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Federal Liberals’ former ag critic won’t run again

The southern Ontario MP who served as the federal Liberals’ ag critic under interim leader Bob Rae plans not to seek re-election in 2015.

Frank Valeriote, the MP for Guelph since 2008, announced Friday he will remain until the next federal election, set for Oct. 19 next year.

Valeriote didn’t say specifically in his statement what he plans to do after the 2015 election, other than to “find new outlets for being of service to the people of Guelph while spending good quality time with my children.”

Currently Justin Trudeau’s deputy party whip and critic for veterans’ affairs, Valeriote was Rae’s critic for agriculture and agri-food, rural affairs and the Canadian Wheat Board from June 2011 until August last year.

During his stint as ag critic he was also vice-chair of the Commons standing committee on agriculture and agri-food, on which he’d previously sat as a member since 2009.

Valeriote was also named in 2011 to the Commons legislative committee on Bill C-18, the legislation by which the Conservative government deregulated the CWB’s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley.

A lawyer by profession, Valeriote was a trustee and later chair of the Wellington District Catholic School Board before his move to federal politics in 2008.

Valeriote, 60, said Friday that, after his separation from his wife last year, “we committed to one another that the needs of (their children) Olivia and Dominic would always come first. I’m not getting any younger, and neither are they.

“I feel it is as important, to be there in a meaningful way at their millionth step as they enter their teenage years as it was to see their first step.” — Network


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