RODDICKTON People will just have to wait and see. That‚Äôs the sentiment of Roddickton resident Earl Canning in discussing Straits-White Bay North MHA Christopher Mitchelmore‚Äôs decision to join the provincial Liberal Party after sitting as an independent since last fall in the House.
Residents polled said Mitchelmore‚Äôs popularity probably won‚Äôt wane in the area, but as for whether the Liberal Party will serve them better than the NDP, it remains to be seen.
‚ÄúHopefully it will (make a difference). I‚Äôd like to think it will, but who knows,‚ÄĚ said Canning. ‚ÄúHe has certainly been a different (politician), I‚Äôve seen him at a lot more functions and talking to a lot more people than the last person so I hope it works out for him and for us all.‚ÄĚ
Earlier this week Mitchelmore crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party. The former NDP MHA made the headlines last fall when he, along with other NDP members, demanded a leadership conference of party leader Lorraine Michael, showing he had no faith in her leadership. Speculation ran high after he chose to sit as an independent as to which party he would join but this week he joined the Liberals, which has been polling fairly high numbers after that party‚Äôs recent leadership convention.
Most Northern Peninsula residents have long stated that the ruling PC Party has ignored their region‚Äôs needs and wants. Canning said if the Liberals come to a place of power, it could be good for the Northern Peninsula.
Brianna Hancock of Roddickton agreed. She called Mitchelmore a supportive politician who may be able to do more with a different party.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm actually glad he (crossed the floor),‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúIt seems to me that the NDP really don‚Äôt have that much power, they really don‚Äôt seem that strong.‚ÄĚ
Hancock said she hopes Mitchelmore will be better able to bring issues to the forefront, such as medical issues.
‚ÄúAnything we have to get done, we either have to drive two hours one way or four hours another way,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI hope he can do something for the area, whichever party he‚Äôs in.‚ÄĚ
Elsie Reid said Mitchelmore has already helped the area.
‚ÄúThis has already helped us as it is,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs the kind of politician who actually does try to help and calls us back when we call him, so I don‚Äôt think changing parties will change that.‚ÄĚ
Canning summed it up.
‚ÄúI think a lot of people voted for the person, not the party,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúBut if this helps us, great.‚ÄĚ
*** Edited, Feb. 5 ***