Get­ting back in the ring

Roland But­ler look­ing at re­turn to pol­i­tics

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The Com­pass has learned that former-Lib­eral MHA for the district of Port de Grave is “se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing” mak­ing a re­turn to pol­i­tics.

When the next mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion rolls around in Septem­ber, vot­ers in Bay Roberts could find Roland But­ler’s name on the bal­lot.

“Mat­ter of fact, sir, I’m pre­par­ing for it,” But­ler said from his home in Shearstown last week.

It was for med­i­cal rea­sons that But­ler first ex­ited pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics in 2011. Since that time, he has worked to get his health un­der con­trol.

“If that stays the way it is, any­thing can hap­pen at all,” he said.

The an­nounce­ment comes as spec­u­la­tion be­gins to ramp up that as many as three cur­rent coun­cil­lors in Bay Roberts could be re­tir­ing at the end of this term.

Should those councilors de­cide to re­turn, But­ler would with­hold his name.

“If the other six guys were run­ning, I wouldn’t think one minute about tak­ing them on. I think they’re do­ing a won­der­ful job,” he said.

But­ler said he has not de­cided which seat he would be run­ning for, but he does know which one he will not pur­sue.

“A lot of peo­ple have been call­ing to run for mayor, but I have no in­ten­tions of do­ing that,” he said.

But­ler, 68, first be­came the MHA for Port de Grave in 2001 and held the post for a decade be­fore his re­tire­ment. It’s only been a lit­tle un­der two years since his re­tire­ment, but But­ler is feel­ing that fa­mil­iar itch.

“The last year, lit­tle over a year here, I’m like some­one chained up in a zoo, se­ri­ously,” he said.

One of the rea­sons for his re­turn is the de­sire to give back to the com­mu­nity he has called home for the past three decades.

“The way I look at it, the peo­ple of Shearstown, But­lerville … and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Coun­try Road, Bay Roberts and Co­ley’s Point, they’ve been good to me for the last 11 years,” said But­ler. “Per­son­ally, I might be get­ting up in years a bit, but I think I can of­fer some­thing back to the town.”

Prepa­ra­tion

There are still seven months be­tween now and the elec­tion, planned for Sept. 24, and But­ler re­al­izes that any­thing can hap­pen be­tween now and then.

But, should he fi­nal­ize his plans to run for Bay Roberts coun­cil, But­ler said he will be pre­par­ing for it like he would a pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

“I’m siz­ing up the dif­fer­ent ar­eas and the dif­fer­ent polling di­vi­sions,” he said.

“I think I bring the knowl­edge of hav­ing been in government,” he added. “Deal­ing with the var­i­ous de­part­ments, I had a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with ev­ery politi­cian in there, I don’t care what po­lit­i­cal stripe they were.”

Mean­while, Mayor Philip Wood has con­firmed he will seek re-elec­tion.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

File photo

Former Port de Grave MHA Roland But­ler is pic­tured here on the pro­vin­cial cam­paign trail in 2007. But­ler con­firmed last week he may seek a seat on the Bay Roberts town coun­cil this fall.

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