Thistle to run for Liberal nod in Humber East

Chris Quigley
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Former Steady Brook mayor Donna Thistle hopes to run for the provincial Liberal party in the next provincial election in the district of Humber East.

Donna Thistle believes it’s time for women to take a greater involvement in politics.

“More women have to step forward and offer themselves for office if the whole relationship is ever going to change between genders,” she said Friday.

Thistle, a well-known Corner Brook businesswoman and community activist, will be seeking the Liberal nomination for Humber East in the next provincial election.

Currently, Premier Tom Marshall holds the seat for the Progressive Conservative Party. Marshall was first elected in 2003 and is expected to retire following this term.

Thistle served as Steady Brook mayor from 2009 to 2013, also acting as town manager for three months. It was during those four years she realized how much she enjoyed the political life.

“I like the fact you can do things,” she said. “You can get involved.”

A long-time Liberal supporter, Thistle actually challenged for the Humber East nomination back in 1996, when Bob Mercer was successful in obtaining it.

“I have always been Liberal,” she said. “My philosophies are Liberal.”

She was approached to take a run at provincial politics during the last provincial election in 2011, but was in the midst of her mayoral term in Steady Brook.

“I don’t think it’s kosher to quit in the middle of a term,” she said. “I wanted to finish my term as mayor, which I did.”

Since returning to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1986, Thistle has been active in community, provincial and national governance boards and service groups as well as owning and operating a flower shop and internet café.

She is currently the owner-operator of Gitanos Supper Club and Tapas Bar in Corner Brook.

Prior to 1989, Thistle taught in the Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador community college systems. She has post-secondary education in hotel management, vocational education and business and economics.

She has written a number of political columns, directed at re-engaging the general public in the political system and encouraging a more inclusive type of politics. In addition to working toward changing the dynamic between voters and politicians, she believes that preparing our provinces municipal infrastructure for climate change is the most underestimated crisis facing us as a province.

When her term as mayor of Steady Brook ended in September 2013, she also closed her flower shop and café so she would have the necessary freedom to explore this opportunity in provincial politics.

“I’ve narrowed down my business ventures,” she said. “I think my life is better positioned to do it now than it was in the past.”

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador community college, Progressive Conservative Party, Gitanos Supper Club

Geographic location: Humber East, Steady Brook, Corner Brook Newfoundland and Labrador Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Barb
    March 12, 2014 - 08:13

    It DOES matter that more women are involved with politics - provincially, nationally and internationally. Donna has the smarts, energy and dedication to do a wonderful job as Liberal candidate for Humber East. Go Donna!

  • Linda Carroll
    March 11, 2014 - 10:20

    Donna, you'll do a great job. Your formal training, practical work experience and community involvement will bring much to the party. You have a lot to offer and thank-you for being brave enough to put your name forward. Sorry I'm not in Humber East, you would definitely get my vote.

  • Jack
    March 10, 2014 - 09:18

    Since Donna Thistle has a reputation for closing successful and reputation businesses that won numerous awards such as Thistledown Florist, I don't think she will be a suitable candidate and representative for the Humber East riding. Besides, not too many people dine in Spanish themed restaurants like Guitanos Supper Club and Tapas Bar as opposed to Italian American, Canadian Chinese, or American themed restaurants. I would have supported Donna Thistle if she didn't close well known businesses like Thistledown Florist in favour or a restaurant. I know business owners have to make hard decisions, but still have to accept the negative consequences of it.

  • Pete
    March 10, 2014 - 07:03

    Wouldn't this like be Premier Frank Coleman's seat?

  • damsel
    March 10, 2014 - 01:15

    It's not a gender issue. It's a people issue. Why wouldn't people - no matter what gender - want more balanced representation in the government? This is the 21st century. Women make up more than half the population, and their perspective should be included when decisions are made that affect all of our lives. And yes... it's time the political process was more inclusive of all demographics. I hope you get the nod from the party, Donna.

  • Mr Corner Brook
    March 09, 2014 - 15:16

    I find her to be very rude in person. Would not get my vote. But, it seriously doubt its going to be an issue lol.

  • Concerned
    March 09, 2014 - 11:11

    I don't think the PC's would have had much to worry about should she win the nomination but if Charles wins the nomination the riding may go NDP if they put forth a strong candidate. Outlying communities at this point would not support Pender (IMO)

  • Debbie
    March 09, 2014 - 07:43

    Congratulations on your decision to run. I think you'll do a great job, our province certainly needs people like you to come forward and accept the challenges facing it today. I know you will work tirelessly for the people in the district

  • PJB
    March 09, 2014 - 03:44

    Donna has an artistic streak, and therefore will always make beautiful flower arrangements! She is so much more than that. I believe her business knowledge, community awareness and project commitment are just a few of the traits needed to be a great leader. Donna 's team building and communication skills, along with her confidence and ability to inspire and facilitate structure are needed for this position.

  • pro bono
    March 08, 2014 - 21:42

    cripes you'd think the tory machine could find people to attack her who could spell? good for her. and us. we will all gain from a little more light

  • Nancy
    March 08, 2014 - 21:10

    Outstanding! All the best, Donna.

  • darren
    March 08, 2014 - 09:44

    I think Thistle should go back to making flowers, probably do a better job there.....just saying!

  • Harry
    March 08, 2014 - 08:58

    I'll stik with the the progressive conservative candidate for Humber east if she runs. I've heard her views. Complete waste of time.

  • Dianne
    March 08, 2014 - 05:35

    Here we go once more with the ( Gender Issue ), I don't care if its male or female. My question what do that candidate have to offer the people. Donna you don't have anything to offer, Just a gender thing with you, I believe couple months ago, you ask the question (How Do You Get Your Name on The Ballots ), I guess your trying to answer your own question. making people feel guilty, because your a woman, I got news for you, I'm woman, But I will vote for the person I feel will do more for the people. Liberal got nothing to offer, and that go for Dwight Ball and the Zebra Party

  • Wayne R Bennett
    March 08, 2014 - 05:16

    If Thistle is seeking Humber East, where does this leave Gerry Byrne? Does he run against Donna for the nomination or go to Humber West or just stay as an MP? I also understand that it is possible that Charles Pender will be or wants to run for the PCs in Humber East?