Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Elizabeth Witmer is resigning after dedicating
almost 32 years to public service.

Witmer has been nominated by Premier Dalton McGuinty to chair the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision to make but I believe it is the right decision for me at this juncture in my life and career,” said Witmer in a news release.

“It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to serve the people of Kitchener-Waterloo and I thank them for their steadfast support. Working together we have accomplished a great deal to bring services to Kitchener-Waterloo such as the Cancer Centre at Grand River Hospital, the Cardiac Centre at St. Mary’s Hospital and the University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park.”

“A highlight of my career has been to serve the people of Ontario as Deputy Premier, Minister of Labour, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Minister of Environment and Minister of Education.”

Witmer tells 570 News it’s been an honour to represent the people of Kitchener-Waterloo. “I just want to thank for them for all their support and encouragement over the years.”

Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran is wishing Witmer well in new her new role. “She is an outstanding member of this community, highly regarded…She’s helped shape our region to what it is today.” said Halloran.

“She has served this community very well…I’m sure she will be missed in the legislature, she’s been a rational person dealing with issues.” said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr.

“On behalf of the Ontario PC Caucus, I want to personally thank and congratulate Elizabeth Witmer for her 32 years of service to our province and her continued service to our Party.  Elizabeth Witmer has served our province with grace, integrity and distinction and helped guide us through some very challenging times.  I first had the chance to work with Elizabeth when I served as her Parliamentary Assistant in the health portfolio.  I was later honoured to serve with her as Cabinet colleagues and have her serve as our Caucus Chair under my leadership of our Party.  Elizabeth’s advice and mentorship were invaluable to me and will never be forgotten.” said Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak in a statement.

A by-election will need to be called within the next six months.

“But, one would think that if the Liberals who clearly knew this was coming before Tim Hudak or any of the Progressive Conservatives or the New Democrats for that matter, the Liberals would have made this announcement prepared, I would think to call an election fairly quickly, in the hopes they can indeed win that riding.” said Keith Leslie, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief with The Canadian Press.

Who Witmer ran against the 2011 election.

Results of that election:

Elizabeth Witmer (x) PC 21,356 43.4%

Eric Davis LIB 17,837 36.3%

Isabel Cisterna NDP 8,259 16.8%

J.D. McGuire GRN 1,307 2.7%

Peter Davis IND 316 0.6%

Melanie Motz FP 124 0.3%