Alberta MP Peter Goldring to rejoin Conservative caucus

Alberta MP Peter Goldring will rejoin the Conservative caucus on Monday.
Alberta MP Peter Goldring will rejoin the Conservative caucus on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

An Alberta MP will rejoin the Conservative caucus on Monday.

Peter Goldring, who represented Edmonton East for the Tories, had been sitting as an independent since leaving the government caucus after being charged with failing to provide a breath sample during a police checkstop in December 2011.

Goldring was found not guilty and on Thursday was welcomed back to the Conservative caucus by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Watch the video below: Goldring not guilty

“I am pleased that Mr. Goldring’s personal matter has been resolved,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in the release. “I spoke to Mr. Goldring this evening and was happy to welcome him back to the Conservative caucus.”

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Goldring said in a statement Friday that he appreciated the personal gesture by the prime minister and will be with the Conservative caucus on Monday.

Read more: Prime minister says Peter Goldring has been welcomed back into Tory fold

Goldring admitted to drinking some wine at a Christmas party and a beer at a pub before being pulled over by police in 2011.

The judge ruled Goldring wasn’t trying to avoid taking a breath test, but was answering questions anyone in his situation would ask when being pulled over.

“The questions that Mr. Goldring was asking do not suggest he was just buying time,” said Edmonton Judge Larry Anderson in a written decision.

“He was obviously in a dilemma. The questions were basically those that one might expect a detainee would ask a lawyer if that option were available.”

In his statement today, Goldring said he was pleased with the outcome of Thursday’s verdict.

“I took issue in this case of constitutionality, whether police had the right to stop me in the first place without a reason and whether they then followed correct procedures when they did so. I felt at the time that correct procedures were not being followed, and the court agreed.”

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You win some, you lose some

The news of Goldring rejoining the Tory ranks comes after another Alberta MP called it quits.

Late on Wednesday, Brent Rathgeber announced on Twitter that he was quitting the Conservative caucus over – among other things – a lack of government transparency throughout the Senate expenses scandal.

In a blog post Thursday, Rathgeber said that recent allegations concerning expense scandals and the government’s response has “been extremely troubling.”

“I joined the Reform/conservative movements because I thought we were somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean the place up, promoting open government and accountability,” wrote Rathgeber.

“I barely recognize ourselves, and worse I fear that we have morphed into what we once mocked.”

Rathgeber also cited the government’s decision to water down his private member’s bill that would expose the salaries of senior federal civil servants as a reason for quitting.

Rathgeber’s bill would have raised the transparency bar for salary disclosure to $188,000. But the committee reviewing the legislation instead decided to raise the threshold to more than $400,000.

“I have reluctantly come to the inescapable conclusion that the government’s lack of support for my (private member’s) transparency bill is tantamount to a lack of support for transparency and open government generally,” he said.

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Related: Backbenchers support Rathgeber’s bill

*With files from Global News’ Laura Stone and The Canadian Press

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