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Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Katrina Chen won't run for re-election in 2024

After a decade in politics, Katrina Chen says she will step down from her role as MLA in 2024.
Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Katrina Chen.

Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Katrina Chen has announced she will not be seeking re-election in 2024.

Chen was first elected to the legislature in May 2017 and re-elected in 2020. She was named the Minister of State for Child Care in 2017.

"Next year will mark my 10th year in elected positions, and I've decided not to seek re-election in 2024," she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Chen has been known for her work on the child-care file, particularly on the NDP's promise to bring in $10-a-day child care.

Late last year, Chen asked Premier David Eby to not include her in his new cabinet.

She announced she was stepping away from a ministry role to unpack long-term trauma as a result of gender-based violence.

In her announcement Wednesday, Nov. 22, she said the last year has been an opportunity to focus on her son and address her trauma with professional help.

"For years, I thought I had to at tough to prove my worth as a younger woman of colour in politics, especially when faced with discriminations," she wrote on X.

"I've finally learned to embrace the power of vulnerability and authenticity. ... I want to live in the moment more, and I'll continue to contribute to our community in every capacity I can."

Chen said there needs to be "a serious recruitment and retention plan to achieve true representation of all British Columbians.

"Even a simple change like making hybrid participation a permanent option for MLAs with diverse situations could make a difference," she said.

Chen will finish her term as MLA, working throughout the next year.

B.C.'s next provincial election is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19, 2024.

MLA Chen's career 

Before being elected as an MLA, Chen was elected as a school trustee on the Burnaby Board of Education in 2014.

She worked in provincial and federal constituency offices for more than 10 years and also worked as a community organizer with ACORN and volunteered as an executive member for several local non-profits.

In 2022, Chen co-chaired David Eby's successful campaign for premier.

- with files from Jess Balzer, Burnaby Now