PC Party

Jamie Baillie resigns as PC leader after allegations of sexual harassment

Karla MacFarlane now interim leader for the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia

PC president Tara Miller (left) and interim leader Karla MacFarlane (right) address media Wednesday afternoon.   Will Gordon

Jamie Baillie, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, was forced to resign Wednesday after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

In a statement, the party said it requested and accepted Baillie’s resignation after receiving a report from an independent third-party investigator who looked into the allegations.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon at Province House, PC president Tara Miller and new interim leader Karla MacFarlane said the party became aware of the allegations in December.

MacFarlane said she was very disappointed and no one is above the law. However, she would not say if Baillie had been reported to police.

“We have concluded our investigation and our role is complete in the terms of ensuring that once we become aware of the allegations we took a timely, proactive and appropriate investigation into whether there was a merit to the allegations,” she said.

Miller and MacFarlane said they were aware of only one individual making allegations, but would not say if it was one or multiple incidents. They also did not elaborate in order to protect the victim’s privacy.

When asked if the PC party was aware of any previous concerns with Baillie’s conduct before the allegation, MacFarlane said no.

Baillie, 51, traded business for politics in 2010 when he announced his candidacy for leadership of the PC party. He took the party from seven seats in the legislature in 2013 to 17 in the most recent election last year.

On Nov. 1, Baillie announced he would be stepping down as party leader, but said he planned to remain as MLA for Cumberland South.

Wednesday morning Baillie tweeted about his resignation, saying that he was not only immediately stepping down as party leader but was resigning from his position as MLA.

He said it was an honour to serve as MLA and leader, but his priority was to his family and he asked for the public to respect his privacy.

MacFarlane said in the next coming weeks Nova Scotians would learn when the PC leadership convention would take place.