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2012-04-30 at 21:11

Former NDP MP Bruce Hyer could reconsidering leaving party

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
91.5 CKPRWin a backyard BBQ valued at over $1500 with Your At Play Station, 91.5 CKPRClick here

Bruce Hyer says he’s willing to meet the NDP halfway, but he’ll only return to the party under certain conditions.

First and foremost the now-independent MP says the party must free him to vote the will of his constituents.

Whipped votes must be a thing of the past the Thunder Bay-Superior North representative said in a phone interview Tuesday night, after news broke of a letter he sent to his riding association over the weekend indicating a possible desire to return to the NDP fold.

“It’s very simple, and that would be contingent on one huge condition,” Hyer said, sounding anything but the apologetic MP national media are labeling him.

“And that condition is that I be allowed to vote for my conscience for my constituents. If and when that the party decide to do that, yes I’d consider that.”

A week ago, amid plenty of fanfare, Hyer abandoned the party caucus, saying then interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel’s decision to punish him and fellow Thunder Bay MP John Rafferty for voting with the Conservatives to end the controversial long-gun registry was not the political gamesmanship he signed up for.

Thunder Bay-Superior North NDP Riding Association president Maurice Grimstead said Hyer’s decision rocked the party locally, but if their former representative can repair his relationship with national leaders, they’d certainly be open to welcoming him back with open arms.

“I think the riding association and many members broadly throughout the riding support Bruce,” Grimstead said, reached by phone, noting there’s a party answer, a riding answer and a personal answer, none of which necessarily are the same.

“Yes, there is room (for him to return). The riding association, we’ve had a discussion about it internally. He would have to mend the schism with the party.”

According to Hyer, after new leader Thomas Mulcair took over the leadership of the party, Mulcair’s staff told the 65-year-old Hyer he’d be expected to vote with the party at all times.

Though the second-term MP said he plans to vote with the NDP 95 per cent of the time or more, the idea of being handcuffed to party policy still does not sit well.

“I’m a social democrat and I’m still a member of the party, but I’m not going to be told how to vote, it’s that simple. That’s the primary reason why I left. I’m not going to be told what to think, what to say and how to vote,” Hyer said.

“If the party decides that they really believe in democracy, representative democracy where the members represent primarily their constituents and the party fits into that, then yes, I’d go back, if they’re interested. But if they’re not willing to change that, then no.”

Hyer said the national NDP has undergone a tremendous change since former leader Jack Layton died last summer.

It’s much less democratic then it was in 2008, when he was first elected, Hyer said. 

“I went to Ottawa believing that I would be able to represent my constituents. Under Jack that worked reasonably well, but since Nycole and now Tom Mulcair, it’s clear that the party thinks that their MPs will do as the party and the leaders and the party says,” he said.

“What I did say to my riding executives and to my members is that if the party is willing to show some flexibility and some sensitivity to the needs of my constituents, then yes, I would – I don’t know if apologize is the right word – but I would try to reintegrate into the party and vote with them most of the time, which I’m usually comfortable with.”

In his letter to the riding association, Hyer was a little more conciliatory toward the party leadership.

"I am willing to do that: to apologize, to accept MOST party discipline and drudgery, and I am willing to ask the riding association and Mr. Mulcair to let me resume my NDP seat."

Hyer said he hasn’t approached Mulcair about returning and a Mulcair spokesman told the Canadian Press the NDP leader is unaware of the letter Hyer sent to the local riding association.

Hyers defection left the NDP with 101 seats in the 308-seat legislature. The Conservatives lead the way with 165.

Follow Leith Dunick on Twitter: @LeithDunick

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

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Tbnewswatch.com(34)

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Comments

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iceman says:
I Love your stand
4/30/2012 9:22:20 PM
Arcticfox says:
I am truly dissapointed in Bruce. Please get off the fence. I think it might be time for a by-election if he goes back.
4/30/2012 9:32:46 PM
TLJWITT says:
Bruce, you are an arrogant Buffoon. Did you reach the minimum years of service required to trigger the MPs pension program prior to pulling the pin with no courtesy or class? I am betting yes and suddenly you found moral strength to take a stand against a flawed canadian system (perhaps your moral fortitude comes from actually being an american). You were voted in as an NDP and that was fine to get you your seat but now your colors have run. You've brought bad publicity to thunder bay and your party. Resign. By the way, the people of Canada demand your pension (that you've stolen from us) back!!!
4/30/2012 10:25:35 PM
canrebel53 says:
Let's make up our minds, this flip, flopping around like a fish out of water is just a bunch of bull. You stood there and said you were dropping out, then do it and stop wasting peoples time.
4/30/2012 10:31:37 PM
crankypants says:
drama.
4/30/2012 10:47:14 PM
Big Joe Mufferaw says:
Do-overs? I don't think so...

I'm reminded of a history lesson...Benedict Arnold switched sides because he was passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress...so you'd think the British would have considered him a hero...but they didn't trust him either...

Trust, once breeched, is rarely earned again.

Just sayin'
4/30/2012 11:10:38 PM
dozerman says:
Who cares!! Because you are a member of the NDP, and not of the majority....your vote doesn't count either way! Enough with the drama already!!!! Go independent and see if that makes a difference!!! Good luck...
4/30/2012 11:31:32 PM
hockeyskates says:
Sounds like Mulcair found out that Northern folks are capable of thinking for themselves. He is our elected member regardless of where he sits in the House. I support him.
4/30/2012 11:45:49 PM
atticfour says:
I voted for a member of the federal NDP not an independent...Bruce...you have successfully shot youself in the foot.
5/1/2012 12:37:48 AM
keiths31 says:
Kind of ironic considering he voted against the long gun registry...
5/1/2012 7:52:02 AM
jb says:
So did I but have lost all interest in supporting a party that puts sanctions on MP's who vote on behalf of their constituents. I was for the long gun registry but also realized that I was in the minority in this region and was happy that Hyer and Rafferty voted against it.
5/1/2012 4:53:35 PM
Gord says:
So, first he does something to make his parents mad, then he sulks. Now, he doesnt get what he wants, so he decides to take his ball and go home. Now, he decides he missed his friends and wants to come back - but only if they beg him. Are you kidding me - GROW UP. This is embarrassing, you are acting like a child.
5/1/2012 5:41:00 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
Flip-floppers and floor-walkers. Party Ideology doesn't matter. It all about getting and staying elected for the money, right?
5/1/2012 6:48:55 AM
homelessteen says:
Sorry Mr. Hyer but I think you have over estimated your importance in the house.
5/1/2012 8:42:08 AM
tiredofthebs says:
Is no one at least going to give this credit for bringing awareness to how UN-democratic our democratic government is? This government system is a joke and is killing this country. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, rights and choices are being taken away every day. We are broke, lost and in a downward spiral and you clowns want to rip this man for trying to take a stand and make a point.
5/1/2012 8:44:55 AM
stonecutter says:
what a clown.

I wish he would just go away so I can vote NDP again.
5/1/2012 8:50:43 AM
RicknB says:
I'll never vote NDP ever again!
They have showed their real colors.
5/1/2012 9:35:51 AM
exceptionally local says:
How ridiculous that people are upset about this!
We are lucky to have an MP that wants to give his constituents a voice in Ottawa. If all of the MPs had the same respect for their constituents we would have a truly democratic Canada.
If all MPs just vote with their party, then why have MPs at all? Why not just go to the polls and vote for the leader of each party?
Bruce left the NDP because they were preventing him from speaking for us. If they allow him to do that again he will return to the NDP. Seems reasonable to me.
5/1/2012 9:40:07 AM
deep drill says:
Most people in our riding are aware that Hyer is the most incompetent member since C.D. Howe was elected in 1932. I compared his record to each of the MP's since Douglas Fisher beat CD in 1957, the upset of the century.None of Hyer's Private Bills passed the house.

Floor crossers never get elected again. Flip Floppers are never respected. If Hyer is so concerned about representing his riding and the Whip vote, the logical and right thing to do is resign his seat effective immediately. He is now tainted goods.
5/1/2012 9:46:52 AM
Clengyel says:
I'm embarrassed for you.
5/1/2012 10:09:12 AM
deep drill says:
Most people in our riding are aware that Hyer is the most incompetent member since C.D. Howe was elected in 1932. I compared his record to each of the MP's since Douglas Fisher beat CD in 1957, the upset of the century.None of Hyer's Private Bills passed the house.

Floor crossers never get elected again. Flip Floppers are never respected. If Hyer is so concerned about representing his riding and the Whip vote, the logical and right thing to do is resign his seat effective immediately. He is now tainted goods.
5/1/2012 10:22:20 AM
Chaos says:
when is is his 15 minutes up?
5/1/2012 11:15:19 AM
thetruthofit says:
How can Mulcair say he is unaware of Bruce's letter when he sent James Pratt his party hack up to the Riding Association meeting to do damage control and prevent its distribution. Mulcair is not being truthful he knows about the letter. This is the problem with the New NDP
5/1/2012 12:44:19 PM
gusto says:
This is the problem with the NDP? I can think of many, many more.
5/1/2012 3:39:58 PM
thetruthofit says:
How can Mulcair say he is unaware of Bruce's letter when he sent James Pratt his party hack up to the Riding Association meeting to do damage control and prevent its distribution. Mulcair is not being truthful he knows about the letter. This is the problem with the New NDP
5/1/2012 12:47:41 PM
thetruthofit says:
@ Deep Drill
Bruce is incompetent because he has never passed one of his private members bills??
Get your facts right.
In the time Bruce has been in office no other NDP MP has either. Bruce is the only MP of the NDP other than Jack Layton himself to have navigated a private members bill through the house to the senate. Bill C-311 Climate Change Accountability.
Bruces record is in fact stronger than almost any other sitting MP for the NDP in regards to handeling private members bills, including Mr.Mulcair.
5/1/2012 12:56:46 PM
gusto says:
You're right. It's not just Bruce that is incompetent...it's the whole NDP.
5/1/2012 5:21:38 PM
lewie35 says:
Kind of disspointed in Bruce for wanting to go back,maybe he thinks he will get a bigger pension if he does.
5/1/2012 3:32:24 PM
REG says:
Is this guy for real? Make up your mind and either stay or go. The NDP should get rid of this loose cannon and move on without him. What poor excuse of a politician. The big losers are Thunder Bay. Bye bye Bruce.
5/1/2012 3:42:33 PM
mercy mercy me says:
i nominate Bruce for "Mitt Romney" of the north....flip-flop artiste supreme
this latest news also reinforces my belief that Hyer still makes the interests of his constituents, his party and Canada secondary to his own interests.....i have lost both personal and professional respect for the man
5/1/2012 4:51:37 PM
E.B. Cooper says:
It seems Canadian Democracy is being put on trial here. Of all the forms of democracies in the world today Canada has the best. We elect a party to govern us & they have the power over the people of "The Crown". A great responsibility. The other parties make up the opposition to the government. It is their role in our democracy to hold the government accountable for the people. Also a great responsibility. In the case of a minority government the parties must co-operate to govern. We just saw that with the budget in Ont. Canadian democracy at its best. This man went to Finland, China and Mexico on the tax payer. He was denied entry to Mexico because he left his passport at home, so he went to Las Vegas from there. How big can one mans ego be! We really need him to step down & have a by-election.
5/1/2012 10:14:30 PM
Dan Dan says:
Bruce Hyer is the most courageous politician in Canada. We are lucky to have him.
5/2/2012 1:30:49 AM
Drayton lad says:
Well,the final straw was placed on the camel this morning! Bruce never showed up for his interview on Canada AM to-day!This man loves his drama more than all soaps put to-gether
5/2/2012 8:17:03 AM
CityHawke says:
Not impressed with Mr. Hyer quitting to become an independent and even more unimpressed with his seeking to return with conditions. Just because he didn't get his shadow position he selfishly acted on his behalf and not those who elected him.

Take your shovel and pail on to your next job out of politics. Come to think of it didn't the same short of thing happen with his past kayak business?
5/2/2012 4:53:01 PM
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