Bye-bye, Danny boy

Premier’s sud­den de­par­ture from pol­i­tics met with shock, dis­be­lief and dis­ap­point­ment from area lead­ers

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN, AN­DREW ROBIN­SON AND TERRY ROBERTS

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.

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