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Rota had already decided not to run for re-election

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The Nipissing-Timiskaming riding will have a new member of parliament following the next federal election.

Nipissing-Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota will not be seeking re-election, whenever that election should arise. (File photo)Matt Sookram, MP Anthony Rota's communication coordinator said in an email to CTV News Monday that Rota had publicly stated several times since the beginning of September that he would not be seeking re-election.

"He (will) not be seeking re-election, whenever that election should arise," said Sookram.

"He is planning to retire at the end of this term."

In a radio interview with CBC last month, Rota was asked about his reaction to the new federal riding boundary changes. He responded by saying it would not impact him.

"I had discussions during the last election with my wife and I told her it was going to be our last one and I'm keeping my word," said Rota during the interview.

"I won't be running in the next election. But I'm sure we'll find an excellent candidate who will take my place."

That interview took place on Sept. 18, before as Speaker of the House Rota introduced Yaroslav Hunka, a man who fought for a Nazi unit during the Second World War, to a standing ovation in the House of Commons during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit – therefore Rota was not going to be running for re-election regardless of the controversy.

Rota stepped down as Speaker of the House on Sept. 28 amid the international controversy over the invite he had extended to Hunka.

On Friday, Rota made his first public appearance since the incident at a media conference related to a new health services centre at the Wing 22 Canadian Armed Forces Base in North Bay alongside Defence Minister Bill Blair.

During the event, Rota was asked about the Hunka controversy but deflected the question.

“I did make a statement in the chamber and afterwards – But today, we’re here to discuss the health clinic and the health centre that has been put forward behind the Government of Canada and its commitment to the people who serve in the armed forces,” he said before leaving the podium and directing further questions to Minister Blair.

Yaroslav Hunka, right, waits for the arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Several Jewish advocacy organizations condemned MPs on Sunday for giving a standing ovation to a man who fought for a Nazi unit during the Second World War. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle

Rota first entered politics in the region in 1994 as a city councillor in North Bay.

He has served as the Liberal MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming riding for 16 years since 2004 – a brief interruption to his tenure occurred when he lost his seat to the Conservatives during the 2011 election.

– With files from CTV News Northern Ontario videojournalist Eric Taschner 

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