NDP MP Yvon Godin won't run in the next election
Godin, who has served Acadie-Bathurst for 18 years, says he's been reflecting on whether to retire
Yvon Godin, New Brunswick's only NDP MP, confirmed on Friday afternoon that will not run in the next federal election.
Godin issued a statement on Friday afternoon, days after saying that he was close to making a decision on his political future.
"After a long consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to go," Godin said.
The veteran NDP MP said he decided to announce his intention to step away from federal politics now to give the party enough time to recruit another candidate in his northern New Brunswick riding.
"After 17 years in Ottawa, the decision to retire from political life was extremely hard," Godin said.
Godin, who represents the riding of Acadie-Bathurst, said earlier this week he thought for a long time on whether to put his name on the ballot another time.
"When is the right time? I don't think there's ever a right time. That's why the decision is so hard," he said.
"Any which way I will be going, it'll be one of the hardest decisions to take."
'Defender' of his constituents
Godin inspired Luc LeBlanc, the NDP candidate for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, to run for public office.
LeBlanc, who won the NDP nomination in December 2014, is the party's only official candidate in New Brunswick for the 2015 federal election.
"He's been a staunch defender of the people of his constituency, especially on the Employment Insurance file," LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc says in order for the NDP to win the seats in New Brunswick in the next federal election, the party needs to carry on Godin's legacy.
"We need to just keep hammering at our message that we'll defend our constituents," LeBlanc said.
Before Godin became an MP in 1997, the riding of Acadie-Bathurst was held by the Liberals.
There are currently three people vying for the Liberal nomination in the riding, according to the Acadie-Bathurst Liberal Association.
"Godin is a man who talks to everybody, makes politics his own way," Pierre Godin said, the president of the Acadie-Bathurst Liberal Association.
"No matter whether he was from the NDP, Liberals or Conservatives, he would have won no matter what. Now we have a chance."
At least 9 NDP MPs not running again
Godin isn't the only NDP MP with plans of not running in the next election.
The list includes other long-time NDP members, such as Libby Davies, Chris Charlton, Alex Atamenko, Jean Crowder, and Joe Comartin.
NDP MPs Marie-Claude Morin and Tarik Brahmi have also announced they won't seek re-election.
Glenn Thibeault recently left the NDP to run for the provincial Liberals in Ontario.
At least 23 Conservative MPs and five Liberal MPs have also announced they will not run in the next election.
Godin was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997, after widespread anger over Employment Insurance reforms by the former Liberal government.
In 2011, he earned nearly 70 per cent of the vote share in his riding, with more than 32,000 votes.
His 53-point victory over second place Conservative candidate Louis Robichaud was the largest margin of victory for any NDP MP in that election.