CORNER BROOK — Charles Murphy says it is time for Newfoundlanders to take back their province.
The Irishtown-Summerside man believes he is the one to help make that happen as leader of the Liberal Party.
The owner and operator of a manufacturing business previously sought the provincial leadership in 2011. That was won by Kevin Aylward, who later resigned after losing the St. George’s-Stephenville East election, sparking the leadership convention that is to be held Nov. 15-17.
Murphy said he has more time to invest in a campaign this time around, and is prepared to make a difference.
“I hate seeing what is going on in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said. “Everything is out of control. It is about time somebody is going to stand up and try to put everything in order.”
Murphy’s major focus is on the state of the economy.
The businessman said more than $800 million in products are brought into Newfoundland and Labrador in a year — things that can be manufactured here.
Pertaining to the $90-million government loan to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, he said it should have been accompanied by assurances the local mill would manufacture the $20 million worth of paper that is brought into the province each year.
He said that would not only generate jobs at the mill and within the forestry industry, but help the mill stand on its own.
He said the former mill infrastructure in Grand Falls-Windsor should be utilized as a manufacturing facility. He said there is a $32-million industry in this province related to roofing shingles and steel studding, doors and boxes for commercial buildings.
Murphy also wants to see all able-bodied people working in this province. He said the province should welcome with open arms people from all over the world, but that foreign workers should not be needed to fill the vacant jobs.
“We have a workforce that is in ‘retirement,’ which is young men and women on social service,” he said.
People receiving employment insurance who are able to work should be mandated to search for a job before they receive their cheque, said Murphy.
“What I got I worked for. No man gave it to me,” he said. “I am tired of getting up and going to work, taking my tax dollars to keep somebody else home sitting on their butts when they should be working.”
The economy can’t thrive at all costs though, he said. He is opposed to hydraulic fracturing. He believes it is harmful to our water resources — both on land and at sea — and is also detrimental to the province’s ability to make a livelihood from the ocean.
Murphy ran for the Liberals in the 2011 provincial election, collecting just 378 votes in a landslide victory by Tom Marshall for the district of Humber East.
He also ran for the NDP in the Bay of Islands in the 2007 election after he failed to secure the nomination for the Conservatives. He managed just 107 votes in the race won by former Tory MHA Terry Loder.