The provincial government’s newest MHA Sam Slade — representative of Carbonear-Harbour Grace and member of the official opposition Liberals — was surprised at the announcement of Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s resignation this morning (Jan. 22).
© Photo by Melissa Jenkins
Sam Slade in his red jacket with Liberal leader Dwight Ball not far behind, immediately following his byelection victory Dec. 2, 2013
Slade, who has recently retired as a fisherman to assume the duties in office, said the past few months have been hard on Dunderdale and the governing Tories due to some negative feedback received from the public, but the announcement still, “wasn’t really expected.”
“I think Kathy did what she thought was right,” he said in a phone interview with The Compass. “And I wish her well in all her endeavours.”
When asked how he felt about Tom Marshall taking on the role of Premier, he said it didn’t matter who took the position.
“Whether it’s Kathy or Tom (sitting in the Premier’s seat), doesn’t matter to me,” Slade said after Dunderdale’s announcement. “I just look forward to working for the people of my district, and bringing their concerns to the table.”
Although he has not yet sat in the House, Slade said he’s anxious for it to open and his work to begin.
Missing from news conference
Slade was not on hand for a news conference this week when MHA for Mount Pearl South Paul Lane crossed the floor from the governing Progressive Conservatives to the opposing Liberals.
Slade was in Carbonear while Liberal leader Dwight Ball and several members of the Liberal caucus gathered at Smitty’s in Mount Pearl Monday (Jan. 20) to make the announcement.
He attended a cheque presentation for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador that morning at the Carbonear council chamber — presenting the money raised from the Mayor’s Walk in Carbonear while he was still the mayor.
“I made a commitment to an event, and you can’t turn your back on that,” Slade said. “It was a meaningful event for me.”
The town raised the most money in the event for the third year in a row. It was initially created in 2005 after late mayor Claude Garland of Carbonear died suddenly of a heart attack. Garland and Slade were good friends, and sat together on council.
Slade said Ball had no problem allowing him to attend the event he was committed to.
“We had a teleconference before the announcement,” he explained. “If we couldn’t make (the meeting), we could do it on the phone.”