Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney won’t seek re-election

Lunney cites redistribution of federal electoral boundaries as the defining moment for his decision not to run again.

Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney has decided not to seek re-election in 2015. Lunney made the announcement Friday morning at his Nanaimo-based constituency office.

Lunney said the redistribution of federal electoral boundaries, which will split the existing Nanaimo-Alberni riding down the middle, and he doesn’t want to have to choose which riding to run in.

“It has the effect of appending 50,000 people that I have represented in Nanaimo and Lantzville with Nanaimo south of the ferry terminal and Ladysmith while the rest of the riding peels north to include Courtenay,” he said

“Since the final decision was announced, I have spent considerable time reflecting on the new realities and the impact of the realignment. As I read it, if I choose A over B or B over A, it will of necessity divert a disproportionate measure of my time away from half of the people and region that I have represented for the past five terms and am mandated to represent for the next two years.

“Since I am unwilling or unable to reconcile these interests, I have come to the conclusion that I am better to complete my mandate focussing on Nanaimo-Alberni and open the door for others to seek a mandate in the next election under the reconfigured alignments,” he said.

Lunney said he will help prepare “new candidates” for the reorganized riding in 2015.

Lunney has served as Nanaimo-Alberni MP for the past 13 years, calling it “one of the most beautiful ridings in Canada, encompassing nearly 9,000 square kilometres and communities as diverse as Nanaimo and Tofino or Parksville and Ahousaht.

“The human resources amongst us and the diversity in population are among the challenges and attributes of the riding that I appreciate the most,” he said in a prepared statement.