News from Edmonton this afternoon that longtime MP John Williams won't seek re-election. I've had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Williams on a number of occaisions and can honestly say that he's one of the good guys.
Canadians owe John Williams a heartfelt thanks for the work he has done on behalf of taxpayers for the last 13 years. I definetly consider myself to be a John Williams fan... the article below explains some of the reasons why:
St. Albert MP Williams to retire from politics (2:00 p.m.)
Published: Thursday, August 10, 2006
John Williams, the Edmonton-St. Albert Conservative MP who led the charge on the Liberal sponsorship scandal, says he is planning to retire from politics.
Williams, 59, said today he wants to leave politics to concentrate on his work with the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, which he helped form and chairs.
“My concern for the millions who are destitute caused me to engage parliamentarians around the world and form GOPAC,” he said in a prepared statement.
He said he will continue as MP for the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election.
Originally from Scotland, he came to Canada in 1970, originally to work at the Royal Bank before starting his own accounting firm in St. Albert.
He joined the Reform party in the late 1980s and was first elected as a Reform MP in 1993 for the federal riding of St. Albert, where he owns a 10-acre hobby farm.
He rose to national prominence as chairman of the public accounts committee, which is usually a low-key position that confines itself to arcane rules over spending of public money.
But it was under his watch that the sponsorship scandal broke, putting him in the public spotlight hammering the Liberal government over more than $100 million in taxpayers’ money that vanished to Liberal-friendly ad agencies in Quebec. The scandal is blamed in large part for Paul Martin losing the election this January to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Williams was re-elected by a 23,000-vote margin.
He was also an early player in talks between the splinter Reform and Alliance parties to merge with the Conservatives.
The father of two adult sons, he lost his wife of more than 20 years to cancer in 1998.