Green party caucus grows with addition of former NDP MP Bruce Hyer
The Green Party of Canada is celebrating the doubling of its caucus today (December 13) after former NDP MP Bruce Hyer joined its ranks.
Hyer, who represents Thunder Bay-Superior North, was elected under the NDP banner in 2008 and 2011, but left that party to sit as an independent in April 2012.
“My decision to sit as an independent was a response to the way the major parties limited true representation of my constituents by demanding lockstep discipline,” Hyer said in a news release posted on his website. “This mindless solidarity prevents cooperation and compromise, meaningful policy discussion and finding productive solutions for Canadians.
“But the Green Party is different. In fact, they’re the only federal political party that not only accepts but values democratic representation. The party does not and will not force their members to vote against the wishes of their constituents. My loyalty is first to my constituents, and with the Greens I’m looking forward to showing Northern Ontarians and Canadians what a party that doesn’t whip votes looks like.”
In an email to supporters, Green leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May said the party has once again made history.
"Bruce will be at home in the Green Party, as he has been a strong advocate on environmental issues since the 1970s. In fact, we both were organizers of the very first Earth Day. Bruce was instrumental in banning the use of DDT in his home state of Connecticut. The call of the wild lured him to the wilderness of Northern Ontario where he helped to establish the second largest wilderness area in Ontario, Wabakimi. His work on on Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, demonstrates his commitment and expertise on tackling the Climate Crisis. Bruce remains active in defending sustainability -- as a business person and also as an engaged community member. He has maintained a strong level of advocacy for passenger rail," May stated.
"Perhaps most importantly, Bruce is a staunch defender of democracy. Bruce became an Independent MP in 2012 after leaving the NDP over his concern with their poor democratic record."
NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus attacked Hyer's move.
“Today’s self-centred decision by Bruce Hyer disrespects the voters of Thunder Bay-Superior North who sent him to Ottawa and serves to fuel the cynicism that has driven voters away from Canadian politics," Angus said in a statement.
"Mr. Hyer was elected on a platform that specifically promised to end floor-crossing. He made that promise to his constituents and today he broke his word."