The lineup is set for the provincial Tory leadership race and all three candidates are from the west coast.Regardless of which one of them — Bill Barry, Wayne Bennett or Frank Coleman — ends up being leader and then premier, it should be positive for this part of the province.
All three men will have a immediate understanding of the challenges facing the people who live on this coast.
No studying of files will be necessary for any of them.
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The opposite was certainly true of the former premier Kathy Dunderdale. She made many official trips to the west coast but never gave the appearance that she was in tune with what residents wanted to hear from her.
In fact, that was her biggest drawback in general; she didn’t quite connect with the ordinary citizen who wanted to know she cared about their situation, even if she didn’t have the solution.
That shouldn’t hinder Barry, Bennett or Coleman when one of them gets to call the shots in Confederation Building. They all know, or should know, that the western part of the province — most of it for that matter — has not been flourishing despite of the massive oil boom on the Avalon.
While the economy there is bubbling along because of its proximity to the offshore oil fields and thousands of high-paying government jobs, much of the rest of the province is barely getting by.
Of late, even some of the affluent mining communities in Labrador have suddenly been hit by hard times as the world demand for iron ore sags.
We don’t expect to get any special treatment at the detriment of other areas from the new PC leader come July, but it’s natural that people on the west coast should expect more empathy.