**Updated** New Brunswick Speaker jumps from Liberal ranks amid harassment allegation

**Updated at 12:19 p.m. on May 11th**

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is emphasizing his government's commitment to a harassment-free workplace after legislature Speaker Chris Collins announced he is suing for libel.

Collins says he's filing the suit over the government's handling of harassment allegations against him, alleging his political opportunities were damaged when he was placed on what he called "the alter of public consumption" and suspended from caucus for reasons that aren't yet completely clear.

Gallant issued a statement Thursday night saying his government takes such allegations very seriously because ensuring a harassment-free workplace is of paramount importance but that he can't comment further because the matter may be subject to litigation.
He adds the Liberal party looks forward to finding a strong candidate in Collins' riding of Moncton Centre after the speaker also announced he has left the party to sit as an independent.