CORNER BROOK Bill Barry says he won‚Äôt tone down his outspoken character in order to win people over as he goes about seeking the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative party.
Barry made his bid for the leadership official with a news conference in Corner Brook Wednesday afternoon.
The man who made a name for himself by growing his family‚Äôs fishing enterprise into an international entity that now employs more than 3,000 people opened and closed the press conference with the sounds of ‚ÄúRevolution‚ÄĚ by The Beatles.
Barry said he has to be himself in order to pursue the job. That means speaking his mind and letting the people of the province know as much as he can about what‚Äôs going on in the province.
To that effect, Barry had banners hanging in the hotel ballroom that hosted his announcement which stated ‚Äúdemocracy, transparency, accountability, humility‚ÄĚ and a ‚Äú29‚ÄĚ with a red stroke through it. The latter symbolized his disdain for Bill 29, the new privacy legislation instituted by the current provincial government.
‚ÄúBill 29 is the most undemocratic thing I have seen in my life,‚ÄĚ said Barry.
In reference to many other issues, including Muskrat Falls and the $110 million loan government has offered to Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, Barry said he needs to learn more details of what those deals are all about before he can endorse them as being as good as government says they are.
He promised to ask the questions people, including himself, want answers to and promised to relay that information back to the people of the province as best he could.
Barry described himself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal with a bit of environmental ‚Äúgreen‚ÄĚ in him. When asked if he had considered running for the Liberal party‚Äôs leadership last fall, he said he did but didn‚Äôt think the Liberals had the right core of people he felt was needed to govern the province.
He would not say where he would run for a seat in the legislature should he win the Tory leadership race, which is expected to be decided in about four months from now.