N.B. NDP leader resigns over 'infighting' and clashes with federal party
Published Monday, January 2, 2017 12:24PM AST
Last Updated Monday, January 2, 2017 6:39PM AST
New Brunswick's NDP leader has resigned citing "endless internal battles" within the party.
Dominic Cardy, who has led the New Brunswick party since 2011, issued a statement Sunday saying he cannot lead a party where a "tiny minority of well-connected members refuse" to accept the democratic will of its membership.
“I think that's going to be a real wake up call to the people in the party who have generally didn't do any work and just sat around and (expletive) and wine for the last six years,” Cardy told CTV News.
When he officially resigned on Monday, Cardy suggested in a two-page letter that CUPE New Brunswick -- a union usually friendly to the provincial NDP -- had been “undermining him and the party.”
“They actually pulled resources out of the campaigns and sent it to other campaigns,” he said. “It’s things like that are just crazy.”
Cardy said there were members of the provincial NDP who were “more interested in infighting than forming government.”
“I’ve always been very clear about what I wanted to do, which was not win one or two seats, and not sit on the fringes and wine about things, but make a real shot to win power,” the former NDP leader said.
Cardy said his "progressive" platform has been thwarted by party members at both the provincial and federal levels, saying the NDP is "one-stop shop ... whether you like it or not."
He said the federal New Democrats stance that Syria is "'not our fight"' goes against the party's "proud history of internationalism" and is antithetical to his beliefs.
“During the federal election the NDP came out and said what was going on in Syria wasn't our fight. I don't know how you can claim to be someone on the left when you say that anything involves other people being tortured and murdered isn't your fight,” Cardy said.
Cardy said forces in the New Brunswick NDP, in collusion with province's largest public sector union, have organized "not to win elections, but to fight endless internal battles."
He said the same "infighting" and "destructive forces" that resulted in the party's electoral shut-out from the legislature will lead to another loss in the next provincial election.
Political scientist JP Lewis says Cardy's blunt spoken resignation is notable.
“You know there's going to be drama and infighting in any political party, we just normally don't get the details so fresh,” Lewis said.
Cardy is confirming he's longer a member of either the provincial or federal NDP. He syas he’s staying in New Brunswick and is not ruling out a return to the political arena, but says he is not focusing on that at the moment.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore and The Canadian Press.