Crosbie reveals conviction at campaign launch
Lawyer Ches Crosbie announced his bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party — and revealed he had been convicted of refusing the breathalyzer 24 years ago — at an event at the Quidi Vidi Brewery Oct. 24.
Crosbie revealed he refused the breathalyzer after drinking and driving in St. Johns 24 years ago. He pleaded guilty and later received a pardon for the conviction. He said there was no one else in the car at the time.
“It’s nothing I’m proud of. I regret it greatly,” he said.
The revelation about Crosbie’s conviction was the biggest surprise of the evening, which was otherwise shaping up to be a predictable affair.
Crosbie formally announced he is running for the Tory leadership, but he’s already been informally campaigning for the leadership for months, under the auspices of touring the province and talking to people about whether he should run.
Months ago, Crosbie already had a campaign website, volunteers running his Twitter account, and a series of campaign videos to let voters get a look at his softer side.
Crosbie announced that the three pillars of his campaign will focus on rebuilding the economy, restoring confidence in government and revitalizing the PC party.
On the economic front, Crosbie promised a “debt brake” which would prevent the government from taking on debt beyond a certain percentage of the GDP. Crosbie said a similar policy has been successful in Switzerland. He said he hasn’t worked out the details of how it would be applied here, though.
Crosbie also proposed an “Honesty in Politics Act” which would make it illegal for politicians to break election promises.
But when asked by reporters, he said he hasn’t worked the details on that yet either, including whether politicians could simply opt out of the law.
So it wasn’t too restrictive, he said, parties could put a caveat in the election platforms that they’ll fulfil their promises if economic circumstances allow — a caveat that some parties already include in their election documents.
Crosbie doesn’t hold a seat in the legislature, and won’t be running in the upcoming byelection in Mount Pearl North. He doesn’t currently have the support of any of the sitting Tory MHAs in the legislature.
The only current MHA who showed up for Crosbie’s campaign launch was Conception Bay East-Bell Island MHA David Brazil.
Brazil told reporters that he might be running against Crosbie for the leadership, and he’ll make up his mind about whether to run by the end of the month.
Ches Crosbie speaks to supporters and reporters at his campaign launch Oct. 24, where he officially announced he is running for the Progressive Conservative party leadership. He also revealed that 24 years ago he was convicted of refusing the breathalyzer while drinking and driving.