Danny pummels Barry on PC leadership

James McLeod
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‘He doesn’t stand for anything that I support,’ former premier says

Businessman Bill Barry is hunting for votes in his quest to become leader of the PC party, but there’s at least one person who won’t be supporting him: former premier Danny Williams.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Williams said he’s not sure who he’ll support in the Tory leadership campaign, but he definitely doesn’t want to see Barry win.

“He doesn’t stand for anything that I support,” Williams said. “Bill Barry would definitely not have my support. Absolutely not.”

Part of what set Williams off seems to be Barry’s campaign style. At his campaign launch, he implied that the current Tory MHAs were clueless, and heavily criticized the current government.

Barry also said that he believes the Tory leadership is the quickest way to get himself into the premier’s office.

“First of all, he comes out and he indicates that this is the shortest route to the premier’s office — not necessarily a Conservative, maybe be a Liberal, not really sure, but this is the fast track to the premier’s office,” Williams said.

“Then he comes out in the same breath, basically, and insults every single member of the caucus — the people he’s going to have to work with.”

But beyond that, Williams took exception to the idea that Barry might privatize Nalcor Energy — the Crown energy corporation that Williams built into a juggernaut during his seven years in power.

“He sent out a note or an email or something to members of the caucus — the same people he insulted — and has indicated to them that he’s interested in privatizing energy — Nalcor, Hydro — he has an interest in privatizing health care, and he has an interest in privatizing education,” Williams said.

When The Telegram got Barry on the phone, he said that the letter said nothing like that at all.

“I wasn’t making a comment about privatizing health care, or privatizing education or privatizing Nalcor,” he said. “(He) never let the truth interfere with a good story.”

Barry sent The Telegram a copy of the letter he sent to Tory caucus members.

In it, he argues that the Nalcor monopoly on energy should be ended.

“I also believe we must provide for private equity investment in the energy sector and not create an energy monopoly,” he wrote. “We rightly insist on competition in the private sector, but at the same time not allow the private sector to compete with Nalcor.”

Barry said that Williams’ criticism just isn’t fair, and he said his conservative bona fides are at least as solid.

“I’ve been a conservative — certainly a fiscal conservative — my entire life,” Barry said. “I mean, I’m not the guy who ran the ABC campaign in Newfoundland. That was premier Williams, not myself. So maybe he’s not a conservative. Maybe he’s a Liberal.”

If Williams isn’t voting for Barry, that doesn’t leave many options; right now, Barry is the only declared candidate in the race.

The party will be holding a delegated leadership convention in St. John’s on the first weekend in July, and as an ex officio member of the party, Williams will get a vote.

Between now and then, he hinted that he might endorse somebody at some point, but for the moment, all he’s saying is that he really doesn’t like Barry.

“I obviously have issues with his policies and the way he handles himself. I’ll state that,” Williams said. “I guess if you have a favourite or preference or see someone who stands out beyond the crowd, it wouldn’t be beyond me at some point to say that, but for the time being, I’ll keep my powder dry.”



Twitter: TelegramJames



This email was sent to PC Party caucus members  by leadership candidate Bill Barry. He gave it to The Telegram upon request. It  has not been edited, but his cellphone number has been removed.


Dear ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______:

I am writing you to provide some perspective on why I have chosen to offer myself as a candidate for the leadership of our Party. I hope to speak to each MHA individually in the very near future, to listen to you, and to open myself to your questions. Certainly, there should be a vigorous debate and I expect it will be just that as we all bring great strengths. I am sure we share a common purpose to make Newfoundland and Labrador a better place for ourselves and future generations.

 I am extremely passionate about Newfoundland and Labrador and sometimes my exuberance carries me far, and maybe even to be dismissive of certain accomplishments of our Party and our government.  When, however, we are so low in the polls and a year away from an election, change is a must in order to energize the voters to elect a conservative government after being in power for ten years. We must renew ourselves.

 At the same time, I believe we must live within our means rather than creating debt burden for future generations. I am concerned that our Province is too reliant on oil revenues to cover off the escalating cost of services provided. While I strongly support green energy, I think our population needs to be told more about the economic impacts of Muskrat Falls, which will double our debt burden. Just yesterday, I read an article in the Telegram by Gilbert Bennett of Nalcor. I fail to see how this defense, as an example, can convince anyone to his viewpoint. I believe we need greater candor and I believe that the obligation to sell this project rests with our elected representatives.

I believe we should fill the void by the oil production deficit through a more aggressive oil exploration program and the development of our large natural gas inventory. I also believe we must provide for private equity investment in the energy sector and not create an energy monopoly. We rightly insist on competition in the private sector, but at the same time not allow the private sector to compete with Nalcor.

I am just touching upon a few issues but look forward to good discussion with you. I believe the private sector, with reasonable controls and regulations, is more productive than the public sector in most areas of our economy. There are many examples to draw upon, even in the delivery of health and education services which demonstrate that parallel public and private systems stimulate greater productivity.

I am learning quickly that politics can be a humbling experience. I think it is an honorable profession and I want to be open and frank with the electorate. Our people want reasonable services with as little taxation as possible. That is what I would endeavor to deliver.

I look forward to future discussion with you. My motto, which I have lived by for 61 years, is “There is no ‘I’ in Team”. I am available 24/7 on my cell xxx-xxxx, if anyone wishes to chat.  Hope  to meet you all soon.



Organizations: Tory, ABC

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Graham
    February 11, 2014 - 17:16

    Danny Williams apparently hasn't changed since he walked away. He still appears to be the smug arrogant self centred sob he always was. GO AWAY DANNY....PLEASE

  • Dave Smith
    February 11, 2014 - 16:30

    As a Canadian living in Ireland that has both a private/public health and education system I can tell you that running the two side by side does not result in greater efficiency. All it results in is an underfunded public system where poorer patients die due to negligence and long waiting lists. Five years wait list here for some child orthopedic procedures. Public schools are also underfunded and overburdened. I have never had such excellent health care and public school education as I had in Newfoundland.

  • Captain Newfoundland
    February 11, 2014 - 15:59

    Brad Cabana don't look that bad now do he Mr. Williams?

  • One Opinion
    February 11, 2014 - 15:37

    It's the way of most political leaders these days. One egotistical rich old bully throwing turds at another. Just like watching monkeys in a zoo. Fun to watch until it lands on you!

  • sc
    February 11, 2014 - 15:37

    Why does the Telegram give Williams so much press coverage? When was the last time anyone really cared what he had to say? Why should we care who he likes, who he doesn't like, what he 'thinks' about population trends, etc. etc?

    February 11, 2014 - 12:22

    Way to go Bill and go home Danny. How could Danny read this letter and get it so screwed up, or was it just his spin so he could back one of his buddies. I liked Bill Barrys news conference and said what was on his mind and for that matter all of our minds. The PC's have to bring in someone outside of the old boys club to shake things up, and I think Bill Barry may be the MAN.

  • Disgruntled Taxpayer
    February 11, 2014 - 12:15

    I think Mr. Williams is acting like a bully. Why is he getting so much coverage in the media ? He stepped out on us as premier and left us billions of dollars in debt. So his legacy will be Muskrat Falls that wasn't even needed with a future population decrease. Big business will benefit but not the other 90 percent of us in NL.

  • Jed Sampson
    February 11, 2014 - 11:58

    I think Mr.Williams bullying tactics backfired this time. His is an endorsement you do not need. Go for it Bill Barry!

  • Stay with hockey Danny
    February 11, 2014 - 11:22

    You have the bully attitude and the speaking skills of a locker room boy Mr. Williams. Small Man Syndrome. Stay with hockey, see if you can get that right this time.

  • Anna
    February 11, 2014 - 11:17

    If Mr. Williams doesn't like Mr. Barry then that is the main reason I would vote for Mr. Barry. Why you gave Mr. Williams front page news and then again in the Business Section, makes me wonder who runs The Telegram. Mr. Williams must have someone in mind now that he hasn't got Ms. Dunderdale to do his bidding. What a farce politics is in this Province.

  • Political Watcher
    February 11, 2014 - 10:33

    Mr. Williams is entitled to his opinion like the rest of us, but that may change for Mr. Williams depending on if he needs you or not. Like one day when he thought in his opinion, Andy Wells should get a good sh-it knocking, but then he gave Andy a top job because it was beneficial to Danny. I would say Danny has someone picked for the PC leadership so then he can run the Premier’s office from behind the scenes. Danny’s candidate is neither Bill Barry nor Fabian Manning. If I was to wager a bet, I would bet it is Shawn Skinner, the former Natural Resources Minister. Danny targeted Mr. Manning, one of the most gentle people in politics until he got him to go to the Feds and now he is dumping on Bill Barry. Danny may have met his match with Mr. Barry. I hope so.

  • saelcove
    February 11, 2014 - 10:26

    WILLIAMS please go away YOU DO NOT COUNT

  • Harold
    February 11, 2014 - 10:15

    Yes James do an interview with this guy,

  • david
    February 11, 2014 - 10:09

    Et voila, Newfoundland....your vaunted savior is the egotistical, petty little putz that anyone with a half-clue would have seen from space. A sad spectacle by an excuse of a human being --- regardless of one's opinion of Barry. Your "statesman" your hero. Go away, ya sleazy realtor.

  • nerilldp
    February 11, 2014 - 09:58

    Best endorsement Bill could get! How do I vote him?

  • Jay
    February 11, 2014 - 09:55

    How many articles is the Telegram going to get out of one interview. You may hate him, but you'll suck up every word he says

    • saelcove
      February 11, 2014 - 10:28


  • BI
    February 11, 2014 - 09:54

    Rightfully so - and Mr. Barry has to look the part he is going for - haven't seen one white shirt or blue shirt and tie since he started saying he was going for the leadership - he has to look the part

  • Former PC Supporter
    February 11, 2014 - 09:50

    Mr. Barry should be rejoicing today that he's does not have the support of Mr. Williams. 1. ABC Campaign? 2. Grand Falls (Abitibi) fiasco?? 3. Muskrat Falls??? Is the political wreckage left behind his real monument? There are many people, including myself, who believe history will not be kind to this man.

  • Scott Free
    February 11, 2014 - 09:15

    Little Man Dan still runs this place and you're naïve if you think differently.

  • Scott R
    February 11, 2014 - 09:01

    I haven't got time for any Politician, Seem they are all's cut from the same cloth. We the people keep making the same mistake when its come to picking out the right person to represent us. In the HOA. I'm going to ask Mr James McLeod to do a interview with this man, Charles Murphy who the liberal have pass up. and find out for once and for all what have he got to offer to the people. In no way is this man a relation to me, Just that I met him a couple mouths back. I think he got more to offer to our province, then what we have in there today.

  • Carol
    February 11, 2014 - 08:41

    I am greatful that the people are finally seeing the "Saviour" for what he really is - Danny you got what you wanted and left - now its time for you to shut your mouth.

  • Richard
    February 11, 2014 - 08:38

    What ever happened to Danny's rule about former premiers shutting up and going away?

  • Poster Boy For Private Health Care - Danny Williams
    February 11, 2014 - 08:31

    Danny Williams didn't trust our medical care here that he was responsible for as Premier and went to Florida when he needed treatment. He should have fixed our health care system while he Premier but did not.

  • Poster Boy For Private Health Care - Danny Williams
    February 11, 2014 - 08:29

    Danny Williams didn't trust our medical care here that he was responsible for as Premier and went to Florida when he needed treatment. He should have fixed our health care system while he Premier but did not.

  • Lee Walsh
    February 11, 2014 - 08:15

    Count me in as second, I will not be voting for Mr. Barry. Just because he is a man with money does not mean he is able to run our province. For one, He is not a good speaker. Two, has he ever been in politics before? Three, he is not a man that I would consider a people person (and I too have lived in Corner Brook all of my life).

  • Turd Line
    February 11, 2014 - 08:06

    A third line to the Avalon, now that this is announced, would be nice.

  • Robert
    February 11, 2014 - 08:04

    Danny Williams credibility in who he thinks would be a good leader/premier was shot when he put Dunderdale in as Premier after he resigned. We all know how that worked out.

  • Alice
    February 11, 2014 - 08:02

    Mr Williams leave its to the people to decides who the next leader should be. Not like what's the Liberal did to the people. when freedom of choice was remove. Sir you had your day in the sun, Now its time for you to go.

  • muriel parrott
    February 11, 2014 - 07:49

    Re Bill Barry, I hope that he does get in as the leader. that's what we need someone from the outside, and not within the p.c. Government. we do need some one from the west coast to represent us. as we all know St. John's area get it all, people living on the west coast area are forgotten about as usual. I think Mr. Williams has enough of his own interest to keep him BUSY. I'm sure that Mr. Barry won't screw thing up any more then the rest have done over the years. good luck Bill.

  • Guy ingognito
    February 11, 2014 - 07:34

    Look out when king Danny doesn't like what he hears. Be it a population predictions or leadership candidates. He will throw a tantrum and public denounce you. Why are the papers giving him a forum everyday? Do they give other businessmen this coverage? When Danny was premier, his bullying style was cute. Now it is getting really old.....

  • Guy incognito
    February 11, 2014 - 07:14

    Another day,another headline for king Danny. Remember when he said he would stay out of politics once he resigned? He'll stay out of it as long as everything goes his way. Like the report on population b.s because it comes out when he announces Dannydonia. At least the telegram lets us comment on Danny. You have to be careful what u say one the CBC.

  • Ambrose
    February 11, 2014 - 06:35

    Mr Barry, can be any worst then the one's who cross the floor, to join another party, Or resign their leadership. Hey Mr Williams,

  • Linda
    February 11, 2014 - 06:28

    Bill don't mind Danny, He the man who quit his job, and walk away, And left the province in the mess its in today, And now he wanted the taxpayers to pay for a third line for his mine. I thought this guy was suppose to be a brilliant business man, that would depend on how you look at it, He would be, if we are silly enough to finances his third line for him. Far as I'm concern we the taxpayers got enough to pay for now,Just like that waste of project Muskrat Falls, Danny do everybody a favor ... go away.