Vet­eran Lib­eral ques­tions party leader’s abil­ity

Jones calls com­ments a ‘nui­sance’

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - NEWS ON THE GO - BY JAMESMCLEOD jm­cleod@thetele­gram.com

John Ef­ford isn’t say­ing Lib­eral Leader Yvonne Jones has to quit, but he’s com­ing pretty close. Speak­ing on CBC Ra­dio Thurs­day morn­ing, Ef­ford said with an ap­proval rat­ing of 11 per cent, Jones is in trou­ble. Story page A4

John Ef­ford isn’t say­ing that Lib­eral Leader Yvonne Jones has to quit, but he’s com­ing pretty close. Speak­ing on CBC Ra­dio Thurs­day morn­ing, Ef­ford said that with an ap­proval rat­ing of 11 per cent, Jones is in trou­ble.

“Peo­ple just don’t see her as the next premier of New­found­land and Labrador,” Ef­ford said. “If I were 11 per cent in the polls, I know what I would do.”

Ef­ford was mak­ing ref­er­ence to an NTV poll which shows the Lib­eral party far be­hind the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives. Premier Kathy Dun­derdale has an ap­proval rat­ing of 65 per cent, com­pared to Jones’s 11 per cent.

Reached for com­ment, Jones said she wasn’t spend­ing much time wor­ry­ing about the poll.

“ The polls are what they are and I make no apolo­gies for that; I’ve had other things I’ve had to deal with in my life,” Jones said. “I’ve not been out there speak­ing on the is­sues, and I think the poll is an un­fair gauge at this point.”

Jones took time off for surgery and chemo­ther­apy af­ter she was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer. She is grad­u­ally re­turn­ing to work, even though she still has to un­dergo ra­di­a­tion ther­apy.

Ef­ford said that Jones may not be ca­pa­ble to cam­paign fully be­cause of the disease.

“ The ques­tion has got to be asked to Yvonne Jones: Can you get around the prov­ince to ev­ery nook and cranny of New­found­land and Labrador and con­vince the peo­ple to vote Lib­eral?” he said. “If you can’t, what then?”

Ef­ford is a for­mer pro­vin­cial and fed­eral cabi­net min­is­ter. He ran for the lead­er­ship of the pro­vin­cial Lib­eral party against Roger Grimes and lost.

Jones said he hasn’t been in­volved in the party for sev­eral years, and she doesn’t put much stock in his com­ments.

“John Ef­ford as­pired to be the leader of this party be­fore and failed to do so; he’s cer­tainly not con­trib­uted any­thing to this party since his loss in 2001,” she said. “I look at the source of the in­for­ma­tion and dis­miss it very quickly.”

Yvonne Jones

John Ef­ford

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