Progressive Conservative MLA Greg Davis announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election in September's provincial election, citing health reasons.
The announcement came hours after word began circulating Davis owes rent for his constituency office in Campbellton-Restigouche Centre despite MLAs receiving funding to operate an office in their riding.
A bailiff's notice has been placed on the door of Davis's office, stating he owes $6,665 in rent, dating back more than six months. He has until Saturday to pay the rent owed or 15 items of office furniture will be seized by the bailiff.
A news release issued by the Progressive Conservative party on behalf of Davis didn't address the unpaid rent or explain his health issues.
"I had hoped that my ongoing medical concerns would improve to the point that this decision could be avoided. Unfortunately, this is not the case," stated Davis in the release.
Conservative colleagues refused to comment.
Liberal MLA Donald Arseneault did express concern.
"It's unfortunate. You don't want to see anything like this happen," said Arseneault. "Hopefully, the premier can maybe shed some light on it. Maybe there's circumstances that explain this unfortunate situation.
"I do know the member from Campbellton-Restigouche Centre has not been in the legislature any of the days since we've been sitting last February," said Arseneault.
"Hopefully everything is okay with him. There's no doubt that, we're all colleagues here — all 55 of us here in the legislature — and we only hope the best for everybody. And hopefully, the health of everyone is okay."
A new electoral map that will be in effect for September's provincial election potentially would have pitted Davis against Arseneault as their current ridings become somewhat consolidated under the new map in the riding of Campbellton-Dalhousie.
"The bigger picture here is unfortunately the member seems to be going throough some tough times," said Arseneault. "And I just hope that he gets the help that he needs in order for him to get better."
Members of the Legislative Assembly receive an allowance to pay for local office rent, staff, and office expenses, said Arseneault.
"We all have a limit," said Arseneault. "We pay those expenses with receipts we provide to the Legislative Assembly and they reimburse based on those receipts, so there should be no reason why some bills are left unpaid."