October 29, 2013
I, Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) am announcing today that I notified the Speaker and will be sitting as an Independent when the House of Assembly resumes this coming Monday for the Fall sitting in the Legislature.
It is with much consideration and reflection that I have come to this decision. I cannot support the public handling of recent events that transpired to a clear question regarding the Newfoundland & Labrador New Democratic Party (NLNDP) Leadership. This matter will continue to have significant long-term consequences for advancing the Party. These events now create an undesirable work environment that would detract from being able to best serve my constituents.
I made a formal request with all members of the NDP Caucus, calling for a Leadership Convention in 2014. This followed a democratic process and I firmly stand by this position which is needed for future growth and renewal. This should have been seen as an opportunity to test current Leadership, engage in the party building process, establish policy and develop messaging under a rigid timeline in preparation for Election 2015.
I believe all political Constitutions should have clear mechanisms for regular Leadership Review and Convention calls, as well as ensuring that changes to a Constitution follow the democratic process. The current Constitution does not have any mechanism for Leadership Review, despite the one being requested by NDP Leader.
In June 2011, I became a member of the NDP and worked diligently with fellow New Democrats to represent the core values of everyday people, serving in various critic portfolios, sitting on the Public Accounts Committee, engaging in dialogue across the province and serving almost one-year as Caucus Representative on the Party Executive.
Although, I am leaving the NDP Caucus, my approach to dealing with issues at the local, provincial or national level has not changed – I will continue to work tirelessly for a better District and a better Newfoundland & Labrador. I still believe we need a fairer society, one that is inclusive and brings the values of everyday people to the forefront in a multi-party system. As the Member for The Straits-White Bay North my constituents continue to come first as I raise their concerns, present unique ideas and work with others to find co-operative solutions.
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North