MP Brent Rathgeber resigns from Conservative caucus
Published Wednesday, June 5, 2013 10:32PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 5, 2013 11:33PM EDT
MP Brent Rathgeber has resigned from the Conservative caucus because of “the government’s lack of commitment to transparency.”
Rathgeber, who represents the Alberta riding of Edmonton-St. Albert, announced his resignation on Twitter late Wednesday.
“I just notified the Board of Directors of the Edm-St. Albert CPC Association and the Speaker that I have resigned from the CPC Caucus,” he wrote.
The Prime Minister’s Office has called on Rathgeber to resign as an MP and run in a byelection.
Rathgeber’s announcement comes hours after members of his own party pushed changes to his private member’s bill calling for the disclosure upon request of any public sector salaries with earnings of approximately $188,000 or more.
But a series of amendments at a committee meeting earlier Wednesday resulted in major changes to the maximum salary amount.
“I’m obviously very, very disappointed both with the government position and certainly with the (committee’s Conservative) colleagues, many of whom philosophically support this legislation unequivocally, but seemed powerless to resist the instructions that were given to them by the (Prime Minister’s Office), by the whip or wherever the final instructions came from,” Mr. Rathgeber told the Globe and Mail.
Rathgeber went on to say that transparency is key in light of the ongoing controversy surrounding Senate spending.
"I think the more long-term problem is damage to the (Conservative) brand,” Mr. Rathgeber said.
Rathgeber was first elected as an MP in the 2008. He previously served one term as an MLA in the Alberta legislature.