Liberal MP Bob Nault intends to put his name on the ballot again in this fall's federal election.
Nault, who in 2015 was elected in the Kenora riding with a victory over former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton and Harper government cabinet minister Greg Rickford, on Tuesday announced he will seek the party's nomination.
“The reason I am running again is simple. Under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, we saw our region fall further and further behind. Investments for essential programs, like Fednor were severely reduced or cut altogether. We saw infrastructure, like our local highways, airports, and community buildings, fall into disrepair, putting the North at a serious disadvantage if we want to attract new industry and create more jobs for Northerners," Nault said in a written statement.
“Now, we have federal Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, who is a carbon copy of Stephen Harper and sounds just like Doug Ford. Northerners cannot afford another federal Conservative government, nor can Ontarians, nor the country. That’s why I am running."
Nault said the Kenora riding has received funding commitments totalling more than $2 billion from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.
"We're connecting 17 First Nation communities to the electrical grid which will bring safe and reliable power to these communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Nault said.
"We have made several of our remote airports safer. We’ve also invested in senior-led initiatives throughout the riding and broken-down barriers for Northerners with disabilities by making workplaces and public spaces more accessible. We’re continuing to help provide access to clean drinking water in First Nation communities. Essentially, we are opening up the North, and as we do, everyone in the North benefits.
Nault had served as the MP for the former Kenora-Rainy River riding from 1988 to 2004, including a stint as Indian affairs and northern development minister in former prime minister Jean Chretien's cabinet.
Eric Melillo has been acclaimed as the Conservative candiate in the riding.