Bergman confirms retirement; Birnbaum to run in D'Arcy McGee

Outgoing Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman with family members at his official retirement announcement.
Tina Tenneriello/CJAD

Lawrence Bergman, the Liberal MNA for the west-end Montreal riding of D'Arcy McGee, made it official on Friday morning — he won't seek another term in this year's election.

Meanwhile, the Quebec Liberals officially confirmed that David Birnbaum, the executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association, would be the party's candidate in the April 7 election.

Surrounded by family members, and staff, the 73-year-old Bergman told reporters that he was retiring after 20 years to spend time with his family. 

"I felt it was time to go home to my loved ones," he said through tears, with his grand-daughter by his side.  

When asked if he felt any pressure to retire, he said the only pressure he had was to return to his family — adding he hasn't taken a vacation with them in more than 20 years.

He thanked his constituents, and said he would continue to speak out for them.

 “We laughed together; we cried together, we dealt with each other as members of a family."

He spoke of how proud he was for saving his riding when Quebec’s Chief Electoral Officer wanted to get rid of it, and for creating Holocaust Memorial Day in Quebec.

Bergman took the riding back for the Liberals from former Equality Party leader Robert Libman in 1994.  He won another 5 times after that. 

He finished by saying he will be a Liberal until the end, and that he was confident that Philippe Couillard would win a majority government.

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  1. Chris Eustace posted on 03/08/2014 02:04 PM
    March 7, 2014

    The stars are aligned to see more school tax dollars go into our English-speaking classrooms.

    Executive Director of the the Quebec English School Boards Association, David Birnbaum, who is on leave, will certainly win the riding formerly held by Mr. Bergman....

    This is a perfect time for English boards to drop their memberships in the QESBA - as three French school boards did with their Fédération.

    We are talking about $ 1 million dollars .

    Think : Enrollment in English schools is dwindling.... many parents are sending their kids to French and private schools...The QESBA has outlived its usefulness.

    We are living in a high-tech communications world and umbrella organizations are unnecessary intermediaries.

    Now is the time for the English community to really take a close look at the QESBA.

    Then ask : What has this organization done for any English student, classroom or school ?

    English school commissioners should re-evaluate the role of the QESBA and do the obvious thing before the school board elections in November... Forget the QESBA ; think of schools.

    Chris Eustace
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