Nault bows out of race

Local MP Robert Nault has decided not to seek the federal Liberal nomination for the next election after all.
“After a great deal of reflection and discussion with my family and friends, I have decided not to seek the Liberal nomination to represent Kenora-Rainy River in the next federal election,” he said in a statement released this morning.
Charles Fox, an aboriginal leader from the region, announced last week he was challenging Nault for the Liberal nomination.
Nault had announced Jan. 15 his intention to seek re-election for a fifth-straight term.
“I have always been in favour of an open nomination process—I am looking forward to the challenge,” he said at the time.
“[My] campaign team is up and running across the region. We are ready,” he added.
“This campaign team represents the makeup of the entire riding and the voters will know why I believe I can best represent the interests of the Kenora-Rainy riding in Ottawa.”^In today’s release, Nault said he’s had the honour of serving his constituents over the past 15 years but it is now time to move on in his life and seek out new challenges.
“My priority, as the Member of Parliament, has always been to work on the issues that face northerners in order to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Northwestern Ontario,” he noted.
He admitted this decision has been very difficult both personally and professionally.
“It has been one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in my life,” he said in the release.
“I have determined, however, that it is the right one for my family, myself, and the constituents of Kenora-Rainy River,” added Nault.
Nault said he especially would like to thank his many friends who have always been there during the good times and the bad, as well as the citizens of Kenora-Rainy River who had shown their trust and respect for him over the past 15 years.
He also said his time in cabinet was especially rewarding.
“I would like to thank former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien for giving me the opportunity to serve in his cabinet and I wish the new prime minister the best of luck in the future.”^District voters likely won’t be impacted by all this as Rainy River is slated to be joined with the current federal riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan— to form the new one of Thunder Bay-Rainy River—by the next election.
Prime Minister Paul Martin is widely expected to call an election sometime this spring.