Independent MLA Jim Parrott's return to Tory caucus unclear
Ousted member says premier supports bid to run for Tories, but deputy premier says up to entire caucus
Independent Fundy-River Valley MLA Jim Parrott says he may soon return to the Progressive Conservative caucus, but Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud says it's not that simple.
He plans to seek the Tory nomination in the new riding of Kings Centre for the September provincial election, despite not being part of the Progressive Conservative caucus.
Parrott says Premier David Alward has promised to approve his nomination if he wins on May 10 — and that he may soon be welcomed back to caucus.
There's conversations taking place and I really don't want to say too much about that. I don't want to prejudice anything.- Independent MLA Jim Parrott
"There's conversations taking place and I really don't want to say too much about that. I don't want to prejudice anything," he told reporters outside the legislature on Wednesday.
Alward was not in the legislature on Wednesday, but the deputy premier seemed surprised by Parrott's comments.
"There's a lot of information he's mentioning that I'm not aware of and I don't think it is as clear as he has mentioned," said Robichaud.
He says it was a decision of the entire Progressive Conservative caucus to expel Parrott and only the entire caucus can approve welcoming him back.
Meanwhile, Parrott, a retired heart surgeon, says he chose his words poorly two years ago when he appeared to question bilingual access to health care — one of the comments that got him booted.
"You should be able to be served in the language of your choice," he said on Wednesday.