Nova Scotia MLAs would have to resign if running for another level of government

Election

The Nova Scotia Liberals are proposing changes that would mean politicians who serve in the legislature would have to resign if they run for office in another level of government.

Justice Minister Mark Furey says the amendments to the House of Assembly Act would protect legislature members from "perceived or potential conflicts."

The legislation fulfills a promise made by Premier Stephen McNeil, who delayed calling several byelections last summer after a number of members announced their intention to run federally but didn't immediately resign their seats.

McNeil has said the practice of holding onto a seat goes "against the spirit of the legislature," and politicians shouldn't be able to collect thousands of dollars in income for a job they no longer want.

Under the proposed changes, legislature members will be required to resign once they are nominated by a federal party, or if running as an independent candidate, once they are officially nominated under the Canada Elections Act.

A resignation will also be required once members have been officially nominated to run in a municipal election, or once selected by a political party to run in another province's election.