St. John's South MHA Tom Osborne gets a hug from a supporter today after he announced he is leaving the PC party to sit as an independent. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
St. John's South MHA Tom Osborne just announced he is leaving the province's PC party to sit as an independent in the House of Assembly.
"I haven't been able to support the leadership of our party," he told reporters. "Deep down in my gut I didn't believe in what I was doing."
Osborne criticized the provincial government for centralized control. He said he is not able to contact bureaucrats directly, but has to go through a minister.
He said he didn't support the new access to information law privately, though he voted for Bill 29 at the time.
Osborne said he can't "pretend to support the leadership" anymore and added he "never" supported Premier Kathy Dunderdale, even before she became premier.
He will be consulting with supporters and constituents about the future. He will sit as an independent, but will entertain joining the Liberal or NDP parties.
About 40-50 people showed up for the announcement at St. Patrick's parish hall in downtown St. John's.
Osborne received applause and hugs following the announcement.
Full coverage in Friday's print edition of The Telegram.