One of the auto industry’s most important federal government liaisons is leaving his post.
Navdeep Bains, stepped down as innovation minister Tuesday and does not intend to run again in the next federal election, whenever it's held.
In a video message posted Tuesday morning, Bains said that after six elections, he wants to spend more time with his family.
“They have sacrificed so much over the last 17 years. This last year has been hard on families,'' says the MP from Mississauga, Ont. “My daughters, who are in Grade 5 and Grade 8, have needed me more in the last year and I've needed them, too. It's time for me to put my family first, and I couldn't be happier about it.”
Bains is one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s longest serving cabinet ministers. Canada’s auto industry was a large part of his portfolio.
He was instrumental in creating the Strategic Innovation Fund, the renegotiation of NAFTA, the development of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative as well as having a hand in finding millions of government subsidies for automakers and suppliers.
“The minister served his post admirably throughout the NAFTA renegotiations and especially as a Canada advocate with automakers around the world,” Flavio Volpe, the head of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said in a statement. “He raised the bar for this role and portfolio to heights that would have surprised me beforehand. We wish him the very best, I’m not sure he left anything on the table.”
Brian Kingston, head of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, which speaks collectively for the Detroit Three in Canada, publicly thanks Bains in a Twitter post.