Todd won't run in Yk
Leaving politics, he says

Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 11/98) - Ending months of rumour and speculation, Finance Minister John Todd used a tear-filled and emotional speech Wednesday to announce he won't be seeking a Yellowknife seat in the next territorial election.

"It's true that many people have approached me about the possibility of running," he said in the assembly. "It's also true I've given a great deal of thought at doing so...after much consideration...I can state without hesitation I have decided not to run for election in Yellowknife.

"...I feel I no longer have the passion that is required to do the job."

Todd, a veteran cabinet minister and Keewatin Central MLA, had announced in June he would not be contesting a seat in Nunavut's first election. Speculation then arose he would move to the west and contest a seat in the post-division NWT legislative assembly.

During the speech, Todd praised his cabinet colleagues, fellow MLAs, civil servants, constituents and numerous friends and staff.

He also defended the record of the government of former premier Don Morin and suggested his one-time boss still had a long political future ahead of him.

"A lot of good things happened under this government and they faced a hell of a task," he said in an interview after the speech.

Todd told MLAs the North has to continue to fight for the right to control its own natural resources instead of them being under Ottawa's control.

His only negative comments were reserved for the press and he singled out the print media for special criticism.

"I think the media has to re-examine itself," he said. "I think you need to do more research. You need to be more fair. You have to understand that everyone in this country is your neighbour (and) this isn't Toronto."

Internet chat rooms and discussion forums have also created a forum for personal attacks on public figures that go beyond what is acceptable, he said.

"I don't know...At this point in my life, I have other things to do," he said when asked what he has planned for the next chapter in his life.

Todd ended his speech quoting British philosopher Bertrand Russell.

"There are no ends -- just beginnings," he said and then resumed his seat in the assembly.

MLAs gave him a standing ovation.