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'I don’t think it's goodbye permanently,' Nuttall says

Outgoing Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP Alex Nuttall chose not to seek re-election, instead wanting to spend more time with his family

The 2019 federal election polls are closed locally and one of five candidates in the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte riding will soon find out if they're the new MP.

But the former Conservative MP says he's more than ready to walk away and start a new future.

Alex Nuttall had been the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP since 2015 — defeating Liberal candidate Brian Tamblyn by a mere 86 votes following a judicial recount — after serving on Barrie city council since 2006.

The 34-year-old father of two announced back in March that he would not pursue another term as MP in the 2019 election.

As the final day came before the title of MP was removed, Nuttall spent the last few hours cleaning out his Alliance Boulevard constituency office.

BarrieToday sat down with Nuttall on Monday to discuss the past, the present and the future.

He said the day had been so busy that he hadn’t had a chance to think about the emotions, but added he will always value his time as the riding's representative in Ottawa.

“I’m very thankful I got to do this job for the last four years and got to serve the city of Barrie for the last 13,” Nuttall earlier today. “I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life personally."

The local polls have closed, but final results from tonight's federal election haven't been verified. 

Always a lover of politics, Nuttall has been hard at work helping with the Conservative campaign, volunteering himself for fundraising, phone calls and door knocking.

He told BarrieToday that taking the supposed “blue riding” for granted would not be smart.

“This is not a Conservative bastion anymore,” Nuttall said. “It is always going to be close. I do think it will tilt Conservative, but it is not a place where you can write it off as done. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight.”

Nuttall will be watching the election results roll in with Conservative candidate Doug Shipley in hopes the Tories can hold onto the riding.

Either way, the riding will have a new face in the House of Commons in the coming weeks. The local candidates are Dan Janssen (NDP), Brian Kalliecharan (Liberal), Marty Lancaster (Green), David Patterson (People's Party), and Shipley (Conservative).

As far as the nationwide results, Nuttall concedes he isn’t sure which way it will go.

“As far as the national campaign, I think people are questioning who they can support. I’ll probably be a little vocal after today on that, because I don’t want it to be an election issue,” he said. “Certainly, trying to find the person who is putting a vision forward for Canada has been difficult.”

Wanting to spend more time with his young family, Nuttall’s decision to step down came from wanting to cut down on a significant portion of his travel to the nation’s capital, where he he already tied up loose ends.

“I went to Ottawa last week to pick up a bunch of stuff that was left in the office there and had a chance to close that part up,” Nuttall said. “There were a couple of moments I started to feel it there, but truthfully I made my decision in March, so I’ve had long enough to think on it.

"I don’t think it's goodbye permanently," he added. "I think it is more of a situation where I’m going on vacation for a decade and we’ll see how it all ends up.”

While Nuttall says he's happy with his decision, he has had some hard times dealing with stepping away from politics.

“There are some people who don’t understand why I’m not running again and hearing their disappointment was difficult for sure,” he said. “I think the hardest part, though, is saying goodbye to all the incredible staff members and volunteers who have been with me every step of the way. I will miss them dearly.”