Liberal Lawrence Bergman steps down; Birnbaum to run
Published Friday, March 7, 2014 2:42PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 7, 2014 6:35PM EST
Longtime Liberal politician Lawrence Bergman Friday officially announced he would not be running in the election.
Bergman has represented the west-end riding of D’Arcy McGee for the last 20 years.
The Liberals announced his replacement soon after -- David Birnbaum, the executive director of the Quebec English School Board Association, will run in his place.
At his riding office Friday morning, Bergman focused on his accomplishments.
He talked about when the director-general of elections wanted to eliminate the D'Arcy McGee riding, and he fought to save it.
He also successfully fought the province to save Cote St. Luc's emergency medical service, helped get funding for a new pavilion at the Jewish General Hospital, and drafted Bill 198, which officially recognized the day of the Shoah in Quebec -- the day the Holocaust is remembered.
The bill was adopted unanimously under Lucien Bouchard.
Bergman was also the revenue minister under Jean Charest between 2003 and 2007.
Many believe the Liberals and Parti Quebecois have been forcing older candidates to cede their positions in favour of younger “star” candidates.
But Bergman says he's not being forced out. He said in 20 years, he rarely took a vacation, and feels that at 73, it's time to spend time with his kids and grandkids.
“The pressure on me was the pressure to return to my family. After all these years, I wanted to return to my family,” he said.
He also said he believes Philippe Couillard will win the election because in his words he says Quebecers are tired of Marois’ politics of division.
Birnbaum is a former journalist who wrote for the Montreal Gazette.
His biography, provided by the party, notes he was also the executive director of the political group Alliance Quebec, and also served as the executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress for the Quebec region.
“I’m proud to be joining such an experienced and diversified team as the Quebec Liberal Party. A party that will form the next government and which will promote prosperity and a better quality of life for all citizens,” he said in a news release.