‘ You can’t deny we had a good premier’

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

“He’ll do an ex­cep­tional job if he de­cides to go that route,” Drover stated.

Here’s what other lead­ers in the re­gion had to say:

• Car­bon­ear Mayor Sam Slade

Slade was “shocked” by the an­nounce­ment, but said there were signs the premier was pre­par­ing to move on.

“He did say one of his main am­bi­tions was to reach a deal to de­velop the Lower Churchill,” an agree­ment which was signed re­cently.

Then there was the premier’s heart con­di­tion, which re­quired surgery last year. “ Your health comes No. 1,” Slade said. Though he is a life-long Lib­eral sup­porter, Slade ac­knowl­edged that Wil­liams did a lot for the prov­ince, and pointed to the fact the premier — who made mil­lions as a suc­cess­ful lawyer and busi­ness­man — did not col­lect a salary, but in­stead do­nated it to char­ity.

“It wasn’t about money for him,” Slade said. “He put a lot back into his prov­ince. It’s un­for­tu­nate that he is go­ing.”

Like Drover, Slade seemed to de­light in the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing Jerome Kennedy as the next premier.

“ This could be some­thing re­ally big for Car­bon­ear,” Slade com­mented.

• Har­bour Grace Mayor Don Coombs

When Wil­liams en­tered pol­i­tics a decade ago, Coombs re­mem­bers ask­ing the new leader of the PC Party why he would make such a move, con­sid­er­ing his wealth and suc­cess in busi­ness and law.

Coombs clearly re­calls the an­swer: “If I don’t do it now, there’ll be noth­ing there for the kids and their fu­ture.”

The premier should be re­mem­bered in glow­ing terms for what he has ac­com­plished, Coombs noted.

“He was like a dog with a bone; he grabbed it and ran with it. He’s go­ing to be hard to re­place.

Coombs said he has no re­grets about sup­port­ing the premier and vot­ing for him, and said he will fol­low with great in­ter­est the po­lit­i­cal land­scape as it un­folds over the com­ing months. He sug­gested there are qual­ity peo­ple in the pro­vin­cial cabi­net and cau­cus who can lead the prov­ince, and like oth­ers, he made spe­cial men­tion of Jerome Kennedy.

“ I don’t know what ( Kennedy’s) po­lit­i­cal fu­ture holds, but it’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing,” Coombs noted.

• Vic­to­ria Mayor Art Burke

Burke called Wil­liams’ de­par­ture a “sad day for prov­ince,” and said he was dis­ap­pointed with the news.

Like Slade, Burke is also a long-time Lib­eral, but noted, “ you have to give Danny his due.”

“ You can’t deny we had a good premier, who fought hard and got things go­ing. What he has done for our prov­ince has cer­tainly put our prov­ince on the map and moved us ahead. He did a lot of good things for the prov­ince, and left it in good fi­nan­cial shape.”

Burke feels the Lower Churchill deal will be his legacy, and feels the re­cent agree­ment to de­velop Muskrat Falls gave Wil­liams the con­fi­dence to pack it in.

Burke sees Wil­liams’ de­par­ture as “a great op­por­tu­nity for ( Jerome Kennedy) to step in there and make it known if he is in­ter­ested in tak­ing over the lead­er­ship.”

The mayor said Wil­liams helped groom Kennedy for the top job, and noted, “ he has ev­ery­thing go­ing for him if that should hap­pen. • Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore Moore said the prov­ince has lost a “ true cham­pion” who worked very hard for the prov­ince.

“I feel his com­mit­ment has come from his own deep love of the prov­ince, and as he said, he loved what he was do­ing, and I think that is the rea­son he gave so much to it.

“ In his seven years, he has changed the whole scope and look of the prov­ince. I feel that he has brought us from one of the poor­est and least re­spected prov­inces to one know whose name rep­re­sents pros­per­ity and is a real role model for oth­ers to look up to.”

Moore said she met the premier on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, and was al­ways im­pressed with his de­meanor.

“He had to be busy, but he never ever made you feel that way. He al­ways took the time to lis­ten and show in­ter­est in what you were dis­cussing. He’ll be missed and I wish him all the best in the fu­ture.”

• Bay Roberts Mayor Glenn Lit­tle­john

“I was shocked and didn’t see it com­ing,” Lit­tle­john stated Fri­day, but quickly added that con­sid­er­ing the list of ac­com­plish­ments the premier has checked off over the years, he wasn’t en­tirely sur­prised.

Lit­tle­john was a PC can­di­date in the district of Port de Grave in 2007, los­ing by sev­eral hun­dred votes to in­cum­bent Roland But­ler. There’s wide­spread spec­u­la­tion that Lit­tle­john will take an­other stab at the seat, but he wasn’t giv­ing any­thing away last week.

“Ev­ery­one will re­flect on where they are at this point. With him re­sign­ing, the land­scape will be dif­fer­ent, and we’ll all take time to re­flect and see where it all falls,” he said.

Lit­tle­john said he will make a de­ci­sion early in 2011.

New­found­land and Labrador Premier Danny Wil­liams pon­ders a thought as he gives his farewell speech from pol­i­tics on Thurs­day, Nov. 25.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.