POLITICS

Frank Valeriote, Guelph Liberal MP, Won't Run In Next Election

11/14/2014 01:49 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST
CP
OTTAWA - Liberal MP Frank Valeriote, whose southern Ontario riding was ground zero in the so-called robocalls affair, is calling it quits.

Valeriote, 60, said he won't run in next year's federal election, but he will stay on until then as the MP for Guelph, Ont.

"Representing the people of Guelph is a great privilege," he said in a statement.

"Service is an honour, but family is paramount and fatherhood is a greater honour. It is for that reason that while I will continue to represent Guelph as its member of Parliament until the next election is called, I will not be seeking re-election."

Valeriote won his seat in the 2008 federal election and voters re-elected him in 2011 by a comfortable margin.

But the 2011 campaign was mired in controversy after 6,700 calls were made on the morning of election day with misleading information on where to vote.

An Elections Canada investigation pointed the finger at Michael Sona, who worked on a rival Conservative candidate's campaign.

An Ontario court convicted Sona in August of wilfully preventing or endeavouring to prevent an elector from voting — which carries a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Valeriote didn't escape controversy in that contest, either.

In 2012, the federal Liberal riding association in Guelph was slapped with a $4,900 fine for robocalls that broke the rules during the previous year's election campaign.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said a recorded message that went out to voters on April 30, 2011, violated telemarketing rules by failing to state that it came from the Liberals or Valeriote's campaign.

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