Williams comments on rift with party

Colin MacLean
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Current leadership distancing themselves from him, he says

Danny Williams

Former premier Danny Williams told reporters Sunday he believes the provincial government is deliberately distancing itself from him.

Williams made the comments as he was scrummed by reporters during a book launch.

Williams was asked about a few issues, but something he wanted to stress was the reason behind the apparent rift between himself and his former colleagues in the provincial government.

 “From my own perspective, I think it’s very clear that the premier and her staff have felt that it’s appropriate to distance themselves from me and if that’s the case then so be it, that’s her right. As premier of the province, she has every right to do that,” he said.

When asked if this rift had anything to do with the appointment of Elizabeth Matthews, his former communications director, to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Williams shot down the suggestion. Matthews’ nomination by the province to the board drew heavy criticism and she eventually withdrew her name from consideration.

“I can tell you for the record, this is not about Elizabeth Matthews’ appointment under any circumstances,” he said.

“There’s been some issues that have been ongoing now for a couple

of months basically,” he added.

The rift between Williams and his former colleagues in the government was largely made public after the former premier announced he would not attend his own appreciation dinner party next week, an event that has been in the works for months.

Williams has now shifted the focus of the dinner on to Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

The celebration was planned to coincide with Dunderdale’s coronation as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and Williams said the focus next weekend’s party should be on her.

“You know this is her weekend and it’s important that the party pay tribute to her as their new leader, the premier, and I wish her well,” said Williams. 

But while Williams won’t be at this weekend’s gathering he added he’s written to the party and asked for an alternate date, in the hopes that a tribute dinner could be rescheduled.

“I want to do that, I

do want to have the

get-together with the party faithful I want to thank them for their support over the years,” he said.

Williams spoke to reporters while attending the launch of “Danny Williams: A Profile,” a collection of photographs from his time as premier.

“Danny Williams: A Profile” is by Paul Daly and Russell Wangersky and published by Breakwater Books.

cmaclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Joe
    April 04, 2011 - 09:20

    Danny Williams was the best premier NL has EVER had! I see the negative comments from the bitter Liberals being posted again. What a pathetic crowd!

  • Steve
    March 29, 2011 - 15:07

    Danny Williams may have done an admirable job in many respects while he was in power. But it is clear to see that heaven help you if he doesn't get his own way. I would call it almost child like behavior. Mr. Williams we are not playing marbles in the school yard. I think he needs a hobby, but only if it doesn't involve interaction with another person!

  • Roger
    March 29, 2011 - 00:12

    To be fair Danny did a lot for us. Remember what it was like before he was in power? I'm NDP but I can't forget some of the amazing things he did for us while in there. He earned my respect.

  • Tina Power
    March 28, 2011 - 23:34

    Wouldn't you say that Danny had tremendous influence in the "coronation" of Kathy Dunderdale? And, who was it at his side as Deputy Premier and was obviously mentored by Danny? I have no idea what was/is going on inside the Conversative Party, but I would suggest that Kathy not bite the hand that fed her so freely and well. Danny ran the Party and Government as it should be run - like a corporation with a CEO and staff. Yes, he had all the power, glory and blame. This man did not have to leave behind his private life and put our Government in order. He did, and we should be forever grateful that we are now a "have" province and no longer the butt of other Canadians' jokes! I am not a "bllind follower" of Danny, but I can see what a great difference he has made to the purses and pride of Newfoundlanders.

  • Why did Danny leave so quickly
    March 28, 2011 - 22:00

    The general agreement here today seems to be that Danny is an idiot. I rest my case.

  • baygirl
    March 28, 2011 - 21:22

    Does anyone think it has anything to do with it being held on April Fools Day? Maybe he thought it was a slap.

  • Frank Blackwood
    March 28, 2011 - 19:34

    I have all the respect in the world for former Premier Danny Williams. However, he is much like a sea captain who has jumped ship in mid ocean and now expects his crew to trust his actions. I think, Danny should bow out of this matter as it will make life less stressful for him. Supposively, a large majority of Newfoundlanders feel that he has done a lot for Newfoundland and Labrador, with the exception of the rural areas of the province. I think if he sticks around it would be wise for him to explain why he left the ship so quickly? I wish Danny the best of health, and his health is more important that those who may be getting under his skin..

  • stephen
    March 28, 2011 - 18:09

    If any of you poor saps could even be the dog poo on danny williams shoes you,d be lucky.I admire the man for all his accomplishments both public and private,and I hope he makes millions more,funny how people view sucess in NFLD,losers. I am a much prouder nflder today after DW reign than I ever was with the crybaby lyin clyde and his posse,and the losers that followed him.DW was smarter asleep than all those yokels were awake.

  • Elle
    March 28, 2011 - 18:02

    Danny Williams is the best premier this province has ever had. How quickly they forget. She is not our elected premier and is where she is now from riding on Danny's coat tail. She certainly didn't get there on her own popularity. If she were wise she would be sticking to him like glue. She (and the PC's) is going to be in for quite a surprise when election time rolls around.

  • Brenda
    March 28, 2011 - 17:37

    This is very sad. If there is a rift between them so be it. Just keep it to yourselves, out of the media, for the good of our Province. These comments made by Williams should never have been made, I do think an apology to the people of Newfoundland is warranted! Dunderdale can take care of herself, let's just hope she keeps her mouth closed.

  • Stephanie
    March 28, 2011 - 13:18

    I bet this flippen dinner is gonna cost lots and lots of money...just skip it. I think the cost of the dinner should be donated to those poor people in Japan. They don't know where their next meal is coming from. Really people...find something else to write/talk about. Gawd!

  • Gerry
    March 28, 2011 - 13:03

    The Province will never be the same without a premier like Danny Williams. We have now shrunk back to the lower end of the scale and to near invisibility on the National Stage. Danny had what it takes in focus, vision, stamina, management skills and quality leadership. His executive management and leadership skills were highly respected and called upon on many occasions by his Atlantic colleagues and the Eastern Seaboard Governors. I wish he would consider returning again as Premier.

  • ken
    March 28, 2011 - 12:47

    Danny is a real leader who deserves our respect. He did a lot for us. Time to support him. Br, Ken LeDrew

  • Robert Tucker
    March 28, 2011 - 12:45

    As a person who has been on all sides of politics,(excepted runing for a seat), I say to Williams and Dunderdale and the rest of the PCs. Election issues come from vaious sources and issues, if you want the LIberals to win the next election, keep war of words into the headlines! Both of you get on with runing your own lives and the province! If the matter is not clearded up, this will be an issue in the next election as some secret matter!

  • Ed. A.
    March 28, 2011 - 12:23

    Danny Williams is like the rest of us. weak leadership turns him off. so why should he attend to prop up some weak person that he thought was strong leadership material. in my opinion she is the same as Roger Grimes and even if she forms the next government she was appointed by some lackeys in the party not voted in by rank and file members of the party. shame on all the senior members of the cabinet for not giving us the right to vote on who the leader should be. have a nice day.

  • Joseph McGrath
    March 28, 2011 - 12:14

    Premier Williams did a great job as our Premier when he held that position.If he has a beef about some direction the present government is moving he has every right to express it.The last time I checked freedom of speech was still one of the things all citizens of this province and the country cherished. How quickly people forget the many things Mr.Williams did to help get this Province on the Canadian map and also help us as residents of NL.On his watch we became a "HAVE PROVINCE"due in large part to his ability to stand up for us as a people. Mr.Williams made us proud and let us finally feel good about ourselves.We are in better shape financially than ever because of his leadership. If he tells me he has an issue/s about the way the government is now headed I trust him. From the start,I felt he left a tad to early as Premier because there is a long road ahead in dealing with certain provinces and certain Federal politicans.However he has every right to experience some privacy in his life. My hope is that he participates in the upcoming Federal Election to ensure the needs of NL are kept on the radar of Canada.He can do this by public speaches both in NL and other areas of Canada.He can also continue to speak out as he is doing. Our new Premier, Ms.Dunderdale has been given a public trust to govern so I suggest she get on with the job and do it. I do not need a formal sit down supper to say to Premier Williams "THANKS" for all you did for NL.

  • chuck
    March 28, 2011 - 11:56

    Randy, Danny will always be important. He doesn't need the crap from the public now. His money alone can make him very important

  • Herb Morrison
    March 28, 2011 - 11:51

    Is it just me or does anyone else feel that the former Premier is nursing a bruised ego? Despite His attempts to minimize the extent of the rift between himself and those now weilding power within the P.C.Party, the very reality that the Party wants to distance itself from him, appears to "stick in the former Premier's craw," to coin a phrase, as if it were a personal affront. In his reaction to this situation, Danny Williams appears to realize that he needs to choose his words carefully, lest he jeopardize the fortunes of the P.C. Party in the October Election. Perhaps the menu for the proposed tribute dinner should include "humble Pie" for dessert?

  • Graham
    March 28, 2011 - 11:38

    What a sad life. The look on his face says it all. Here we literally see a man who has more than most of us could ever dream of yet at the same time he has nothing but his riches and himself.

  • Jeff
    March 28, 2011 - 11:32

    You're an idiot Randy....

  • Sparky
    March 28, 2011 - 11:21

    I think,"what Danny Williams did for this province",will go-down-in-history as "The Best Premier" this province every had! I wish Premier Kathy Dunderdale all the best!, if she does half of what Mr.Williams did & I`m sure she will!, we will be very-well-off. Premier Dunderdale has a very-good-understanding of the workings of this province & a good team with her!

  • Rob
    March 28, 2011 - 11:07

    Danny, you forgot one thing! clean the cabinet before you leave. Kathy Dunderdale is showing her true colors! she kissed your ass when you were leader and now your out she could care less about you and your views. No good crying now Danny Kathy got everything she needs and if she can deceive Danny then Kathy Dunderdale will deceive Newfoundland. poor choice Danny

    • Marlene
      March 28, 2011 - 16:44

      I so agree with this comment. Danny you did a great job from day one til the last day and when it was said Kathy was takin over it was pitiful. She will never do what you did and she will never be able to take your place. The woman got a job to speak sure and that fake smile she always got on her face during interviews actually boils my blood. Come back Danny Boy.....we needs you.

  • WOW
    March 28, 2011 - 10:53

    Lokk at that smug arrogant sook. Nothing has changed the EGO is alive and well. Get over yourself Danny the world dosent revolve aroud you in spite of what you think and in spite of the fact that you have some people convinced you reall are the centre of the universe. YOU QUIT YOUR FINISHED. Go away and let Premier Dunderdale do her job.

  • jack stang
    March 28, 2011 - 10:21

    shrewd politcal maneuvre Ms Dunderdale- ...anyway- i wouldve thought th ePCS were a lock for an October re election based upon the legacy of Willaims - adn the gratitude o fNewfoundlanders to him. anyway - does anyone know wher Dean Macdonald is?

  • Randy
    March 28, 2011 - 10:16

    Awwwwwwww poor sookie Danny, says no body wants to talk to him..The reason for that is probably because he wouldn't let anyone speak while he was premier..Get over it Danny,,your not important anymore,or as you've said in the past 'You just don't count"

  • Marshall Nippard
    March 28, 2011 - 10:09

    Danny Williams for PM

  • Why did Danny leave so quickly
    March 28, 2011 - 10:00

    I see nothing has changed in Dannys World even though he abandoned ship he still has to be the centre of attention. JUst as arrogant ans self centred as ever. Oh well at least we know his over inflated ego is doing just fine.

  • holy smokes
    March 28, 2011 - 09:59

    Former premier Danny Williams told reporters Sunday he believes the provincial government is deliberately distancing itself from him. Perhaps the 'smartest' thing they could possibly do!!! Hands down!

  • Martin Mullins
    March 28, 2011 - 09:53

    Danny Williams showed no class at all when he failed to be his own guest at his dinner ior selfish reasons. His time has gone and he should fade into obscurity. Right now he is showing his immaturity and cantankerous temperament that does nothing for his party and his Province. Time to get into the ROCKING CHAIR DANNY. G'BYE BYE!!

  • DON
    March 28, 2011 - 09:48

    I congratulate Premier Dunderdale for attempting to distance herself and her Government from former Premier Williams. It appears that Premier Dunderdale has even required that the cell phone numbers of her Cabinet Ministers not be provided to former Premier Williams. It appears there must be valid concerns regarding the possibility for political interference or lobbying which requires Premier Dunderdale to forbid her Cabinet Ministers from providing their cell phone numbers to the former Premier. Of course, this is all for show, there is nothing to stop Williams if he chooses to contact anyone in Government with or without Premier Dunderdale's permission. I was disappointed to discover that the book about Williams was apparently co-authored by Russell Wangersky! I remember the days when Wangersky was feared and despised by politicians, bureaucrats, Government insiders and cronies for his investigative reporting that more than once uncovered Government incompetence, corruption, patronage and waste. It appears that there is no real money or opportunity for advancement for investigative journalists in Newfoundland. It appears that Wangersky went form being a watchdog to a lapdog whose barking and biting journalism became more of an occasional low pitched growl. For the most part, compared to his predecessor Premiers, Danny Williams got a very easy ride from the local media. I am aware of blockbuster political corruption stories which were provided to the media that were never investigated or publicized. With media acting as a public relations and propaganda arm of the Government, Williams had a relatively bump free ride from start to finish. It appears that relations between the media and politicians in Newfoundland has become so cozy that unless a politician does something that is so egregious or illegal, like the MHA spending scandal uncovered by the Auditor General, many of the questionable activities never see the light of day. I wonder if Premier Dunderdale will be treated with such blind deference now that she has dared to snub the media darling.

    • Brett
      March 28, 2011 - 20:39

      Yes Don, And all the current members are to pull down their hats when they see Mr. Williams and pretend to stare at their feet. They're also all required to move to a secret new location so he can't find them at work (nor can their other constituents) and they're to change their home addresses in case he recalls where they live.

  • Lori
    March 28, 2011 - 09:20

    Of course it is about Kathy at her Coronation. but we also have to realize that sharing the limelight is not something the former Premier has ever wanted to do. I am not the teeniest bit surprised that he requested another "get-together"... That Christmas card said it all, "Lest we forget"... his ego will never retire!

  • Maximus
    March 28, 2011 - 09:13

    Mr. Williams resigned, he is fortunately no longer in charge, so he cannot dictate as he previously did as to how the MPP vote or think.Perhaps he should consider real retirement. It would please a lot of people.

  • martin harty
    March 28, 2011 - 09:12

    couldnt think of a better person or a more deserving person to have on your speed dial than Danny Williams.

    • Jenny
      April 02, 2011 - 21:47

      really....tell us more

  • mary
    March 28, 2011 - 09:11

    What is the story the news media is trying to make? It seems to me that is all that is going on - news media fishing for some sort of story. Cripes, Danny isn't the premier anymore - the man resigned, let him be in the past. He really isn't that important, people. It is almost embarrassing the way the news media fawn over the guy!

  • Scott Free
    March 28, 2011 - 08:53

    Now this is breaking news...Danny has a rift with someone! Geez, Dan nice to know your ego didn't deflate when you resigned. But Dan, you can't rule the kingdom from outside; the bobbleheads are free to think for themselves now. While they screwed up princess' appointment, that's not the last blunder they'll do; there's plenty more to come. And you won't control the thought process of Tories now with the Federal election campaign underway...they'll get out and support and vote Tory now that they're out from under your spell. Dan bye, you're a big old sookie bully.

  • Jean
    March 28, 2011 - 08:49

    The present govt. is now biting the hand that fed them! Typical..

  • E Papay
    March 28, 2011 - 08:41

    Get over yourself Danny. You are "distancing" yourself. And then you only give a few little tid bits. Yeh, you want the Lower Churchill to go ahead-you and/or your connected friends will be reaping that cash cow. And of course you want your own party for yourself and your faithful-why share. That hasn't ever been a strong point of yours anyway.

  • D Moore
    March 28, 2011 - 08:35

    Asking for an Alternate date, I think that's a reasonable request, after all, the dinner was for him. I get that he needs/wants to give the Premier her space. This is her time now. No matter what I think of him or his way of Thinking, He does get results, He's the best Premier we've had. Someone had to be the tough guy. and i know many people out there will say "did nothing for me" but Just wait, it'll take some time to trickle down and I know eventually, I will be better off. An Excellent Job, Well Done Mr. Williams!

  • the butler did it
    March 28, 2011 - 08:33

    Doesn't Williams fall out with everyone? Maybe...just maybe... he's the problem! What a big baby!. He needs to go away like John Effort and Danny Dumaresque. Off to pasture Danny...you have done enough damage to this Province!