'My time is done': Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume announces he won't seek new term
QUEBEC CITY -- Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume will not run for re-election in 2021.
The 65-year-old made the news official in an announcement in Quebec City Wednesday afternoon. Labeaume was first elected in 2007.
"My time is done, and I'm aspiring to another life," he wrote in an announcement on Facebook.
"An old Georgian proverb says: 'Time doesn't matter to those who ignore it,'" he wrote.
"That's what I've done my whole life, ignore the time, and I have no regrets over it. But for the time I have left, I want to take back control, enjoy it, because... you never know how much more we have left."
Labeaume, who often adds jokes into his public comments, said he wanted to thank his family, "who had to live with the misfortunes of my choice of life."
But he said he'd been thinking seriously about making this move for more than four years and had surpassed his "most insane hope," in 2007, to stay in office for 10 years.
He also planned to start a new career after leaving office, he said.
But that idea, he said, "failed! My plan didn't work, and I reached 65 days ago, the so-called retirement age. I don't believe it yet!"
He said he wanted to hang onto his job until pulling off Quebec City's big sustainable transport project, without which he "would have been disappointed in myself, disappointed in my time in politics."
That project took a long time but is now officially done, with the launch of the call for proposals last Friday.
"With the city finances stabilized, despite the circumstances, the transportation project structuring on the road, I feel like I'm leaving a house in order," he said.
He also called his time as mayor "the most beautiful years of my existence," and said "it's not really a job," but "a way of life."
Labeaume ended his comments by saying that he plans to put in full energy until the election and knows that Quebec City, like everywhere, has a crucial time in store as it recovers from the pandemic in many senses.
He called it a community-oriented city that he hoped would come out the other side "with as little suffering as possible for the poorest people here."
He said he believes politics is becoming a harder job and sent special thanks to the city's public servants and other staff who have come and gone during his time in office.
"I have this city literally under my skin, I cherish it, and I deeply love everyone who lives it," he wrote, "and I thank them for their trust, expressed four times democratically."