Kingston, Ontario – Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Kingston & the Islands, has announced he will resign those positions effective the next Federal election.
Milliken made the announcement in front of hundreds of friends, family and supporters who braved the light rainy conditions at his annual summer barbecue in Elginburg, ON.
The move has been speculated about for some time, in part due to local Liberals selling memberships for the past few weeks. Successors have also been proposed in the media, including former city councillor Bittu George, the Dean of the Queen’s University Law School, Bill Flanagan, and Kingston lawyer Bob Little.
The retirement by Peter Milliken has also been linked to the possibility that he will become the next Governor General of Canada, succeeding Michaëlle Jean – a position expected to be announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper next week.
In a subsequent interview with the Globe & Mail, Peter Milliken claimed he has not received an offer for the Governor General position, adding “I’d be shocked if it did (happen) and I’m not sure that that’s something that would be of particular interest to me.”
The newspaper also stated that media reports speculating Stephen Harper may name the current Governor General’s successor next week during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Canada have been denied by a senior government source.
Peter Andrew Stewart Milliken was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. He was educated at Queen’s University in Kingston as well as Oxford and Dalhousie Universities.
He was elected as Member of Parliament for Kingston & the Islands in 1988, winning out over Conservative M.P. Flora MacDonald who also held the position for many years (from 1972-1988) and was Secretary of State for External Affairs.
Milliken was then elected as Speaker of the House of Commons in January, 2001 and re-acclaimed Speaker after each of the three elections that followed.