The MLA for Campbellton-Dalhousie is stepping down following his controversial decision to accept a second job with Canada's Building Trades Union.

Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault said in a statement Friday morning that his last day on the job will be Nov. 30, adding that it was a "difficult decision" for him to make.

"I'm big enough to realize this legislature needs to debate health care, education, the economy, we've had a huge softwood lumber decision yesterday. These are the issues important to New Brunswickers, not if Don Arseneault has a job or whatever. So I thought instead of being a distraction I'll resign my seat and let the true debates happen on real issues,” says Arseneault.

Arseneault’s announcement comes just one day after Premier Brian Gallant said Arseneault must choose between his new job as government relations manager for the union and his role with the Liberal party.

Gallant said he was under the impression that Arseneault was told by the integrity commissioner that he could remain as MLA if he didn't lobby within New Brunswick, later learning that it included anywhere in the country.

"Then when we were made aware of what advice he was given it was made clear that he couldn't be a lobbyist, and there's certainly a perception that he is one or that would be amongst his functions lobbying," said Gallant. "So for us, we made it very clear within our control that he'd have to make a choice."

Questions were raised about Arseneault accepting the new position with CBTU, although he said his responsibilities wouldn’t include lobbying.

While Arseneault didn’t break any rules, and the decision was approved by New Brunswick’s integrity commissioner, it was done so with a warning.

Arseneault recently announced that he would not be running for re-election in the next provincial election, which is tentatively set for next September.

In his statement, the MLA said he will spend the next four weeks finishing up constituency work in his riding. He says he will not be participating in any caucus activities.

The Tories say they'll continue to push for reforms on conflict-of-interest rules, adding they continue to have plenty of questions about the timeline of when Arseneault took on the new job and when he gave up his role as Minister of Labour.

“It's interesting. He's going to stay there as a Liberal member for the next month. I guess the position has changed for the premier and we'd like to know more about the premier's involvement in the whole process,” says New Brunswick PC Leader Blaine Higgs.  

The Liberals will continue to have a majority with 25 members, while the Progressive Conservatives will have 22 and the Green Party with one.

“It’s going to be tighter,” says New Brunswick Post-Secondary Education Minister Roger Melanson. “The numbers speak on their own. But we've been very, very disciplined because we take our jobs seriously as legislators and MLAs, and it's not going to change.”

The Liberals have already indicated they want to reform conflict-of-interest rules, including any perception of a conflict.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore and Bell Media Radio.