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Saskatchewan MP won't run again, cites Tory decision to disallow open nomination race

Conservative MP for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River Gary Vidal rises during Question Period, Friday, December 1, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Conservative MP for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River Gary Vidal rises during Question Period, Friday, December 1, 2023 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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A Conservative member of Parliament says he isn't seeking re-election because his party is not allowing an open nomination in a new riding.

Gary Vidal cites the party's response to changing electoral boundaries in his announcement that he won't run.

Vidal was elected in 2019 to represent the sprawling Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River in the province's far north.

Vidal says the riding boundaries are changing "drastically" and he will no longer reside in the electoral district he serves, but rather in the new riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster-Meadow Lake.

He says the party has decided there will be no open nomination to choose the candidate in that new riding, which he says "is not the expected outcome I anticipated."

A spokeswoman for the party says Vidal was given the chance to run in his current riding.

Sarah Fischer says the party respects his decision not to seek re-election.

The redrawn version of Vidal's current riding is still home to most of his current constituents, but it's losing the community of Meadow Lake, where he says he was born and raised.

Vidal's decision follows an announcement in February that he was stepping away from his role as the Tories' critic in Parliament for Indigenous services.

The new federal riding boundaries took effect on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2024.

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