HALIFAX - Hants West MLA Chuck Porter has left the caucus of Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative party to sit as an independent, according to a statement released Friday.
In the statement, Porter said he and PC Party leader Jamie Baillie do not see eye-to-eye regarding how he wants to serve his constituents.
Porter said it was not an easy decision, but “the move is in the best interest of all those I have the honour of representing.”
Baillie said in a statement released after Porter’s that MLAs in his caucus “are expected to do the duties constituents elected them to do”.
He said he spoke with Porter on Thursday, accusing him of not performing his duties, after the member missed caucus meetings and five public accounts meetings since the October election.
“Voters expect MLAs to do the job they were elected to do,” Baillie continued in the release. “For me, this is a difficult day, but accountability must mean something if people are ever going to have faith in our system again.”
Porter was first elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature in 2006, and again in 2009.
He was the party’s health critic and had previously served as Chair of its caucus.
“I know and understand there will be some who will not be happy with this decision,” Porter said in his statement. “But I want to assure them that I respect their opinion and will continue to work ahrd on their behalf as I have for the past eight years.”
Porter’s responsibilities within the party have not yet been assigned to someone else.
With files from The Canadian Press
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