Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon announced Wednesday morning he won't run in the next provincial election in May 2013.
Falcon also said he is stepping down as the Minister of Finance and the Deputy Premier of B.C.
"I think it is very important for the Premier to have a Minister of Finance who throughout the fall is putting together an agenda," he said. "I don't think it is appropriate for me to assume that role and that position of making all of those decisions when I am not going to be running in the campaign and able to fight and defend the decisions that will be made in that."
Falcon also released a statement regarding his resignation, noting that he wants to spend more time with his family. Falcon has a two-year-old daughter, and he said he and his wife are expecting another child in February.
"After almost 12 years in public life, I wish to return to the private sector in a yet to be determined role," he said. "I feel enormously blessed and privileged to have served the constituents of Surrey-Cloverdale for almost 12 years.
"I wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all those in public life, from all parties. The travel and time from away from family alone warrants appreciation."
John Cummins, leader of the BC Conservative Party, congratulated Falcon on his "selfless public service," but added that the Conservatives believe his resignation will drastically alter the political landscape of the province.
"It is evident that both the government and the governing party are in turmoil," he said in a statement. "Kevin Falcon's announcement today signals the beginning of a dramatic change in British Columbia politics and government, one welcomed and embraced by the BC Conservatives."
Falcon was first elected in the Surrey-Cloverdale riding in 2001 as a BC Liberal, and was re-elected in 2005 and 2009.
He also served as the Minister of State for Deregulation, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Minister of Health Services.
He became the Finance Minister and the Deputy Premier on March 14, 2011, replacing Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Colin Hansen.
After Premier Gordon Campbell announced his resignation in November 2010, Falcon launched a campaign to become the leader of the BC Liberal Party and the Premier of the province. The position went to Christy Clark, who also released a statement Wednesday.
"I know how hard it can be to balance the needs and aspirations of family life while wanting to serve publically," said Clark. "I wish Kevin and his growing family continued success and happiness and thank him for his incredible tenure."
Clark said she has asked B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond to serve as Acting Finance Minister.
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