Bye-bye, Danny boy
Premier’s sudden departure from politics met with shock, disbelief and disappointment from area leaders
Municipal leaders in the Conception Bay North and Trinity South regions were expressing shock and disbelief last week following the sudden revelation on Thursday, Nov. 25 that Premier Danny Williams will leave office at the end of this week.
Heart’s Content mayor Don Blundon said he was sorry to see Williams leave his post after seven years in office.
“He’s done wonderful work for the province ... he still has a lot to offer, and it’s unfortunate he decided to go at such an early time,” Blundon commented.
Echoing comments made by other mayors in the region, Blundon said it will be difficult to replace the premier, particularly given his charisma.
“I suppose nobody expected it so quickly, and consequently, nobody has time to do any thinking about the possibility of what’s going to happen once he’s gone on Dec. 3.”
Bay de Verde mayor Gerard Murphy agreed, and added he is unsure whether anyone amongst the remaining Progressive Conservative MHAs can fill Williams’ shoes.
“I have a sense he leaves a real void within the party right now.”
Murphy said the premier was very successful in raising Newfoundland and Labrador’s national profile, and praised his tough stand against resource giveaways.
“His policies were aimed at getting as much for Newfoundland as possible, and that’s quite evident with the various deals he’s struck since he became premier,” Murphy said.
“ I feel he ignited a pride in the province that was just smoldering for a long time. Nobody can doubt the dedication and energy he gave to the position while he was there.”
Spaniard’s Bay mayor John Drover said Williams is the best premier this province has ever had, and suggested Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy would be a suitable successor.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams gestures to the throngs of public sector workers who are gathered on the balcony at Confederation Building during his retirement speech on Thursday, Nov. 25. In the background are members of his caucus.