Beech A36 aircraft – Tow Bar not removed

C-GVZM, a privately registered Beech A36 aircraft, was conducting a flight from Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker Intl, SK (CYXE) to Fargo/Hector Intl, ND (KFAR). During landing gear retraction after the departure from CYXE, the pilot noticed a pulse input to the rudder pedals. The landing gear was cycled with the same result. After leveling off at cruise altitude, the landing gear was cycled a third time. The same rudder pedal pulse was noted and the landing gear transit light remained illuminated. The landing gear was selected down, however the nose gear down-and locked indicator did not illuminate. The pilot then noted that the tow bar was not present in the aircraft. The flight returned to CYXE where, during a fly past, ATC confirmed that the tow bar was still attached. The pilot declared an emergency and the subsequent landing was performed without further incident.
An inspection revealed damage to the nose landing gear down-lock indication bracket.