Becoming premier, the mill and a new hospital all part of Marshall’s address to joint council

Diane Crocker
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Premier Tom Marshall, left, speaks with Charlie Kendell of York Harbour and Alfred Park of McIvers following Saturday's Great Humber Joint Council meeting at Corner Brook City Hall.

Tom Marshall made history on Saturday when he became the first premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to address the Great Humber Joint Council.

With that introduction, Marshall told those gathered for the joint council meeting at Corner Brook City Hall that there would be fire trucks for everyone.

That joke set the tone for Marshall’s relaxed approach to addressing the group. While he referred to his notes at time, it was in no way a formal speech.

He opened by talking about his appointment to the job.

“Premier, obviously it’s a very important position in government,” he said. “It’s never a position that I sought.”

But Marshall said “life is funny,” and relayed a conversation with Liberal Leader Dwight Ball where he remarked on Ball spending $340,000 on the leadership race.

“And I said ‘I became premier, I only had to get this suit pressed,’” he said lifting the lapel of his jacket to loud applause and laughter.

The premier later took a bit more serious approach as he spoke of his priorities to not compromise growth in the province, to ensure everybody shares fully and fairly in the benefits of the province’s new prosperity and to be open, transparent and accountable.

“We got to make sure that we’re listening, that we’re communicating.”

He also touched on two issues that have received a lot of attention in this area — the loan to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. and the new hospital.

On the $110 million-loan, he said “the mill was in trouble, big trouble, and they came to us for help.”

Marshall said there was no question the province would help because it wants the mill to survive.

On the hospital, Marshall said he knows that the lack of a PET (positron emission tomography) scanner and a radiation unit are concerning for this area.

He said he agrees with specialists here who say a PET scanner may not be vital now, but will be in some point in the future.

“The secret is to have the diagnostic imaging to be sure that they can expand for whatever new is coming,” said the premier.

As for the radiation unit, Marshall said he sees and feels for the human side of the issue, but he wants to look at the numbers and information on staffing presented by government and by the Western Region Hospital Action Committee and conduct an independent study of it.

“I want to find out for myself,” said Marshall.

“I’m not gonna accept second rate service here. Whatever we put here has to be the best in the country.”

Organizations: Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, Western Region Hospital Action Committee

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Really Now
    February 23, 2014 - 11:14

    What a joke Marshall has become. He's taken to public talks shows, these sorts of speaking engagements to try and salvage what's left of the PC Party. Seems that all Dwight Ball has to do is commit to some of the things that this guy is wishy-washy on. Unfortunately, he's not the leader we need either. As for the comment on Fire Trucks, nice to see that premier making light of public safety. Perhaps we all don't live in areas where we have fire protection. Nice job Mr. Premier. Hope that $110 mill for Kruger & the $262 mill for the power line in Labrador comes back to bite you in the ass.

  • Respectful to your comments
    February 23, 2014 - 11:00

    Take these comments for what they are ( to lighten the mood). I am sure Mr Ball was not offended and would make the same lighthearted comment. Mr Ball does have a sense of humor. When it comes to the fire truck comment it is based on need and I am confident York Harbour/ Lark Harbour has been considered when they are evaluating the needs . Maybe at the time that they applied another community or communities were in greater need.

  • Linda
    February 23, 2014 - 06:48

    Mr Marshall, what ever respect I had for you, was toss out of the window, I don't usually pickup for Mr Ball. Because what took place in July 2013. But in this case, I feel I do.when you made that remark about Mr Ball. One thing everyone has to understand, Dwight wasn't elects on the coat tails of other. Can you say the same? And another thing about the man. He know how to spell Danny last name correctly. If your the leader you think you are, Stick around for the next election, Lets the people decides. Now Mr Marshall don't get me wrong, Mr Ball is no more a leader , then you are.

  • James Taylor
    February 22, 2014 - 20:42

    Fire trucks for everyone, public safety is not something to joke about. Every fire dept. In the Bay of Islands excluding the York/Lark Harbour has a new fire truck. Nice to know that our government cares.

  • Crazy
    February 22, 2014 - 17:26

    Mr Ball, Tom Marshall just gave you enough AMMUNITION to sink a battle ship, Where are you man.