Veteran MP to remain an independent
AMHERST - Thanks, but no thanks.
While flattered Liberal Leader Stephane Dion would speak highly of him during a town hall style meeting in Halifax earlier this week, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey is not interested in joining the federal Liberals.
"Right from the very minute I was expelled from caucus I made it very clear I wasn't going anywhere and that has not changed," Casey said. "The door is not open to discussion at the moment. Right now I want to be an independent Member of Parliament representing the people of my riding."
Speaking in Halifax Dion said he admired the stance taken by Casey against the Harper government's treatment of the Atlantic Accord. While convincing the popular MP to join the Liberals would be a coup for his party, Dion has stopped short of putting out the welcome mat.
Casey appreciates the support Dion has given him following his ouster from the Conservative caucus after voting against its budget. That doesn't mean he's interested in becoming a Liberal.
"I've been in opposition and I've been in government and I want to try this. I feel I can be effective and I want to try it," Casey said.
Just like he's not interested in joining the Liberals, Casey said he's also not interested in rejoining his Conservative caucusmates as long as Stephen Harper refuses to restore the Atlantic Accord to it original state.
"If he restored it to the way John Hamm wrote it I would talk about it, but if that's not the case I won't even discuss it," said Casey, who just returned from Saskatchewan and a meeting with Premier Lorne Calvert.