Just another day in the PC leadership campaign
Things are starting to heat up in the race to become leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Candidates have started to announce endorsements, weigh in on current issues and there’s lots being said on social media about a potential court action.
Here’s a roundup of what’s been happening.
Endorsements for Coleman
Frank Coleman issued a press release on Wednesday morning to welcome the endorsements of two current provincial ministers.
The release says Finance Minister Charlene Johnson, MHA for Trinity-Bay de Verde, and Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs Steve Kent, MHA for Mount Pearl North, have both come out to say they support Coleman.
“Charlene and Steve represent the young members of the PC caucus and I look forward to working with them to engage the youth of our province on public policy issues that impact them,” said Coleman in the release.
As Finance minister, Johnson said she supports Coleman’s approach to fiscal management.
“I see in Frank a leader who understands the importance of fiscal stewardship and achieving balanced budgets, while at the same time ensuring we are addressing the social needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Johnson in the release.
The release says that one of the key areas that led Kent to endorse Coleman is his stand on having an open and transparent government and that he would implement all the recommendations of the committee reviewing the Province’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (ATIPP) legislation.
“Our government just recently started its Open Government Initiative, an approach that Frank Coleman believes in and I have full confidence that Frank will demonstrate leadership on our efforts to ensure that we are always accountable to the people we serve,” said Kent.
Barry talks waste and budget
Bill Barry issued a press release on Wednesday to say that if elected he’ll put an end to the plan to ship garbage from the west coast to Norris Arm and reinstate a regional and community disposal system that is “well managed and affordable.”
Barry said the province has been developing a public policy concerning garbage disposal for several years. He noted that has led to a decision to eliminate the regional-community disposal systems and replace them with a provincial disposal site at Norris Arm.
“Residents as far away as St. Anthony, Port aux Basques and Corner Brook will be forced to pay a fortune to transport their waste hundreds of kilometres to Norris Arm for disposal. This decision lacks basic common sense and it is neither environmentally friendly, nor a good utilization of our public efforts to be engaged in such folly,” said Barry in the release.
On Tuesday, Barry issued another press release in response to the 2014 provincial budget.
In it Barry said the province needs a thorough review of its fiscal approach to ensure future prosperity.
“At first glance, Budget 2014 seems reasonable, with provision for investment in additional social programs and in some capital infrastructure projects,” said Barry. “Certainly some of these are needed and the level of borrowing in the budget could be supported under normal circumstances. But if our projections are overly optimistic and the world economy continues to stagnate, our financial situation will deteriorate,” he said in the release.
“Under my leadership, there would be a thorough, zero-based budget review of all departments and agencies of government. A true value for money audit process must be undertaken.”
Wayne Bennett announced on Twitter Wednesday that he has instructed his lawyer to seek an injunction against the PC Party.
In a series of Tweets, Bennett said he was denied an extension by the party’s rules committee to file a defence to the allegations against him being looked into by the committee and was given until 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to file the defence.
He later forwarded an email to The Western Star that he had sent his lawyer that said: “I hereby request, given the inflexibility of the PC Party Rules Committee to grant a reasonable period to prepare a full and detailed response to the partical disclosure in the letter of March 30, 2014 from Mr. Tommy Williams, co-chair of the PC Party Convention Committee, that you seek leave from the Supreme Court of NL to afford me full disclosure and procedural fairness.”