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Skeena MLA Ellis Ross bids farewell to BC Legislature

Now former Skeena MLA Ellis Ross, with his wife Tracey, during his last day at the Legislative Assembly of B.C. in Victoria. Ross has stepped down from his provincially elected role to run for the federal Conservative seat in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding. (Facebook)

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross delivered his farewell address in the B.C. legislature on May 14.

The two-term politician from Kitamaat Village is stepping down to run with the Conservative Party of Canada as a Member of Parliament for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding.

In his address, Ross shared personal reflections and his motivations for supporting various economic sectors.

“Speaker, I struggled as a native growing up on a reserve. So, 20 years ago, I decided nobody was gonna have to go through what I went through. That’s why I support forestry, mining, energy or anything connected to a strong economy. Because a good job means a world of difference to people and communities,” Ross said.

Ross’ career in provincial politics began when he was first elected in 2017 to the Skeena riding, which had previously been an NDP stronghold.

Upon his election, Premier Christy Clark appointed Ross to cabinet, where he served as minister of natural gas development and minister responsible for housing until the NDP and Greens defeated the government on a confidence vote.

Ross was re-elected as MLA in 2020. The following year, he became a candidate for leadership of the BC Liberal Party, but was defeated by Kevin Falcon.

Ross thanked Falcon in his address and also acknowledged the support of his parents before returning to his time in the legislature.

“As a Haisla chief councillor, I originally started fighting Christy Clark’s Liberal government but ended up teaming up with her government on forestry and mining and LNG. And I’ll always be grateful to the BC Liberals for helping uplift an entire generation of British Columbians, who really needed it at the time,” Ross said.

In his concluding remarks, Ross highlighted the personal sacrifices and support from his family.

“I feel very honoured and grateful to be a small part of it, and I’m going to miss my colleagues, as well, on both sides of the house, believe it or not,” he said.

“Thanks to my wife and family. They don’t like the time that I spend away from home, they don’t like the criticism I get, but they appreciate what I’ve been trying to do for the last 20 years and I couldn’t do it without my wife.”

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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