Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak will not be running in the fall federal election after all.
Rusnak announced Sunday that he’s decided to withdraw his name as the Liberal candidate and instead will take more time to spend with his young family.
“It’s been four years since I began one of the greatest adventures of my life,” Rusnak said in a statement.
“I’m honoured to have forged the strong relationships with community leaders across the region,” he noted.
“Over that time, I’ve been privileged every day to provide a voice in Parliament for everyone in our part of Northwestern Ontario.
“But over these years, I was also blessed with starting a family,” Rusnak added. “My beautiful and amazing wife, and I have two young sons who are the prides of our lives.
“It seems each day they reach new milestones.
“Though I try to spend as much time with them as I can when I am home in our riding, I’ve missed close to half of their young lives,” he said.
Rusnak said he wants “to be there more for my young family” and, after much contemplation, decided to withdraw his name as a candidate.
“I am proud of all we have achieved in our region these past few years,” he remarked.
“We have seen major investments in Confederation College, Seven Generations, and Lakehead University, as well as major infrastructure projects like the construction of the Rainy-River Baudette bridge and the upgrades to Thunder Bay’s transit system.
“This is on top of more funding for community safety initiatives, accessibility projects, community centres, First Nation infrastructure and water systems, agricultural innovation, social housing, retirement homes, and business development, to name only a few,” he added.
“We have achieved so much since 2015 though there is still so much more to do,” Rusnak conceded.
“I look forward to seeing future leaders build on this work.”
Rusnak, who handily won election in 2015, said he entered politics because he believes in the power of relationships.
“Progress requires us to not only stand by our values, but to recognize the common dignity that unites us with those we disagree with and to realize it every day through our relations with one another,” he noted.
“Only this can build real trust and working partnerships.
“Peoples and nations have been brought together in the past through this recognition, and it’s what we must continue to strive for going forward in Northwestern Ontario and Canada as a whole,” Rusnak stressed.
He concluded by thanking his hard-working and dedicated staff, and all the people of Thunder Bay-Rainy River for allowing him to serve as their member of Parliament.
Rusnak added he looks forward to the continuing work as he serves as MP for the rest of his mandate.