© — Star photo by Adam Harnum
Humber Valley MHA Dwight Ball speaks to supporters after announcing his candidacy for the provincial Liberal leadership in Deer Lake Friday.
By Adam Harnum
Star Staff Writer
DEER LAKE Dwight Ball deflected the threat of those running against him and embraced the competition for the Liberal leadership.
The Humber Valley MHA will face candidates Jim Bennett, Cathy Bennett, Scott Antle and Danny Dumaresque in the bid for provincial party leader.
“The competition is always healthy and you need a race to bring attention to the Liberal Party,” he said of the candidates running against him, following his announcement to run for Liberal leadership at the Deer Lake Motel Friday morning.
“I know all the candidates personally from the past and I certainly welcome them to the race.”
Ball said he is looking forward to seeing the positions his opponents will take during the debate on the issues facing the people of the province.
“It also gives us the opportunity to present the united party to the province so that we can be the next government of Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.
Friday’s gathering started with Bay of Islands MHA Eddie Joyce taking the podium in support of Ball, followed by MPs Gerry Byrne and Yvonne Jones.
Byrne mentioned that Ball is responsible for “laying down the foundation,” which he said is now a “solid house.”
The Newfoundland MP was also vocal in expressing his confidence that Ball will become Newfoundland and Labrador’s next premier.
Jones highlighted the business career and dedication to helping employ those with disabilities within his businesses.
As Ball spoke from the podium — as well as following the meeting — he was adamant to address Bill 29 and his goal to have it revoked. Bill 29, which concerns privacy within government, prevents the public from having past access to certain information. Ball feels this is not what he nor his party stand for and said that if his opponents do not act on the changes then they are going to miss the mark.
Ball said he brings well-rounded experience to the table — ranging from business to volunteer and community-minded groups — which he feels his experience can be used to build the Liberal Party.
“Most people refer to me as someone who is willing to listen, as kind of a straight-shooter, but can be decisive when decisions had to be made,” he said of his time serving as leader of the official opposition.
Ball said it can be hard to satisfy everyone with the decisions that are made but he suggests that sharing information and clarifying why these decisions are made can make life easier on both the political party as well as people of the province.
“I want to be that leader to take the Liberal Party into the next election because we want to be the next government of Newfoundland and Labrador because people are talking about change,” said Ball.