.

Some pundits suggested that Nebbeling's removal from cabinet was a result of his same-sex marriage. He hotly denies that suggestion.

"(Campbell) didn't know that we were married at the time he had to make his decisions," said Nebbeling.

"And quite frankly I have known him now for over 20 years and I consider him a personal friend and he feels the same about us so I know 100 per cent that that would never enter his mind."

There has also been some criticism over the length of time it took for the Community Charter to be tabled in the legislature.

The first phase was introduced last March after several months of dialogue with special interest groups. It focused on allowing local government to raise revenues. Phase two should be brought in this year and is to focus on land use, growth strategies and regional districts.