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This article was published 23/6/2009 (4712 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- Conservative MP Inky Mark announced this morning he is retiring from politics. Mark, 61, has been the MP for Dauphin-
Swan River-Marquette since 1997.
In a press release today he said he is stepping down to focus on his family, including his two grandsons and his wife, Lynda.
He will remain as the MP until the next general election.
Mark has been known as a bit of a maverick in politics, choosing not to side with his caucus if he felt the party position was wrong. In 2006 for example, he refused to vote to give Quebec status as a "nation" within Canada.
He was first elected as a Reform Party MP but in 2001 left the caucus with a group of other MPs who opposed the leadership of Stockwell Day. He was the only one not to return to the caucus, and instead joined the Progressive Conservatives.
In the last year he has been virtually silent as an MP. He has not risen to his feet in the House of Commons since May 2008. In the most recent session, which began in January, he didn't speak once.