Three PC MLAs running for federal office resigning as of July 31

Eddie Orrell, Chris d’Entremont and Alfie MacLeod are now federal Tory candidates. They will resign their seats in the legislature as of July 31. NS LEGISLATURE

The three longtime Progressive Conservative MLAs who are running for federal office this year will resign their seats in the legislature as of July 31.

The PC Party sent notices today announcing the resignations of Chris D’Entremont, Eddie Orrell, and Alfie MacLeod. All three have recently been nominated as candidates for the Conservative Party of Canada, meaning they are required to step down before the writ period begins this fall.

The three men have 40 combined years of experience in Province House.

READ MORE: N.S. MLA Orrell joins d’Entremont and MacLeod as federal Tory candidates

Speaking to Global News before the announcements were made, party leader Tim Houston called it “a big loss to our caucus” but said it’s also an exciting time for the party.

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“It’s kind of a transition that happens and it’s a big opportunity for them, as well, seeking the federal positions. But it’s a big opportunity for our caucus going forward,” he said in an interview Thursday.

Houston is already looking toward replacing the three MLAs.

“So we have nominations in all those constituencies happening,” he said. “I’m really excited about the quality of the people that are stepping forward and putting their names forward and saying, ‘We want to represent the PC Party in the legislature.'”

READ MORE: Steve Craig wins Sackville-Cobequid byelection for the PCs

Steve Craig, a former Halifax councillor, won the most recent provincial byelection in June for the PC Party, taking a seat that has long been an NDP stronghold in Sackville-Cobequid. The seat was left vacant when Dave Wilson resigned in November 2018.

But it’s unlikely the wait will be that long for the voters in Argyle-Barrington, Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, and Northside-Westmount.

In a statement, Premier Stephen McNeil says a date for byelections hasn’t been set yet.

“When these resignations are official, I will look at potential byelection dates to try to ensure there are new representatives in the legislature this fall sitting,” Premier McNeil said in a statement.

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A date for the fall sitting also hasn’t been set.

There could be a fourth byelection, if Independent (and former NDP) MLA Lenore Zann wins a federal Liberal nomination on July 27. Should she win, she would also have to resign her seat in the legislature.

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