Coombs, Korab and Har­ring­ton might be on bal­lot

Jerome Kennedy’s de­par­ture makes room for new leader in Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace


On the heels of Jerome Kennedy’s res­ig­na­tion last week, lo­cals have be­gun dis­cussing who they would like to see take a seat in the pro­vin­cial house of as­sem­bly to rep­re­sent the Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace dis­trict.

Some names have been in the shuf­fle for a while, but it is un­known at this time how many of them are ac­tively seek­ing a nom­i­na­tion bid.

For­mer and cur­rent lo­cal lead­ers have been ru­moured to be tak­ing the leap into pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics, some af­ter a long stint on mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils and oth­ers just out of the gate.

Crit­i­cisms of Kennedy

For­mer Har­bour Grace Mayor Don Coombs ad­mits he has not been very sup­port­ive of Kennedy.

“It’s quite well known that Jerome and I did not get along,” Coombs ex­plained. “He was dif­fi­cult to reach as a mayor and as a joint coun­cil.”

“I would, how­ever, like to con­grat­u­late him on the hos­pi­tal, and I hope his com­mit­ments to the re­gion will be lived up to.”

Coombs, who has worked with four MHAs in his 24 years on coun­cil, noted Har­vey Street in the town was sup­posed to be fin­ished two years ago and hopes the gov­ern­ment will keep its prom­ise to com­plete it.

Two other things he hopes will stay on track are the ad­dic­tions cen­tre — a con­tract that was awarded in May 2012 to plan and de­velop the cen­tre at a cost of $1.7 mil­lion — and the new sta­dium at a cost of $21 mil­lion, for which ground is ex­pected to be bro­ken this month.

“I can tell you from a per­sonal per­spec­tive, I feel that a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the dis­trict should live in the dis­trict,” Coombs said.

Mu­nic­i­pal politi­cians re­spond

Car­bon­ear Mayor Sam Slade said he had not spo­ken to Kennedy re­gard­ing his de­ci­sion to leave pol­i­tics, but did say he has a lot of re­spect for him.

“As you can see, a new school, health care fa­cil­ity,” he said. “I have to at­tribute that to Jerome.”

When asked if he was con­sid­er­ing a run at the MHA po­si­tion, Slade said he has not given it any thought but if he does, it’s ex­pected to be for the Lib­er­als.

“I just went through the mayor’s elec­tion where I’m quite beaten out,” he ex­plained. “Now I just have to get the coun­cil in or­der and get work done on be­half of the Town of Car­bon­ear and its res­i­dents.”

Another Car­bon­ear coun­cil mem­ber, and brother to Kennedy, David Kennedy has said he has “not given any con­sid­er­a­tion to the by­elec­tion,” when asked if he would run.

One thing is cer­tain: David would like to see another Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive en­ter the house af­ter the by­elec­tion.

“It is im­por­tant that we get a ca­pa­ble PC mem­ber elected in the by­elec­tion,” David wrote in an email. “A per­son who has the con­tacts and abil­ity to speak for our dis­trict and hope­fully con­tinue to get wor­thy projects for our res­i­dents and fin­ish the ones still on­go­ing.”

Vic­to­ria Mayor Barry Doo­ley said he was sur­prised when Kennedy re­signed. He said he did think he might step back from his cab­i­net post and take a smaller role.

“It is a sur­prise to see him step down and to­tally re­sign,” Doo­ley said.

He did, how­ever, say there were some things the town was in dis­cus­sions about with Kennedy, and he hopes the gov­ern­ment will fol­low through with them.

Doo­ley also be­lieves it doesn’t mat­ter what po­lit­i­cal party wins the by­elec­tion, there are things that will have to be done in the dis­trict.

“Per­son­ally speak­ing, if we have an MHA who is do­ing their job well, I don’t think it mat­ters what colour they carry,” he ex­plained. “There’s go­ing to need to be in­fra­struc­ture and that has to be done whether you’re in the op­po­si­tion or (pre­sid­ing party).”

Ru­mours swirling

There have been sev­eral peo­ple dis­cussed in re­cent days that may be rlook­ing to place their name on the bal­lot, but the most prom­i­nent has been Coombs him­self.

Af­ter los­ing the mayoral race in Har­bour Grace he did tell The Com­pass, “You have not heard the last of Don Coombs.”

Coombs has ad­mit­ted he re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of calls and emails, and he said he is con­sid­er­ing a run. He has not de­cided which party he would be back­ing at this time, adding he’s “kick­ing a few more tires,” be­fore he makes up his mind.

It’s been sug­gested by some that pro­vin­cial Lib­eral leader hope­fuls and mem­bers of the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive party have been in con­tact with Coombs look­ing to re­cruit him.

Coombs— who has been a vo­cal PC sup­porter in the past — would not con­firm this as of Fri­day.

At­tempts to con­tact party lead­ers and hope­fuls have been un­suc­cess­ful.

Other names in the mix

There have also been other names thrown out from the area, in­clud­ing Kennedy’s Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant Jack Har­ring­ton, Olympic gold medal win­ner Jamie Korab, for­mer Lib­eral can­di­date Dr. Phil Earle and Car­bon­ear town coun­cil­lor Ray Noel.

Har­ring­ton has con­firmed he’s con­sid­er­ing the nod for the PCs and will de­cide “very shortly.”

“I’ve been get­ting a lot of en­cour­age­ment, a lot of phone calls,” he said. “I’ve been around the dis­trict and I’ve got to know a lot of peo­ple over the past five years.”

“(Kennedy) has brought a lot of in­fra­struc­ture to the whole dis­trict and there’s still work to be done. I would like to be there to carry on and make sure the work is com­pleted.

Korab also con­firmed he is “se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing,” run­ning in the dis­trict as well and will be mak­ing an an­nounce­ment with his de­ci­sion this week.

Com­pass file pho­tos

Jerome Kennedy Jerome Kennedy has stepped down from his roll as MHA for the dis­trict of Car­bon­earHar­bour Grace. There have been dis­cus­sions about who is con­sid­er­ing a run in the by­elec­tion that will be called in the com­ing weeks. For­mer mayor of Har­bour Grace Don Coombs, Kennedy’s ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant Jack Har­ring­ton (not pic­tured) and Olympic gold medal­ist Jamie Korab have all con­firmed they are con­sid­er­ing run­ning, but none had de­cided as of last week.

Jamie Korab

Don Coombs

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