Slater moving on as Independent

MLA John Slater said Tuesday he hopes to continue to play a role in politics in the months ahead, after stepping down from the Liberal Caucus on Monday.

His plan will be to sit as an Independent in the Legislature as of Feb. 12.

He will further be moving his office in Victoria to another part of the building, while his office in Osoyoos will stay the same.

"I will not be privy to any information from the Liberal Party, but I am still the MLA for Boundary Similkammen, but now as an Independent," he said.

Slater's decision to step down came after months of frustration in dealing with the party.

After applying for his status in September to get permission to run for the party, he became frustrated after not hearing anything for months.

He then learned from another MLA, the party didn't think he had a chance of winning after doing polling in the area, and basically thought it would be in their best interest for him to step down, he stated Tuesday.

"It was a huge disappointment," he said. "So me being me I did research on my own and found no polling done. So I got ahold of the party and said I am getting wrong information here."

In the first week of January, he told the party he wanted to leave his name in there as a candidate. He then waited along with Zach Poturica, president of his riding association, and other directors for feedback.

When he learned at noon,Monday, the party was not supporting him as a candidate, he tweeted he was stepping down.

The bottom line now, he said, is he has the opportunity to run as an Independent, although he knows that is not a slam dunk.

Slater is not alone in his frustration. soon after he stepped down, Poturica resigned.

Poturica said Tuesday that he made the decision to step down and pull his membership from the Liberal Party because he felt misled personally.

 "We weren't getting any response from higher ups in the party regarding John's situation and the direction for the riding at this time," he said. "I am a staunch supporter of John and didn't like what I saw happening to him."

Poturica said he will now support Slater in his run for re-election as an Independent.

BC Liberal president Sharon White  confirmed in a statement Monday that Slater will not be the BC Liberal

candidate in Boundary-Similkameen for the 2013 election.

“John Slater has made significant contributions to his community in both private and public life.

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.

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.”

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