FREDERICTON – The former leader of the NDP in New Brunswick, who resigned earlier this month over party in-fighting, has joined the provincial Conservative party.
Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said Dominic Cardy will start as the party’s strategic issues director Monday.
“Dominic and I have always agreed parties are not as important as ideas. Labels can get in the way of doing the right thing,” said Higgs in a statement Friday. “This is the first step in building a coalition of concerned citizens for New Brunswick, reaching beyond traditional party lines.”
Cardy, who was NDP leader for about five years but never won a seat, has said he left that party because he “cannot lead a party where a tiny minority of well-connected members refuse to accept the democratic will of the membership.”
In a statement, Cardy said he worked with the Tories when they were opponents and Higgs had supported NDP-drafted legislation that reduced patronage.
He said he’s eager to improve New Brunswick’s education system and lower taxes in his new role with the Conservatives.
“Mr. Higgs has never wavered in his commitment to make New Brunswick better,” said Cardy.
He will work closely with Higgs and his Official Opposition team “to build a far-reaching coalition of New Brunswickers who share the goal of reforming government,” the statement said.
Cardy announced his resignation on Jan. 1, citing “endless internal battles” within the party.
He has said his platform had been thwarted by party members at both the provincial and federal levels, saying the NDP is “one-stop shop … whether you like it or not.”
“Limited time and energy is being wasted on infighting before the election,” he said in a statement at the time.
“That contributed to our loss in 2014 as it will in 2018. Those same destructive forces continue their sterile battle, ignoring the will of the party they claim to champion, using language from the 1930s and policies from the 1970s. There is nothing progressive about this behaviour.”