MLA Norm Macdonald resigns as Opposition Caucus chairman

By David F. Rooney

Fulfilling his constituents expectations and adhering to his own publicly stated values were two of the key reasons that MLA Norm Macdonald decided to resign his position as chairman of the Opposition Caucus over NDP Leader Carol James’ unilateral decision to eject fellow MLA and experienced forestry critic Bob Simpson from the caucus.

Macdonald said in an interview Sunday that he has always espoused “fair and democratic processes” in government.

“There are those in government and the media who believe a leader can do (unilaterally force someone from caucus),” he said. “I disagree.”

He believed the decision to push him out should have been put to a vote in caucus. It should not have been a decision made solely by the party leader.

In a statement sent to supporters Macdonald said:

“The role of caucus chair is to ensure that caucus decisions are made in a principled way, following a proper process.

“I have decided that I am no longer able to continue in my role of caucus chair given recent events.

“I will continue to focus my energies on representing my constituents as a member of the NDP caucus and on being a strong critic of the current government.

“Over the next week, I will be travelling throughout the constituency and we will likely get an opportunity to discuss this situation further.

“I have appreciated your support over the years and I thank you again for being given this chance to serve as your MLA.”

Macdonald is in Revelstoke today, October 18, with fellow MLA and Opposition agriculture critic Lana Popham for a group discussion on food security with local stakeholders at the Community Centre at 3:30 pm and a public forum at 7 pm on sustainability also at the Community Centre.