Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
John Slater has walked away from the BC Liberals, to sit as an independent in the riding of Boundary Similkameen.
He made the announcement with this tweet.
"Eff. Today, I will be stepping down as a member of the BC Liberal Caucus and will sit as an Independent for the rest of the session"
The BC Liberals responded by email with party president Sharon White being quoted.
"John Slater has made significant contributions to his community in both private and public life."
"Last month, John informed colleagues that he would not seek re-election. Over the past week, he has reconsidered his decision and sought to be nominated as the BC Liberal candidate."
"Mr. Slater's candidacy is not being approved due to personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability to represent the Party."
"The Party sought a cooperative solution through discussions with John. This is not a decision taken lightly and is fully considered."
Slater is shaking his head at the statement that he has personal issues and is unfit to represent the party.
"I don't know, they are grasping at straws, I mean, you know I have got some health issues but unfit is....what is that word?...I am out of shape? you know what I mean?"
Slater says fellow MLA's have been calling him today after the party said his personal problems made him unfit to run.
"Yup I have had a few phone calls from them you know they are a little bit taken a back but you got to remember to there are what is it 17 or 18 current sitting MLA's on our party alone that are stepping down too, right."
Slater says the party may have put the riding at risk of being lost to them in the next election.
"Yeah I think so there is going to be a lot of disappointed people no question."
Slater has not decided yet if he will run again now that he is an independent.
The BC Liberal Boundary Similkameen riding association president Zach Poturica says the party hadn't talking to them for months and is treating Slater unfairly.
"Here we are and unfortunately it has taken, well, from mid-September till now and we got the phone call five minutes before we went to the media with the announcement that we are making today that you know they are coming out with this press release and that it is our fault for putting them into this position that is what we were told today."
Poturica says he too is resigning in protest as are several other members of the executive.
"Without John there as our candidate they just kind of feel betrayed by the party that they have been mislead all along, which is true you know we have been told it is going to happen it is going to happen and then you know the final hour comes and you know they are trying to do everything they can to try and spin this in their favour. We just don't have the energy to continue that battle with them anymore."
Oliver councillor, and former mayor, Linda Larson has expressed interest in running for the Liberals in the riding.