Olive Crane says she was stunned to be kicked out of the Progressive Conservative caucus Friday.
The party's former leader was at a soccer game when her phone rang at 3:50 p.m. It was Steven Myers, leader of the PCs.
"He told me he was kicking me out of caucus. I will tell you I was certainly in shock," she said.
Crane didn't see the ousting coming. "Only yesterday I talked about staying and doing the work. I'm a true Progressive Conservative and I still am. I guess from here on in I'll be sitting as an Independent Progressive Conservative," she said.
She said she deserved more respect than to learn she was out by phone.
Olive Crane was first elected for the PCs in a 2006 by-election.
She was re-elected in 2007 and again in 2011.
She was elected leader in 2010. She resigned the leadership in 2013.
She denied rumours she was looking to cross the aisle. That's why she'll call herself an Independent PC, she said, and will continue to represent District 7 Morell-Mermaid.
"Why does someone else try to rob me of that?" she said. "Just because somebody in a backroom does not want me is not going to stop me. I was elected by the people."
'Promises were broken'
Myers confirmed the departure of the party's former leader.
He said the party removed Crane from caucus, but not from the party altogether. Myers told CBC it was a tough decision, but it had to be done for the good of the party.
"Unfortunately promises were made that were broken yesterday. Olive contradicted a promise she made to our caucus when she went in the media this morning. It's very unfortunate," said Myers Friday.
"If you take it in terms of a hockey coach, you need to know that everybody that's going on the ice is doing the same job. I wish our party didn't have to go through this."
The PCs lost MLA Hal Perry Thursday when he crossed the floor to join the governing Liberals earlier this week. The PCs now have three members in the 27-seat Legislature.
Olive Crane was not kicked out of the PC party. An earlier version of the story incorrectly reported that she was. She was removed from the party caucus, but says she will sit as an independent Progressive Conservative.Oct 04, 2013 6:22 PM AT