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An Alberta NDP MLA and former Notley-era cabinet minister has announced her intention to resign next month while pointing fingers at what she calls “bonkers” conservatives. 

Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips told the Globe and Mail she will step down on Canada Day. 

Phillips said she’s been worn down by her opponents and claimed that the “crazy” right will make it increasingly difficult to find people willing to serve in office. 

“Jesus Christ himself couldn’t have kept me,” she said. 

“These conditions are not improving. The right is only getting more crazy and more bonkers, and disinformation is just getting worse. And that is going to have an effect on people’s desire to do this work.”

Phillips was elected in 2015 and served as the minister of environment and parks until 2019. In that role, she was responsible for accelerating Alberta’s phase-out of coal-fired power plants.

She was re-elected in 2019 and 2023. 

While she was a minister, two members of the Lethbridge Police Service who opposed her politics surveilled her. Those officers were found guilty of violating the Police Act, but Phillips was informed in May that the provincial prosecution service declined to pursue criminal charges. 

“I’m the next in a line of woman politicians who are taking a pass,” she said.

Her resignation opens a seat for former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, should he win the NDP’s leadership contest as expected on June 22.  Also in the running is Alberta NDP MLA and former cabinet minister Kathleen Ganley, whom Phillips supported. 

Phillips said Nenshi’s likely victory is not why she is resigning.