After four years as the Leader of the Northern Ontario Party, Trevor Holliday is stepping down.

The Nipissing-born and raised former leader is stepping aside so that the party can be led by someone who is bilingual.

Replacing Holliday until a permanent leader is found is NOP Vice President Shawn Poirier who is fluently bilingual.

Holliday will stay on as the interim Vice President as well as director and advisor to the party.

Holliday says party members agreed the leader has to be someone who can communicate with everyone in both English and French.

Shawn Poirier NOP interim president

He says Poirier fits this role perfectly.

Poirier will stay as interim leader until there’s a leadership election.

In the years since the NOP was created, Holliday says the party has come a long way.

He says the NOP started as a separation party but grew to become a voice for Northern Ontario and brought more attention to the issues and challenges the north faces.

Holliday says looking ahead, the goal for the 2022 provincial election is to grow the party further.