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BC Liberal MLA John Slater quits party, will sit as independent

B.C. Liberal John Slater has quit the party's caucus and will sit as an independent candidate in the legislature, the Boundary-Similkameen MLA announced today.

On Facebook, Slater indicated the party's executive would not support his bid to run again this May provincial election.

A statement from B.C. Liberal Party president Sharon White released this afternoon confirmed the news.

"Last month, John informed colleagues that he would not seek re-election. Over the past week, he has reconsidered his decision and sought to be nominated as the BC Liberal candidate," the statement read.

"Mr. Slater's candidacy is not being approved due to personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability to represent the Party.

"The Party sought a cooperative solution through discussions with John. This is not a decision taken lightly and is fully considered."

Slater won the southern Interior riding in the 2009 provincial election by 800 votes or 37.5 per cent of the vote, a slim 4.5 per cent margin over NDP candidate Lakhvinder Jhaj. Marji Basso, a public school teacher and two-term Oliver councillor is the current acclaimed NDP candidate vying for the riding this May.

The Tyee could not immediately reach Slater through his constituency office for comment.

Robyn Smith reports for The Tyee.

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