Erin Weir declares himself a member of the CCF - a party that no longer exists
The former NDP MP says the move will keep him close to the caucus he hopes to rejoin
Kicked out of the New Democrat caucus over harassment allegations, Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir said today that he's switching his official political affiliation to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation — a party that has been defunct since 1961.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh expelled Weir from caucus earlier this month after stating that an investigation had substantiated harassment allegations against him.
Singh said that Weir was given the boot after he refused to take responsibility for his actions and lashed out through the media at the person who issued the complaint. Weir himself said he was punished for speaking out publicly about the case.
While Weir has said he still wants to rejoin the NDP caucus, he told CBC News that declaring himself a member of the CCF is a way to stay close to his social democratic values.
"Being designated a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation is a way of expressing commitment to social democracy while I remain outside of the NDP caucus," Weir said.
Certainly the CCF merged into the NDP in 1961, so perhaps it can happen again.- Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir
The CCF was the NDP's predecessor. Founded in Alberta in the 1930s to represent labour groups and farmers, the party was dissolved in 1961 when it joined forces with the Canadian Labour Congress to form the New Democratic Party.
Weir said those priorities are still relevant today.
"As a Saskatchewan MP, I'm trying to reflect the tradition that my family and many other Saskatchewan people were part of," Weir said.
The CCF merged into the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NDP?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NDP</a> in 1961. Let’s do that again! <a href="https://t.co/vi9GeZ4yx1">pic.twitter.com/vi9GeZ4yx1</a>—@Erin_Weir
The CCF is not a registered federal party, according to the Parliament of Canada website. For the purposes of MPs declaring their affiliation, it doesn't need to be under Commons rules.
"I'm certainly not proposing to organize a new political party or anything like that. It's really just a way of identifying myself and the values that I aspire to represent in Parliament," Weir said.
Division gives rise to new parties
This is the second time this week that a member of Parliament has announced a switch in party affiliation.
Seven MPs who recently split from the Bloc Québécois in protest over the leadership of Martine Ouellet announced Wednesday the creation of a new party, Quebec Debout, and said it would prioritize defending Quebec's interests in Ottawa over the Bloc's program of promoting separatism.
The MPs will register the new party's name with the chief electoral officer next week before launching consultations across Quebec to learn how their constituents want to be represented in Ottawa, and how people will choose between them and their former party.