Election 2014: Reni Masi bows out of politics

Surrey School District 36: Longtime Surrey school trustee and former B.C. MLA is retiring.

Reni Masi

After spending nine years as a Surrey school trustee and nine years prior as a provincial MLA, Reni Masi is retiring from politics.

“I’ll miss it,” he told The Leader in a one-on-one interview Thursday. “It’s the right time.”

Masi said after much consideration, he’s decided three terms on Surrey’s Board of Education is enough and he’s satisfied he’s accomplished many of the things he set out to do as a trustee.

His primary goal upon being elected in 2005 was to help the board focus on educational matters rather than political issues.

“Obviously, I was concerned about education, as an educator,” the former teacher and principal says, noting trustees of varying political stripes have come together to function in a non-partisan manner better than some of their predecessors. “My focus was education, not politics.”

Some of the other things Masi felt passionately about were establishing community schools and expanding the International Baccalaureate program.

“That (the latter) was important because it’s an excellent program,” he said. “We’ve sent a lot of kids to major universities through that program – top, first-class universities.”

He also helped the board fight for – and eventually receive – equitable funding which, due to a flawed government formula, repeatedly left Surrey getting significantly less money than similarly sized districts such as Vancouver.

One of the things he wished he had achieved was making PE mandatory for Grade 11 students.

“It’s good for kids. It gives them new outlooks and new career possibilities and establishes lifestyles.”

Masi was a teacher for 15 years and a principal for 20 – all in Surrey. While he ran unsuccessfully provincially in Surrey in 1966 and twice federally (1980 and 1984), it wasn’t until he retired from being a principal in 1991 that he began thinking more seriously about entering political life.

“It was always a strong interest,” he said. “I like the theory of politics. We live in the best country in the world. Why not get involved?”

After a two-year stint coaching basketball at Holy Cross High School, Masi served as  president of the B.C. Liberal Party from 1994 to 1995. A year later, threw his hat in the ring to represent the Delta-North riding, unseating Norm Lortie and serving the constituency until 2005.

Masi, 80, has been married for nearly 45 years and has three adult sons and two grandchildren.

His future plans are uncertain, he says, but he’s not too worried about keeping busy.

“Something will come along.

“Worst case scenario, I become a campaign manager somewhere,” he laughed.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, arrested last December in California in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is next due in court on Nov. 12. (File photos)
Notorious South Surrey fugitive returns to court Nov. 12

Brandon Teixeira was arrested last December in California

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read