MP Erin Weir won’t rule out running as an independent in 2019 should he fail to secure the NDP nomination in his riding.
“It’s a possibility,” Weir said during an interview with Don Martin on CTV’s Power Play Thursday.
“I’d have to talk to local New Democrats to see if that’s the direction they want me to take.”
An independent investigation in May found complaints of harassment and sexual harassment against Weir were “sustained by the evidence.” After Weir spoke to media about the allegations, Singh said the Saskatchewan MP was “unwilling to take appropriate responsibility for his actions” and booted him from caucus.
Weir believes he has since taken ownership of his actions.
“I completed sensitivity training to improve my reading of social cues. I’ve also really reflected on how to have the kind of frank debates that are fundamentally important in politics without making anyone feel uncomfortable,” Weir said.
Now he believes he should be welcomed back into the NDP fold. And he isn’t alone in his effort.
A slew of Saskatchewan New Democrats have been leading the charge to get Weir’s name back under the NDP banner. A whopping 67 former NDP MPs and MLAs from the province signed a letter in support of Weir, who plans to run for the NDP nomination in the riding he currently holds: Regina—Lewvan.
While NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh rejected both the letter and Weir’s potential candidacy, Weir refused to drop the challenge.
“Fundamentally, I think it should be up to the NDP members in Regina—Lewvan to decide who to nominate as our candidate.”
However, even if Weir wins the NDP nomination fair and square, Singh still has to sign off on the nomination papers to make it official – and that’s something he’s refusing to do.
“I’ve made it clear that I stand by my decision,” Singh said on Power Play Thursday.
“I’ve made my decision very clear that I’m going to defend a strong and safe workplace. My caucus has all told me they’re committed to the same thing.”
While Singh’s stance proved unpopular with the 67 former NDP MPs and MLAs who penned a letter in support of Weir, a group of female New Democrat activists struck a different tone in an open letter they posted on Facebook Tuesday.
“By refusing Erin Weir’s request to be readmitted to the federal NDP caucus, Mr. Singh has done what too many other employers won’t. He has demonstrated that he understands his legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace,” the letter reads.
This divide between New Democrats combined with party fundraising troubles and the retirement of multiple veteran NDP MPs pave a tough road ahead for Singh, according to former leader Thomas Mulcair.
"It's a really tough time for the party right now," Mulcair said on Power Play Thursday.
"No question that Mr. Singh has his work cut out for him."
Meanwhile, Weir also has his work cut out for him in trying to secure the NDP nomination in his Regina riding.
“I feel a sense of connection and obligation to hundreds of people in Regina who worked really hard to finally regain some federal NDP seats after the party was shut out federally in Saskatchewan for more than a decade,” he said.