A cause without a rebel

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Casey has no regrets

AMHERST  Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey doesnt consider himself a rebel.

AMHERST  Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey doesnt consider himself a rebel.

While it was tough to do, the veteran MP does not regret his decision to vote against his former partys budget and he doesnt feel the life of an independent Member of Parliament is all that bad. He even has more leg room in his new seat in the back row of the Opposition benches.

I feel comfortable with what I have done. Im sorry I had to make this decision, but Im glad that I did because its either stand up for the accord and leave the party or knowingly accept the government breaking a contract. Those were the only two choices I had, Casey said Wednesday.

Casey was not surprised by his expulsion from the Conservative caucus after being warned as early as a week ago by Prime Minister Stpehen Harper that speaking out against the budget would land him in hot water.

The veteran MP said the prime minister warned him not to go offside again or hed face severe consequences. After trying to force the government to move on the issue, Casey announced Monday he would be voting against the budget unless the accord was fixed.

Since voting against the budget and being expelled from caucus, Caseys Ottawa office has been flooded with e-mails from across Canada in support of his stand.

He is upset that the party has locked him out of his constituent files he needs to work for the people in his riding.

Im going to carry on. I have my office, my staff and my equipment but the government has taken away all my constituent files, he said. Theyre filed electronically and I cant get at them. They have lawyers saying the files belong to the government when they belong to the Member of Parliament. If we dont get them back tomorrow well be taking some action.

Casey is unwilling to point fingers at his former Nova Scotia caucus mates, but added he was surprised when he was the lone Tory to stand up in opposition to the budget.

I didnt depend on them or count on them. Some had indicated they would or might vote against the budget. I was told I wouldnt stand up alone but when I did stand up I was alone and was kind of surprised me, Casey said.

Casey is not ruling out a return to the Conservatives if they restore the Atlantic Accord. He has no plans to join either the Liberals or New Democrats.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Conservatives

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada, Nova Scotia

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