Jamie Muir’s golf game is about to get a whole lot better.
Muir, 67, one of the most experienced members of Premier Rodney MacDonald’s cabinet, announced earlier this week he won’t re-offer in the next provincial election.
“I think there’s a time for everything, and it’s time for me to do something different,” Muir, currently minister responsible for Service Nova Scotia and municipal relations, told Metro News in a recent interview.
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His wife’s already starting up his retirement to-do list.
“One of the things she talked about was cleaning out the basement,” Muir laughed.
Muir was elected in 1998, part of John Hamm’s third-place Tory caucus. In the 1999 election, the Hamm Tories unexpectedly swept the Russell McLellan Liberals out of office, and Muir became health minister.
It wasn’t an easy job. In 1999, paramedics went on strike for 18 hours, and in 2001, the Hamm government introduced Bill 68, designed to prevent nurses and other health-care workers from striking.
Muir has also been education minister. Now, as Service Nova Scotia minister, he wears criticism for the province’s gas-price regulation system.
E-mail has drastically changed the way people interact with government during the last decade, he told Metro. When he started, most correspondence was written; today, people send angry e-mails when they’re upset, and often expect an instant response.
“The more government does for people, in some ways, the more people expect it to do.”
The hardest part of being in government, Muir said, has been having to hold his tongue. But he’s enjoyed the chance to help constituents, and he’s particularly proud of helping to secure a new hospital for Truro-Bible Hill.
“You have people who come into your office who need help, and sometimes you’re able to solve their problem. That feels good.”
A provincial election is widely expected this year.