Penashue says it was Labrador that lost in the byelection

Bonnie Learning
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Conservative candidate Peter Penashue addresses supporters following his loss in the Labrador byelection. — Photo by Bonnie Learning/TC Media

Happy Valley-Goose Bay - Despite the staggering loss in the polls, Conservative Peter Penashue was greeted with cheers from his supporters as he entered Maxwells bar in Happy Valley-Goose Bay just after 10 p.m.

"I just want to thank everyone who helped out. We had a good run at this election," he said.

Penashue lost the byelection for Labrador to Liberal Yvonne Jones, who took 48.2 per cent of the vote.

The unofficial vote totals were Jones 5,814 votes; Penashue 3,922 votes; NDP Harry Borlase 2,273 votes; and Libertarian Norman Andrews with 50 votes.

Penashue has been involved in many election campaigns over the years. He said there are always winners and losers.

"Tonight, we are the losers," he said to a subdued crowd. "But we have to honour the people who made that decision. People have to take responsibility for their decisions."

Penashue thanked Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his faith in him and for the time spent at the federal cabinet table.

"It's been a tremendous opportunity and experience for me over the last 2 1/2 years. I feel I have made a huge contribution to Labrador. I have accomplished far more in these 2 1/2 years than any other MP for Labrador."

Penashue stated this is a "new chapter" for everyone.

"We have to move forward with the new reality that Labrador has decided on.

"My children always take it hard, take it personally when I lose an election. But I tell them someone has to win and someone had to lose. In my view, Labrador lost. There is not much more to say."

Earlier in the evening, as the polls closed, some of Penashue's supporters began to trickle into Maxwells.

Among them was longtime barber Henry White who, as soon as the byelection was called, set up a "barber shop poll" to gauge his customers' views on the candidates.

For four weeks he chatted and debated with his patrons, encouraging them to cast their vote on election day.

Of the 280 votes cast, he said, roughly 70 per cent were in favour of Penashue.

"I had two customers come into the shop just this past Saturday, who were from Nunatsiavut," noted White.

"They said to me, 'Yvonne Jones has a big wake-up call coming.'"

White said although he wasn't sure exactly what was meant by that statement, the two customers expressed their support for Penashue, but also mentioned there appeared to be a bit of support for Borlase.

As for White, he fears that with Penashue defeated, Labrador will be shut out of any major money or investments in the foreseeable future.

"Goose Bay will be screwed," he said. "I mean, Muskrat Falls, the work on the Trans-Labrador Highway ... those things are done deals. But with regards to anything new? Nothing will be done.

"Yvonne Jones will be so far behind (in Parliament) you will need a magnifying glass to find her. She will do nothing for Labrador. It will be just like the 35 years of bullshit we had with the Liberals (in Labrador). They're the ones who downsized (5 Wing Goose Bay) over the years."

According to Elections Canada, there were 20,251 registered voters in Labrador. Voter turnout was 59.6 per cent according to Elections Canada.

Organizations: Elections Canada, Trans-Labrador Highway, Liberals

Geographic location: Labrador, Goose Bay, Happy Valley

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Recent comments

  • roy
    May 14, 2013 - 20:10

    Peter is right, Yvonne may be a good member but she will be like the other Liberals and NDP a voice in the wilderness, just another loud mouth doing nothing. They are not on the govt side, now we will have someone from outside the province representing us. Those from NL there now have done nothing and can do nothing about the UIC< Search and rescue and any other issue concerning NL other than make a noise so if a noise is what we want then we have elected the right people.

  • Corporate Psycho
    May 14, 2013 - 16:41

    Just goes to show. Money can't buy class.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 14, 2013 - 14:32

    What will McKay, the attack-weasel, do now wreak vengeance on the province?

  • CJ
    May 14, 2013 - 12:30

    true class act

  • Bert
    May 14, 2013 - 11:00

    Peter never lost! Within 6 months he will be another Fabian Manning and promoted to the senate to spite the voters!!

  • rex
    May 14, 2013 - 10:34

    sore loser

  • Political Watcher
    May 14, 2013 - 09:28

    They keep mentioning 5 Wing Goose bay. What has the Tories done for that base since they were elected? What has Peter done in his two years for Labrador? We all know what he and them did do for search and rescue in Labrador, they cut the guts out of it. Besides, keeping three broken down choppers at a base is not a demonstration of committment. Peter, even with all the bought votes first time round you still only managed to win by 79 votes; this is a true result and a true result of how the people feel.

    • Kevin
      May 14, 2013 - 10:43

      No Peter we gained BIG TIME with Yvonne getting that position. You were nothing but pain in the rear of all Labradorians and only looked out to yourself and your own ego. Look at it this way Pete. At least this time you wont' have to answer all the questions of how much you over spent this time which i am sure you did......AGAIN. The only people you looked out for was YOU and YOUR OWN people close to you. Very glad to see you go Pete.............cant say I will miss you at all.............

    • trevor watson
      May 14, 2013 - 18:19

      what an arrogant piece of work.

    • trevor watson
      May 14, 2013 - 18:20

      what an arrogant piece of work.

  • joe
    May 14, 2013 - 09:02

    Pete I dont know if you watched many westerns but that horse thats at the end of the street is waiting for you my friend. Happy Trails.

  • tom
    May 14, 2013 - 08:50

    After reading this I now know why you were never permitted to speak. You spew too much bull shit. Good riddance. Harper your next.

  • Dave
    May 14, 2013 - 08:50

    Peter the Blamer...not exactly a gracious loser.

  • Rod
    May 14, 2013 - 08:26

    How in the name of God can Peter Penashue say because of the outcome that Labrador lost ?? Labrador NOW has a STRONG voice to represent them. Unlike the the former MP who wasn't allowed to speak. When he did, it was what Harper wanted him to say. Labrador Now has VISABLE representave, not one who is going to hide when questions need to be answered. No such thing as standing up and fighting for his people, just take the scraps that Harper gave him. Congrats Yvonne !! I know you will work hard for the people of this province, especially the people of Labrador.

    • Bob Squires
      May 14, 2013 - 10:13

      Rod, surely to goodness you are not that blind? Regardless of what anyone thinks of Penashue as a member, we have now gone from cabinet seat to a seat just outside of the janitor's room. Yvonne Jones is a fine candidate, but with the current government in power, having another opposition representative will mean this riding will get squat for the next foreseeable future.

  • Rob
    May 14, 2013 - 08:26

    Stay classy, Peter Penashue, stay classy.

    • Mr. CFA
      May 14, 2013 - 09:42

      That ship has sailed, but not to worry, this cheat will be in the Senate soon, with more opportunities to take your money.

  • Walter
    May 14, 2013 - 08:16

    If Peter Penashue had been on the up and up in his first election, there would have been no need to call a bye-election. To say that Labrador lost in this election is utter nonsense.

  • Tom Whiteway
    May 14, 2013 - 07:50

    Being gracious in defeat does not apply to Penashue or the saucey barber. They have lost sight of the fact that the financial rules were broken by their camoaign in 2011. The same rules apply to everyone including Labradorians.

  • phile
    May 14, 2013 - 07:41

    "People have to take responsibility for their decisions." How did he not spontaneously combust when he said this?? This man is unbelievable. Good riddance. Peter no repeater

  • carogers
    May 14, 2013 - 07:18

    Here he goes again. Open mouth insert foot. Most people who loose an election praise their team thank their supporters and wish the winner good luck with some grace and dignity. This dude uses language like being "screwed"and "bullshit" then a list of what particular areas be screwed over by the new person. Classy Just wondering, does he have anyone to advise him before he opens his mouth?

  • original townie
    May 14, 2013 - 07:17

    Labrador lost....typical sore loser response. I'll give credit to Jones who congradulated her opponents for running excellent campaigns. Labrador lost the last two years while Penashue was representing them. At least she didn't cheat to win. Bye bye Pete : (