Michael says premier never cared about regular people’s issues
For the first time, Liberal Leader Dwight Ball didn’t seem interested in attacking Premier Kathy Dunderdale when he spoke to the media Wednesday morning.
“I’m sure it was a difficult decision for the premier today,” he told reporters, shortly after Dunderdale announced that she’ll be stepping down as premier. “I want to commend her on her years in public service.”
As leader of the Official Opposition, Ball has been just about the most unwavering critic in the province when it comes to Dunderdale’s government, but on Wednesday he talked about the strides she’s made for women in the province.
“She’s the first female premier in our province,” he said. “I think that’s something that she seemed very proud of — and should be very proud of, by the way.”
But one person who wouldn’t cut Dunderdale any breaks was NDP Leader Lorraine Michael.
She said that Dunderdale’s heart might have been in the right place, but that wasn’t enough.
“I think she really believed she was working for Newfoundland and Labrador. However, many people in the province do not feel that the policies of the government really met their needs,” Michael told reporters. “The issues that affect people in their daily lives are issues that didn’t seem to be of the same importance to the premier.”
With Dunderdale’s resignation, both opposition parties now need to rethink their political schedules.
The next election was supposed to happen in October 2015, but now it needs to happen within one year of the Tories picking a permanent new leader.
“We’re preparing as if the next provincial election could be as early as this spring,” Ball said. “From the way I look at it, there’s probably three windows there — it would be this spring, this fall, or next spring. But clearly, we had to be prepared now for the earliest possible date, which could be this spring.”
Michael, for her part, said
that the party is looking forward to a convention on the May 24
weekend, which will involve election planning and a leadership review.
Micheal said she believes that the best way for her party to grow is by refocusing on its core messages.
“The only thing we can do as a party is stay focused on our platform and our goals. And I believe that people in this province really see us as the voice of the people,” she said.