A Saskatchewan MP who has been sitting as an Independent after his ouster from the NDP caucus says he will not be running in October’s federal election.
Erin Weir, the member for Regina-Lewvan, issued a statement Tuesday saying he’s not running because federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh continues to block his candidacy.
“Some other party leaders and other MPs did approach me about the possibility of running for other parties,” he said, but added he sees himself as a lifelong New Democrat.
Running for another party or as an Independent would not help maintain progressive representation in Ottawa, he said.
Mr. Weir was suspended from the NDP caucus in February, 2018, after fellow New Democrat Christine Moore sent an e-mail to her colleagues saying she had heard numerous complaints about Mr. Weir allegedly harassing staffers.
An investigation upheld several complaints of harassment, which Mr. Singh described at the time as a failure to read non-verbal cues in social settings.
Mr. Weir – an Independent MP since he was booted from the caucus in May, 2018 – has called the investigation “deeply flawed.”
The Regina politician said while he accepts he may have inadvertently stood too close to some people, or spoken to them longer than they liked, he does not believe those things constitute harassment in the minds of Canadians.
“Certainly, I regret anything that made anyone uncomfortable,” he said, adding that he’s welcomed the chance to learn about how to be more careful in social situations.
The whole experience has been challenging, said Mr. Weir, who added he’s encouraged by the support he’s received locally and from former NDP politicians.
Mr. Weir said after the federal election he will continue to be interested in public policy.
“Whether that engagement leads me to run at some point in the future remains to be seen.”