© Star photo by Diane Crocker
Premier Kathy Dunderdale addresses the International Symposium on Oil and Gas Resources in Western Newfoundland at Humber Valley Resort on Thursday.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale dispelled any questions about her political future on Thursday morning when she said “I am not going to resign.”
The premier made the comment to media at the Eagle’s Perch Clubhouse at Humber Valley Resort. Dunderdale was at the resort to addresss the International Symposium on Oil and Gas Resources in Western Newfoundland.
Following her address, Dunderdale was asked for her response to criticism in the past week of so after the Halifax-based Corporate Research Association’s most recent poll showed the Tory government remains in third place.
According to the new poll numbers, the Tories can count on 26 per cent of decided voters’ support — that’s seven percentage points behind the NDP and 15 points behind the Liberals, who have the support of 41 per cent of decided voters.
“Look it’s not an issue for me,” she said of the poll numbers. “I’ve said many, many times before I can’t govern by polls. Because if I govern by polls then I don’t serve the people of this province in the way I committed to do, in the the way they asked me to do.”
The premier said she understands when people tell her they don’t like some of the decisions she’s made.
“I don’t like them either,” she said. “It’s never a pleasant thing to do when you have to cut back or you have to lay off, but they’re aboslutly necessary and I believe with time that people will see the good sense of that.”
Dunderdale was also asked of what she thought of calls to resign like the one by Telegram editorial page editor Russell Wangersky on Sept. 7. In a piece that ran on the Transcontinental Media newspaper’s front page, as well as in The Western Star, Wangersky told Dunderdale that her “race is run,” and that she should “take the small successes that have come with a long political career and get off the stage.”
Along with saying she would not resign, Dunderdale added “especially not by invitation of Mr. Wangersky.”
She said Wangersky has had strong criticism of the province and the leadership in this province since 2003.
“He has never been a friend of the Tory government.”
Dunderdale said Wangersky is particularly opposed to Muskrat Falls and has written opinion pieces about the fact that there aren’t any markets for hydro electricity in New England.
But, she said while at the annual conference of New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers earlier this week in Quebec, the governors are telling her there are markets. Dunderdale said if somebody really cared about the issue and wanted to be well informed and had access to six governors that they would have come and spoken to them.
“And yet we didn’t have any representation there from the province ... I’ve yet to get a call from anybody at The Telegram who’ve shown the slightest bit of interest. So that really has to make you wonder, 'What is the agenda?'"