MP John Duncan is ditching Campbell River and the North Island for the new riding of Courtenay-Alberni.
The long-time Conservative member announced Thursday he will give up the North Island to run in the new riding for the 2015 federal election.
Election boundaries changed last year, much to Duncan’s displeasure, lumping the North Island in with Comox and Powell River, while also splitting the Comox Valley.
“Choosing where to run has been a difficult decision for me,” Duncan said in a news release. “The splitting of Vancouver Island North, as a result of the recent changes to the federal electoral boundaries, was unexpected and I have strong connections throughout both of the new ridings.”
Duncan, 65, currently has his riding office in Campbell River. He previously lived in Ucluelet and Port Alberni during his 20-year career as a forester.
In an interview with Global News, Duncan said his decision to run again was motivated by the recent death of fellow Conservative MP Jim Flaherty.
“Jim was a great believer that public service is good…I know there’s other things I could do, but this mission doesn’t feel complete yet,” he told Global.
Duncan was first elected from 1993-2006, then lost his seat to the NDP. He was re-elected in 2008. In Ottawa, Duncan is Minister of State and Chief Government Whip.
Laura Smith, Duncan’s senior adviser, will seek the Conservative nomination in for the Vancouver Island North—Comox—Powell River riding.