BY PHILIP AUTHIER, THE GAZETTE MARCH 5, 2014

Longtime Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman is to announce his retirement and will not seek a new mandate in the next election.

Bergman, 73, the MNA for the riding of D’Arcy McGee, is to make the announcement soon, a Liberal source said late Wednesday.

The rumoured replacement for Bergman is David Birnbaum, executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association.

Reached at home by The Gazette late Wednesday, Birnbaum refused to confirm or deny he was on his way into politics.

Liberal officials also refused to confirm that Bergman is stepping aside, but the decision reflects leader Philippe Couillard’s efforts to renew the party.

Another senior Liberal — Verdun’s Henri-François Gautrin — also retired, making room for new blood, while Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Yvon Marcoux, 72, announced he would not be seeking re-election. He was the MNA there for 16 years.

First elected in 1994, Bergman was revenue minister in Jean Charest’s government.

He was also chairman of the Liberal Party caucus.

Bergman is a key party link to Montreal’s Jewish community. His fundraising efforts in the community were the stuff of Liberal lore.

His electoral record also was stunning, racking up a 20,000-vote majority in the last campaign.

pauthier@montrealgazette.com

Twitter: philipauthier

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