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Bartolucci closes the book on a remarkable career

A giant in local and provincial politics by any measure, Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci closed the door on his political career Feb.
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Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci speaks to reporters Feb. 7 at the Caruso Club in Sudbury after announcing his retirement. Arron Pickard photo.

A giant in local and provincial politics by any measure, Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci closed the door on his political career Feb. 7, announcing he was withdrawing not only his name for cabinet consideration, but from politics as soon as a new election is called.

 

Speaking to about 200 supporters at the Caruso Club at noon, Bartolucci confirmed what most people had long expected: he was tired, wanted to spend more time with his family and was retiring from active political life.

 

“Today marks 19 years to the day that I met with a small group of Liberals, right here, at the Caruso Club, where it was decided that I would seek the Liberal nomination for Sudbury,” Bartolucci said. “Together, we have achieved great things for our community – achievements that, at one point, were dreams and goals to which we could only aspire.”

 

With his wife, Maureen, looking on, as well as his children, grandchildren and other relatives, an emotional Bartolucci said he took the decision after a Christmas trip to Florida with his wife.

 

“As Maureen and I walked on the beach through the warm sand, it became evident to the both of us that the time has come for me to move on from politics,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. “I am announcing today that I will not be running in the next provincial election, whenever that may be. I met with Premier-designate Wynne last week to inform her of our family decision not to run.”

 

He will no longer be a cabinet minister effective Feb. 11, when Wynne will unveil her new lineup. But he will stay on as MPP until a new election is called.

Bartolucci reviewed a host of achievements he played a role in bringing to Sudbury during his tenure as a provincial cabinet minister in the government of Dalton McGuinty. They include the school of medicine, the school of architecture, progress in four-laning of Highway 69, funding to complete the one-site hospital, and more – almost $8 billion in funding over his term in office, he said. He credited much of his success to a strong work ethic and singular focus on serving his riding.

 

“For the past 18 years – and Maureen can attest to this – I have woken up every morning and wondered what I could do that day to make our community better,” he said. “Who would I meet with? Who would I be lobbying? Who would I be convincing that Sudbury is the best place to live, work and grow a family?”