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Nova Scotia PC Party says inappropriate behaviour allegations behind Baillie resignation

<span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'MS 明朝'; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie was on hand at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre to host a town hall-style meeting. About 20 people showed up to talk economy with the opposition leader.</span>
Jamie Baillie. File

PC leader Jamie Baillie has resigned as leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative party and MLA for Cumberland South over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Party president Tara Miller, and Karla MacFarlane, caucus chair and MLA for Pictou West said in a press release Wednesday afternoon that the PC party requested and accepted the immediate resignation of Baillie after becoming aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior.

According to the the release, the party promptly arranged an independent, third-party investigation that concluded Baillie breached the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace.

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“The PC Party is committed to a healthy, safe and supportive working environment where all Nova Scotians are treated with respect and dignity. The PC Party does not, and will not, tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace,” the release said.

MacFarlane will immediately become the interim leader of the party.

Baillie announced his resignation social media earlier in the day, saying he was resigning for personal reasons and requesting privacy.

In November, Baillie announced he would be stepping away from the leader position but would remain at the helm until another leader was selected.

Pictou East MLA Tim Houston and Kings North MLA John Lohr are the only two candidates that have put their name forward for party leader, but no convention date has been announced yet.

Baillie, who became leader in 2010, led the party in two elections and is credited with helping rebuild from third place into a strong official opposition in less than a decade.

In the May 2017 general election, the party won 17 seats -- an increase of seven.

Baillie has been an advocate for stronger laws surrounding sexual assault and better support for sexual assault survivors and has introduced legislation on those issues in recent years.

~The Chronicle Herald

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