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MLA Walker says arbitration best way forward after NDP ouster

PQB representative removed from caucus after misconduct investigation
MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Adam Walker. (PQB News file photo)

Following his ouster from NDP caucus, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Adam Walker says his primary concern is clearing his name.

“I’m looking at options for that, but it sounds like arbitration is the best way to achieve those goals,” he said.

Walker was removed from caucus after the conclusion of a misconduct investigation.

The misconduct is not a criminal matter and not a sexual harassment complaint, Premier David Eby said during an unrelated announcement in Richmond on Sept. 18.

Walker said he cannot share any details because the allegations are related to an “HR matter” and he would like to see an arbitration process begin as soon as possible.

He added that often a public report will be issued as a result of an arbitration process, which he hopes will address his concerns and potentially the human resources matters as well.

“But it’s really up to finding an arbitrator that is able to take this on and to give it the time it needs to ensure it’s done properly and that is outside of my control,” he said.

Walker said he has not heard anything further from Premier Eby or his office. He has received no formal invitations to join other political parties.

“There’s been someone from all three official parties reach out to me, but I’ve committed to my family and others that I intend remain independent for the rest of the year,” he said. “I’ll make decisions as to what my future looks like after that.”

READ MORE: Following ouster from NDP, MLA Walker ‘open’ to running for re-election

Walker added when he attended the AGM for the Fairwinds Community Association on Sunday, people were more concerned about issues such as healthcare, rather than if he intends to join another political party.

“Right now there’s just a whole lot of uncertainty about what the next steps look like as far as clearing my name and unfortunately there’s not much I can say,” he said.

Voters first elected Walker in 2020 with 42 per cent of the vote, more than six per cent ahead of incumbent Michelle Stilwell, who previously represented the riding as a member of the BC Liberals.

Walker’s departure from the NDP caucus leaves the governing party with 56 seats in the provincial legislature.

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