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2012-04-24 at 16:09

'Pretty shocked'

By Jamie Smith,
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Former Thunder Bay-Superior North candidates think Bruce Hyer might be in for some difficult times in the wake of his decision to go Independent.

Hyer announced Monday that he was quitting the NDP caucus citing the dysfunction of Parliament and his inability to represent constituents through the party system along with several other reasons for his decision. Nipigon mayor Richard Harvey, who as a Conservative came second to Hyer in the last federal election, said he wasn’t surprised by Hyer’s announcement but questions the motive.

“When Mr. Hyer ran in the last election a lot of the issues that have become issues that he’s now talking about were things that you could have foreseen coming forward,” Harvey said.

Harvey said it’s interesting that the past two MPs for Thunder Bay-Superior North have become Independent. But Hyer might have a more difficult time than former MP Joe Commuzzi who was booted from the Liberal Party.

“I’m not going to say it can’t be done but at the same time the reality is typically what we have seen is it’s not been as effective (sitting as an independent). I think Mr. Commuzzi , because of the reputation he had established for himself amongst the other MPs, he was able to effectively continue to lobby for us,” Harvey said. ““Can (Hyer) do that? We’ll have to wait and see.”

Former Liberal candidate Yves Fricot doesn’t think Hyer’s decision was good news for the riding. Fricot said he was disappointed when he heard the news.

“I don’t’ think that sitting as an Independent, particularly in the circumstances that this one occurred with comments about his leader who is now the leader of the opposition, are particularly helpful to our riding and I’m not sure that the issues that Bruce picked to focus on in the future are the most important issues for our riding,” Fricot said.

As for whether the candidates would want to see a by-election, Harvey said what’s done is done.

“We have to remember in Canada we do elect the individual. I would not be calling for a by-election. I think those people who are have this idea that we voted for a party, I’m sorry but in Canada we vote for the individual,” Harvey said. “With Bruce he is still the person that was elected and at this point he needs to continue representation in the best way he can.”

Fricot said Hyer needs to consult with constituents on whether or not they would want to see it. Hyer seems to want to focus on issues that are less important to the riding than federal issues like First Nations living conditions and maximizing opportunities from emerging industries like mining he added.

“I think it’s a legitimate question today given what he says he wants to focus on for the rest of his term whether that’s what the people of the riding want,” he said. “Those are all things in which the federal government plays a key roles and I find it difficult to believe that you can have greater influence on those questions for the benefit of the people in Thunder Bay-Superior North sitting as an Independent in the back row of the House of Commons.”

For Thunder Bay-Superior North NDP Riding Association president Maurice Grinstead, Hyer’s decision was a shock. Hyer called him about one minute before news broke and apologized.

“It was a very difficult moment for me,” Grinstead said. “At that point I couldn’t change his mind he just told me this is what’s happening sorry to do this and we’ll talk later.”

Friends for more than 30 years, Grinstead said he’s sure the two will talk it out over a beer one day but for now, the riding association has to focus on a future without their two-time MP.

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michaelnigharvey says:
I did not vote for you Mr. Hyer. Your name was a tool for the NDP for whom I voted. Do the right thing and resign so a by election can be called...if anyone wants you, you'll get back in....otherwise you are wrongfully collecting your wonder people don't want to vote. resign,resign,resign,resign !!!!!!!!!
4/24/2012 4:40:06 PM
keiths31 says:
Whether or not you are a fan of Hyer or an NDP supporter, like Harvery said, "What's done is done". Some voted for him, some voted for the party. Either way he is now an Independent. Whether or not he crosses the floor or scootches over the the left to join the Libs is irrelevant now. This happens all the time. And it isn't even the firsts time in Thunder Bay.
4/24/2012 4:41:55 PM
DazeofThunder says:
Just seems like fraud to me when you can bounce from one parties beliefs to another like that.
4/24/2012 4:53:20 PM
tsb says:
You realize that people don't line up completely with a party's policies, right?

When I did a test to find out which party I support, this is the result I got:

68% Green Party
64% Liberal Party
61% Conservative Party
58% NDP

I don't agree with any party enough to support one financially or through membership and have voted for each party at least once so far.
4/24/2012 8:58:15 PM
Delbert Grady says:
wow tsb...

I guess in your imaginary world of mass delusion, somehow you eluded those difficult arithmetic classes.


No wonder you ride the bus, theres no way you could pass a drivers test.
4/25/2012 10:41:56 AM
tiredofit says:
Delbert, the test, which was posted here some time ago simply summarizes what you agree with for each party, it's not designed to add up to a 100% (much like Provincial & Federal Math).

Personally, I didn't vote NDP, but I know Bruce and I respect his choice, he's an honest, decent man. He went to Ottawa believing in Jack's foresight which is now long gone, he believe he could represent the people who put him there. The NDP have now turned to the dark side and are no better now than the rest of them. Boot licking politicians who are only looking out for themselves in the long run and that fully indexed pension in 6 years. We haven't had a good solid politician in this country for decades.
After all, it’s not the Canadian Government anymore, remember, it’s the HARPER GOVERNMENT (now all good citizens face Ottawa and pay homage to great king Harper!)

4/25/2012 7:32:22 PM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
The Venn diagram is taught in grade 3. If it had sunk in, you might realize that the parties do not disagree on all issues.
4/26/2012 1:32:44 PM
trips says:
now he can sit and collect a full pay check plus an upcoming pension ..well scam in northwestern ontario
4/24/2012 6:25:31 PM
Delbert Grady says:
A communist party doesnt allow free votes. Never have, never will.

Just because they call themselves democrats, doesnt actually mean they are.

Congrats Hyer, youre now just as relevant as you were before. Its just team orange bleeding a little bit more. Mulcair will finish them off, and Bruce will look like a visionary.
4/24/2012 6:26:30 PM
GregT says:
If he truly did this as the party was forcing him to vote against the wishes of the majority of his constituents, then he made the right decision. If he did it because Mulcair snubbed him for the shadow cabinet, then that's a bit of a grey area.

In response to DazeofThunder: I don't believe that he is "bouncing beliefs", he simply believes that the direction of the NDP under the new management is contradictory to the wishes of those he represents.
4/24/2012 8:22:54 PM
Big Joe Mufferaw says:
Unilateral action like this does not represent the riding or the people who elected him. He should resign. There should be a by-election. This is just more political expediency on Mr. Hyer part and it sort of looks like a pout session. There's no real reason for this other than Mr. Hyer's feelings have been hurt. This parliament is dysfunctional because of the Conservatives, not the NDP. Leaving the NDP doesn't solve anything.
4/24/2012 9:22:59 PM
yer joking says:
Why would he resign?nobody elected the party , they elected the man. Did you not see the NAME on the ballot when you voted? Maybe yours was different than the others. I voted for Mr Hyer and I am glad I did. He has shown us that he is not a sheep like so many othr politicians.
4/24/2012 11:00:29 PM
Wolfie says:
Did you not see the PARTY on the ballot when you voted? It was there.

Do you really think most people vote for the man and not the party? Do you think those 20 year old kids from Quebec were elected because people were voting for them, or for Jack Layton and the NDP?
4/25/2012 9:27:51 AM
Big Joe Mufferaw says:
Resign? He should be fired.
4/24/2012 11:07:41 PM
unknowncronic says:
@Delbert Grady:

Your 251% right @ tsb...
4/26/2012 11:21:28 AM
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