Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie to resign
The leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative party is stepping down after two attempts at forming a government were unsuccessful.
Jamie Baillie is set to announced his resignation on Wednesday, exactly seven years and two days after he became leader on Oct. 30, 2010.
He says he’ll be staying on until the party chooses a new head.
“I want to thank my family, my caucus colleagues, and the dedicated members of the PC Party for their support over the last seven years,” said Baillie in a press release.
“It is the right time for my family and I to start our next chapter. I also believe it’s an opportunity for the Party to elect a fresh face for leader.”
Baillie resigns after he lost the 2017 election to political rival Premier Stephen McNeil.
At the time, Baillie had said that he was planning to stay on until at least the end of the fall session. The session ended last week.
Despite the Tories making inroads in Metro Halifax and gaining a few seats, it only took a few weeks after the election for some within his own party to question his future.
WATCH: Questions remain over NS PC leader Jamie Baillie’s political future
In August an online survey, obtained by Global News, began circulating.
Created by a party member, it questioned Baillie’s leadership and the direction of the party.
Questions in the survey, including one which Baillie pointed to as evidence of an “alt-right” undertone, which the PC leader said at the time, emboldened him to stay.
“It makes me more determined to lead this party to the moderate place I know it needs to be,” he said.
Baillie spent three years serving as chief of staff to former Premier John Hamm.
He has had a long career in Nova Scotia’s business community. The chartered accountant also served as CEO of Credit Union Atlantic.
He’s also been named a member of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Hall of Fame.
Tara Miller, the party president, says the Tories owe a great deal of gratitude to Baillie for his many years of service.
“We have been so lucky to have someone of Jamie Baillie’s caliber as our leader over the last seven years. He has been a tremendous steward, navigating our Party through many challenging times,” said Miller.
“Jamie is a wonderful man. He is smart, dedicated and caring. I want to thank him, on behalf of our entire PC family, for his years of service and commitment to our province.”
WATCH: Nova Scotia election: Jamie Baillie full speech at PC headquarters
It’s now up to the Tories to set a date for a leadership convention within the next 18 months.
While details are scarce and the rules around that convention are yet to be determined, it’ll have to be guided by the party’s constitution.
Some of the rules which are likely to come into play:
- There will be a formal notice 75 days ahead of the leadership vote published in a newspaper of province-wide circulation
- To be eligible to vote for the new leader, you must have been a member of the party for a minimum of 45 days preceding the vote
- The leader must be elected by a majority result
- Fundraising for a leadership campaign will be subject “to a measure of transparency”
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