Embattled MLA Christine Melnick won't attend NDP convention
Riel MLA and former immigration minister was punted from NDP caucus this week
Christine Melnick says she has changed her mind and won't go to Manitoba's NDP convention this weekend, days after she was kicked out of the party's caucus.
The former immigration minister was removed from the NDP caucus on Tuesday, after she spoke out against Premier Greg Selinger and his staff about a controversy surrounding an immigration debate from April 2012.
The next day, Melnick told CBC News she was planning to attend the party's convention this weekend because she still considers herself to be a New Democrat.
But on Thursday, Melnick said she won't go to the convention after all, citing concerns that her attendance may "cause a stir" and distract from real issues.
"I want everyone to have a real successful convention," she said, adding that she came to the decision on her own Thursday morning.
Melnick originally denied she was involved in inviting hundreds of people connected to immigration groups to flood the legislature during the debate, but an ombudsman later revealed she misled the house. She was then shuffled out of cabinet in October.
On Monday, she went public with an allegation that she was told by senior staff to take the fall for the handling of the debate.
That led to a war of words between the NDP and Melnick, resulting in her being booted from caucus.
Melnick now sits as an Independent MLA, representing Winnipeg's Riel constituency.