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Bob Rae resigns from House of Commons

OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – Bob Rae, former interim Liberal leader and one-time NDP premier of Ontario, is resigning as an MP, winding up a political career that stretched over 35 years and two parties.

He will resign his Toronto-Centre seat on July 1st.

Rae says he has been working with Matawa Tribal Council as their negotiator in dealings with the government of Ontario. He says it’s important personal work for him, and that’s why he has made the decision.

“The passion and the enthusiasm that I feel for the First Nations of Canada and the need for a different kind of partnership in this country between Canada’s First Peoples and those of us that have come later on,” he explains.

Rae won’t say if he’s completely done with politics. “I will be 65 on August 2nd, as many of you will know from Wikipedia. Those of you that are my friends on Facebook will know that as well. Look, never say never but it certainly closes a door for now.”

Rae began in politics as a New Democrat and later shifted to the federal Liberals, even seeking the party leadership at one point.

He was first elected to the Commons in a 1978 byelection, but moved to Ontario provincial politics four years later, when he became provincial NDP leader.

He was premier from 1990-95 during troubled economic times and left a controversial legacy.

In 2006, having joined the Liberals, he unsuccessfully sought the party leadership, but won a seat in the Commons in 2008, becoming interim leader after Michael Ignatieff lost his seat in the 2011 election.