Coleman promises to continue ‘amazing’ track record of the PC Party

James
James McLeod
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Frank Coleman says he wants to be premier so that he can stay the course

Frank Coleman. — Telegram file photo

Coleman is widely seen as the front-runner in the PC party leadership, and the favoured choice of party insiders. And to hear him speak, if he wins, he likely won’t rock the boat too much.

“Am I excited about what’s happened in the last 10 years? I’m absolutely excited, and I don’t want to see it go sideways on us,” he said.

“I like what this government has stood for. It’s done amazing things with this economy and it has grown this economy.”

And he’s not worried that his total lack of political experience will hurt him if he wins the PC party leadership and he ends up as premier of the province in early July.

“On the eve of having my very first child, I didn’t know what it was like to be a dad, either,” he said Friday.

“It’s going to be a learning curve, but I think I can handle it.”

Asked about government secrecy concerns, Coleman acknowledged that people aren’t entirely happy, but he said that interim Premier Tom Marshall is already doing a good job of turning things around.

“I think that the Progressive Conservative party have been a very busy, very productive and an extremely engaged party, but I think that constituents of Newfoundland and Labrador really want to have a number of issues addressed that they don’t feel are getting addressed,” he said.

“When Marshall brought in the review of Bill 29, and it was generally out there that Bill 29 was considered bad, a bad piece of legislation, I think that he went at that and he said, ‘well, we’ll review it.’”

When it comes to Bill 29 specifically, Coleman committed to following the recommendations of an independent panel assigned to review the province’s access to information law, but at the same time, he said he’s not convinced Bill 29 was all bad.

“Bill 29 probably has some good elements in it, and it probably has some wrong elements in it. And I think some of the wrong elements and the way it was pushed on Newofundlanders and Labradorians was probably the wrong thing to do,” he said.

“If the panel is going to make recommendations, I certainly would be very, very inclined to accept the recommendations of that panel. Yes, absolutely.”

But the issues that Coleman really seemed to be drawn to were budgetary and economic matters.

He said he believes balanced budgets are important, and the government needs to work on managing the “pressure points” that have come as a result of prosperity.

The rising price of homes is something, for example, that he’d like to look at. The skilled-labour shortage is another issue he thinks needs some attention.

But with virtually no public profile across the province before he announced that he’d be running for the leadership, at this point maybe the most important thing is just introducing himself to people.

The Telegram asked Coleman what’s one thing about himself that he thinks everybody should know.

He took a long pause before answering, “I’m a very passionate patriot of this province and I will do everything in my power and with whatever energy I can muster to be an effective steward.

“If there was one thing that they need to know, it’s that there is not a frivolity here with respect to taking on this opportunity. I know it’s a serious game; I know it’s a serious business.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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  • Scott
    March 24, 2014 - 14:23

    You just to love politics in N & L. Three provincial party's no leader, Mr Ball is the leader of the opposition, He becoming well known for a one liner ( Elects Me Then Find Out ). You got Mr Barry famous line, ( They wouldn't know a bucket S-I- If its was pull over their Heads ). Now you got Mr Coleman, He going to carry on where the PC's left of. Yes sir, good leadership materials from all three men.

  • holy smoke
    March 24, 2014 - 00:04

    Frank..........I thought you might have some credence...but after reading that you want to carry on the ....quote....'AMAZING TORY RECORD"........I have decided...man..that YOU are a bloody idiot!!!! The 'tory' record has been anything but amazing........IF anything...it has been a bloody dismal attempt of governance......Marshall nor you OR Barry...will add anything to the tories....You fellas are full of yourselves...to put it politely..

  • Rick
    March 23, 2014 - 18:54

    So we can look forward to more of the same old same old with Coleman? Someone should tell him that this is perhaps not the best strategy to win voters

  • BAYMAN
    March 23, 2014 - 15:21

    "Amazing track record". Frank I thought you were from Corner Brook not another planet.

  • EDfromRED
    March 23, 2014 - 14:46

    Not impressed with Mr Coleman, he seems like the desperate choice of the corporate sector who are afraid of losing their political power. You can almost see the puppet strings hanging overhead him. I predict a even more dire loss for the PC's if he's elected. The PC Party will probably be investing in industrial size paper shredders to hide their skullduggery before Bill 29 gets obliterated.

    • Wayne R Bennett
      March 26, 2014 - 07:09

      We are back to the days of Sir William Coacker when the Merchant Class ruled. Time to stop corporations from buying elections. With a max contribution of $10,000. merchants have a lot of IOUs

  • FINTIP
    March 23, 2014 - 14:46

    Wow - didn't see that coming! Coleman has sound academic and business credentials but - it seems - an astonishing lack of political instinct. In one fell swoop, he has embraced virtually every policy, every decision, every attitude that has brought this 'amazing' party of his to its lowest point in decades - indeed one now viewed with distrust and disdain by a large portion of the province's electorate. Rather than acknowledge that discontent and the basis for it, Coleman has decided to whistle past the graveyard, to brazen it out, to pretend that it was all in our heads - whatever, but surely nothing to do with the 'amazing' leadership of his predecessors. No one expected him to go as far as his main competitor, Bill Barry, who unwisely - if not entirely without justification - likened the Dunderdale cabinet to the aromatic stuff of honey-buckets. But many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians had expected him to distance himself from the more obvious and egregious of this government’s failed policies, dismissive demeanour, and badly executed industrial initiatives. In revelling in the province's economic performance over the past decade, Coleman ignores the reality that managing an abundance of riches pales in comparison with the bare-cupboard challenges that habitually haunted premiers of the past. What is more difficult to justify or explain is that we should still be running deficits in the wake of that unprecedented largesse. Perhaps the most disturbing of Coleman's pronouncements was that Bill 29 wasn't all that bad. Therein lies his unmistakable signal to the party brass that - as McLeod aptly put it - he is not about to rock the boat. We are to take away from Coleman's interview that he believes what we all need and want is more of the same. While that mantra will no doubt win him the leadership (which he could have won with his left hand while stacking shelves with his right), it is almost certain to prove fatal to his prospects in a general election. Admittedly winning another mandate would have been a tall order even if Coleman had said and did all the right things. But Dwight Ball will no doubt want to clip this article, frame it, and put it above his desk. In the months ahead he will have ample opportunity to quote from it. He will want to remind voters that their new non-elected premier is, if nothing else, a fervent, passionate believer in the status quo.

  • EDfromRED
    March 23, 2014 - 14:44

    Not impressed with Mr Coleman, he seems like the desperate choice of the corporate sector who are afraid of losing their political power. You can almost see the puppet strings hanging overhead him. I predict a even more dire loss for the PC's if he's elected. The PC Party will probably be investing in industrial size paper shredders to hide their skullduggery before Bill 29 gets obliterated.

  • Dale
    March 23, 2014 - 14:19

    Anther buff. For a while, I thought Frank was a family man. I guess I was wrong.

  • Harry Tucker
    March 23, 2014 - 12:28

    I would like to believe that anyone who wants to take over the PC Party and who sees that the party appears to have disenfranchised many voters would want to suggest that there is room for improvement. Wouldn't saying "I want to stay the course" be the kiss of death for a party that has lost the support of the people? What do I know - I'm only a human being and not a politician?

  • SayWhat
    March 23, 2014 - 11:51

    Gee Mr. Premier anointed, you must be thrilled to see that your hometown now has the Alberta economy as the major private employer. That is real progress. And earlier this month, did not the manager of the Deer Lake airport crud on the local economy. A decade of underachievement I would think. And how about the 16.3 percent unemployment rate outside the NEA. One of the top five unemployment rates in the country. Why does the word repugnant comes to mind once you jumped when DW called? A friend of mind called we from the West Coast and told me this story was buried on page 9 in the Western Star. Isn't that a not so subtle way of telling us, there are others who are not impressed.

  • Doug
    March 23, 2014 - 11:29

    Yaaawwwn!... Whatever.

  • Dolf
    March 23, 2014 - 09:14

    I was a lifelong PC until this administration tore the guts out of our Freedom of Information Act, or whatever it was called. I wouldn't touch 'em now with a ten foot pole. But Coleman is a politiaian alright. He's "asbsolutely excited"! Most of 'em get that way when they do no more than spoon cornflakes into their faces.

  • Laughable
    March 23, 2014 - 06:44

    This is to laughable to talk about, Three provincial party, no leader, just yes men and woman. in order words you can say we got a lots going for us , LOL..

  • Darlene
    March 23, 2014 - 06:36

    Wow really MR. Coleman....you just lost your chance of being Premier....NO ONE WANTS ANOTHER DANNY THERE...AND YOU THINK BILL 29 IS A GOOD THING..ANOTHER MILLIONAIRE WITH TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS...save your money and go home...cheers

  • Brian
    March 23, 2014 - 06:19

    There is a sigfificant difference in being Premier of this province and being a father for the first time . Mr Coleman has lots of experience but not the kind that the taxpayers need as a premier . At this point none of the current party leaders and none of the P.C. leadership hopefuls give me cause to " sleep soundly". There are no " White Knights " and we shouldn't expect one but we do need a change of government and a purge of the Bureaucrats . The elected members are at the mercy of those that they rely on for advise and the current state of our government indicates that they are being advised " porely".Mr. Coleman if you get elected make changes internally and as you did in business get the best possible advise that you can. Good Luck .