Atlantica Party Candidate Responds to Controversy
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I've just read the article posted on Six Rivers, and feel that I must respond to the current situation. The first thing that I feel the need to straighten out, is that I have resigned from my positions in the Atlantica Party at the end of May, due to a number of factors that I will get to later in this response.
The "loan" that is being referred to was created in early 2015, which was prior to any decision made by the previous executive to re-register the party. The three people who were involved in approving this loan relied on the founder and former leader's knowledge when it came to following the law in regards to this, as he was the most knowledgeable and experienced at that point in time. This loan was open-ended, with no terms of repayment or time frame, as the former leader was using this to get repayment for all of his expenses going back to the first attempt of the party in 2009.
This loan came to light with the current executive when it was conducting our audit for 2017 in accordance with Election Nova Scotia guidelines, which can be seen on their website. As with all things that the executive has come across as a new party, and the executive not being politicians, the party has always been up front, honest, and transparent with ENS on the issue. After investigating the terms and conditions, and the timing that the loan was agreed upon, I am quite confident that the party should be able to win this hearing with ENS and continue to give my fellow Nova Scotians a true voice of change in the province. If the funds are calculated by ENS rules, the true amount owing to the founder of the party is less than the maximum amount that is allowed by ENS, and an interim audit, if allowed, would resolve the issue.
This was one of many reasons why I had finally chosen not to run in the recent by-election. My mother had suddenly passed away unexpectedly in early May, and I am the executor and next of kin. I had also accepted an offer for my current job in Kuwait. The final thing to solidify my decision was this issue with ENS, as I could not morally or ethically run in Cumberland South without knowing what was going to happen to the party. I didn't want to see people vote for the party only to have it end up being de-registered, and therefore that person's voice being lost.
I congratulate Mr. Rushton on his win, and hope that he does a good job for the people of Cumberland South.
I do believe that the Atlantica Party has a strong defense to not be de-registered because of this situation, and hope as always that common sense will win the day. There has to be a real alternative to the same old pork belly politics that run this province, and I still believe that the Atlantica party is that voice.