Nfld. & Labrador

Humber - Bay of Islands Liberal district association resigns in support of Eddie Joyce

All nine members of the Liberal Humber-Bay of Islands district association resigned in protest of former party member Eddie Joyce running as an independent.

Liberal hopeful Brian Dicks launched campaign Monday evening

Liberals, including leader Dwight Ball, join Humber - Bay of Islands candidate Brian Dicks (third from right) at his campaign launch Monday evening. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

All nine members of the Liberal Humber–Bay of Islands district association have resigned, CBC News has confirmed.

Longtime association member Clarence Galliott said a meeting was held Thursday with the members, where they all agreed to resign.

But Galliott says the issue does not lie with Liberal candidate Brian Dicks, who is taking a leave of absence from his role as Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation councillor to run in the provincial election. 

The group, he said, supports Eddie Joyce, and disagrees with how the premier handled the allegations made against him.

Liberal candidate Brian Dicks greets a packed house for his campaign launch in the district of Humber - Bay of Islands Monday. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

Joyce was ousted from the Liberal caucus after allegations of bullying were levelled against him by colleagues in the House of Assembly.

After decades as a Liberal MHA, Joyce is running as an Independent. His purple campaign signs could be seen on lawns in the district Monday.

Candidate has 'support of a lot of people'

Asked about the district association's resignation Monday during Dicks' campaign rally, Liberal leader Dwight Ball would not confirm any issues.

Ball deflected and pointed to all the support Dicks had in the room. 

"Brian Dicks has a great team of volunteers in place for this campaign here tonight," Ball said, touting Dicks' experience in the community.

"Right now Brian Dicks has the support of a lot of people."

Ball said he had "no comment" on the Liberal district association but that he is focusing on getting his candidate elected.

Despite being kicked out of the Liberal caucus, Joyce has a long history in politics with the region, garnering over 80 per cent of the vote during the 2015 election.

Meanwhile, Dicks, who showed up to his campaign rally to about 80 people hoisting Liberal signs, said he is looking forward to knocking on more doors during the campaign.

His ward as councillor overlaps with some of the provincial district in which he's running.

Dicks said he wishes Joyce well.

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