Frank Coleman says he believes in the PC Party

Diane Crocker
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His campaign launch speech was filled with a lot of information about his family and business history, and even a bit about the province. But it wasn’t until after the applause ended that Frank Coleman answered the questions about the things people wanted to know.

His campaign launch speech was filled with a lot of information about his family and business history, and even a bit about the province.

But it wasn’t until after the applause ended that Frank Coleman answered the questions about the things that people want to know.

Why does he want to run now, for instance?

Coleman said running for politics is something he’s been considering for four or five years and he has been approached numerous times by both the PCs and Liberals.

“I believe in this party.”

With the party declining in the polls, Coleman was asked why he wants the job now.

“That’s a great reason to do it,” he said. “I believe in what this party has accomplished. Where we’ve come from and where we currently are is amazing.

“Look, we’ve got some work to do, but I can’t think of a better group to be associated with than the group that put us where we are.”  

Other candidates

Coleman is not alone in his desire to lead the party and, ultimately, the province. Two other contenders, Corner Brook businessman Bill Barry and Howley councillor Wayne Bennett, are also running.

Coleman and Barry have been friends for years. The relationship is close enough that Coleman is a godfather to one of Barry’s children.

Coleman said he told Barry he was thinking about running when his friend announced his candidacy.

“I have a lot of respect for Bill’s talents in business. He is a very capable man, but this is about me today.”

Coleman also noted that he doesn’t know Bennett.

The leadership convention

There’s been some discussion of late around how the July 4 and 5 leadership convention will unfold, especially in terms of how delegates will be selected and what the voting process will be like.

Barry has said in a public letter that he won’t be running slates of candidates, and encouraged his competition to leave the decision on delegate selection to a true democratic process.

Coleman said when the three of them signed on as candidates there was a specific formula laid out by the PC party and the organizing committee for the leadership that follows a constitutional requirement that delegates get picked in the district.

“This really ... is about me getting into those districts and trying to earn the support of those delegates.”

He said it’s not about trying to change the rules and he doesn’t think he can control the process of who votes for him.

Once selected by the districts, Coleman said delegates can vote however they feel.

“I can try to persuade people that I’m the right guy.”  

Lack of political background

To a question on not having political experience Coleman replied: “You know, when I had my first child I had no background being a dad either. I can get through that.”

Coleman said he now has to outline a platform, attract people and encourage people to vote for him first at the convention and then later in a general election.

“This is about leadership and I think I’m qualified for that role. And I think the politics side, learning the ins and outs of the House and the day to day running of the House of Assembly and government is something I can learn.

“Leadership is the key issue.”

Running the province

Coleman said there is a need to keep up the momentum the province has experienced as of late.

“The economy has done well and we want to keep this going.”

He said key issues for him include investment in infrastructure, education and health.

“When we are doing that, to remain fiscally prudent and not to forget elements of society that require our help,” he said.

In terms of health care a big issue for this region is the new hospital for Corner Brook and the time it’s taking to be built.

When asked his position on the hospital, Coleman said: “It should be built right away.”

Coleman has also been known to support denominational education and responded to questions about bringing that system back and reversing the amalgamation of the province’s school boards into one: “I can’t make a comment about that. It’s something I’m not as familiar with. In due time I’ll get in, get behind the facts, understand it a little better.”

If he wins the leadership, Coleman indicated he would seek a seat in the legislature within a reasonable time after the convention, with Humber East being the obvious choice. That seat is currently held by Premier Tom Marshall, who has already said he won’t run in the next general election.

Organizations: PC Party, Blomidon Golf and Country Club, Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Laughable
    March 28, 2014 - 06:33

    @ New Veteran, I'll still your the funniest one on here..LOL

  • Laughable
    March 21, 2014 - 12:40

    @ New Veteran, You got to be the most funniest person on here, My Grandfather fought in WW11, for democracy. This is democracy, buying a seat. with support from another business man. That why we are in the mess were in,

    • New Veteran
      March 26, 2014 - 06:42

      Thank you. It was meant to induce thought, so I achieved my intent. I agree that in most Democracies seats are purchased. My Father fought in WWII and I in other conflicts. The people who purchased those seats sent us there. But about what my Grandfather said, wasn't King Danny, the businessman, a lawyer by training?

  • New Veteran
    March 20, 2014 - 08:38

    My Grandfather, born 1894 in Western Newfoundland, once told me that they had elected Doctors, Lawyers and Teachers because they had an education and could do what was best for the country. He added, "They did what was best for themselves". Maybe electing a businessman wouldn't be such a bad thing.

  • CB INiside
    March 20, 2014 - 07:30

    So this is the strategy to get Frank Coleman elected. Frank is going a different speech writer on a go forward basis. That launch was reminiscent of Joe Clark.

  • Linda
    March 20, 2014 - 04:39

    @ Joe, Depending on who your getting your advice from. As for Mr Barry, Mr Coleman don't come close.

  • G.
    March 19, 2014 - 22:57

    I'm so happy to see such a sincere, qualified and dedicated person taking an interest in public service. Frank Coleman has what is takes to be a phenomenal premier.

  • Dan Murphy
    March 19, 2014 - 21:31

    We need a strong leader for our party. The challenge today, in Newfoundland and Labrador, is to deal with the shrinking rural base (people and economy); a problem faced not just by us but across the county. We have to press ahead with our renewable and sustainable energy projects; why is Iceland building its forth Aluminium smelter? There needs to be a paradigm shift in terms of how we deal with the fishery; why isn't the people of eastern Canada eating local fish twice a week?Look at what Chile did to build a local market for salmon.....a market on our door step...... In Northern Alberta there are four paper mills within two hours of where I reside, booming......Its time to field test the possibility of extracting oil from the west coast oil deposits; time to walk the fine line between environment, social and economic needs of the west coast. We have vast used timber allocations with the potential of managing existing stands for carbon sequestering. Imagine managing forests towards an end were letting stands mature while we sell carbon credits on the international market and hire human resources to optimize sequestering........ Despite some of the issues we have come a long way under the leadership of PCs........... more work to be done......

  • Joe
    March 19, 2014 - 21:13

    Frank has what it takes. What's wrong with asking advice? If Barry was on the other side of the fence he would have done the same. Problem is that he burned too many bridges.

  • EDfromRED
    March 19, 2014 - 17:32

    Another corporate puppet, puting a friendly face on the: cut-everything-but-the-free-money for-our-Nalcor/Corporate-Masters, mentality of the PC's.

  • Past FPI Employee
    March 19, 2014 - 16:49

    If Frank is so concerned about the people of NL why did he vote to dismantle FPI when he served on the Board of Directors. How many people did he put out of work! I guess his profits from the sale were more important.

  • ABC supporter
    March 19, 2014 - 16:13

    I will not support a government and their members who applauded after annoncinng 2000 workers were laid off last year. Disgusting! The good ole boys club is alive and well in the PC party.

  • darrell
    March 19, 2014 - 16:08

    Frank, for a while I thought you were actually a family man. I guess I was wrong. Fill your boots big guy and your ego….isn't that what this is all about?

  • Sean Walsh
    March 19, 2014 - 16:03

    I hope that Frank Coleman does not forget his moral obligations to the public and people in general. Do on to others as you wish dome onto you. He understands what I am referring to. You lead by example. If you can not then do not lead!

  • Sean Walsh
    March 19, 2014 - 16:02

    I hope that Frank Coleman does not forget his moral obligations to the public and people in general. Do on to others as you wish dome onto you. He understands what I am referring to. You lead by example. If you can not then do not lead!

  • Seriously
    March 19, 2014 - 15:43

    "Youngest and the coolest province." Cripes. How original, Frank. Danny's puppet. Great, meaty script they gave you. No wonder you held out as long as you could to talk to the media and public.

  • Linda
    March 19, 2014 - 14:56

    Frank if you r your own man, why did you seek advice from Danny. Is this what we can expect from you in the future, Seeking advice from Danny William. That don't say much about your abilities to run the province,

  • Mark
    March 19, 2014 - 14:33

    Is a Country Club the best place to launch a political campaign? Smells of elitism to me.

  • Jack
    March 19, 2014 - 13:35

    The Liberal trolls are out in force on the comments board. Nothing like opposing someone for the sake of opposing. Good luck Frank. These people will try to drag you down to their level.

    • W Bagg
      March 19, 2014 - 17:10

      I believe it was the PC party that was proven to stack on-line polls and media commentary forums. You Betcha

    • JOHN
      March 19, 2014 - 17:29

      Coleman seems like a common sense guy, a fresh face.

    • Henry
      March 19, 2014 - 17:49

      No sir you are totally wrong there. Years of abuse by the Federal and Provincial conservatives as made up my mind not to Vote for PC politics, it will no change with Coleman or Barry that I know for sure...

    • D Bagg
      March 20, 2014 - 08:03

      Perhaps your rose colored glasses prevented you from noticing how conspicuously silent the Liberals and NDP were when that news was broke. Gee, I wonder why. Poor Henry has it worse because he's limited himself to the NDP.

  • Graham
    March 19, 2014 - 12:54

    Great news....After a brief stint as party leader he will be an excellent OPPOSITION LEADER. As Premier for a few months he can watch the PC Party slowly sink to the bottom. The reason he is in this is all about him and not about us .By the way has he resigned from the board at Emira yet? That alone is a conflict of interest along with many many more its all about personal gain just like Danny Williams used us to get what he wanted and then walked away. then again we bought Dannys bull shit hook line and sinker didn't we.

    • Jeff
      March 19, 2014 - 16:47

      How about you actually research who this man is.... He is completely selfless and will help those in need. Go mr coleman!

    • Sean
      March 19, 2014 - 22:55

      A little research Jeff can also bring out the wolf.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    March 19, 2014 - 12:37

    Another PC who is doing it for the family and "...for the party". Where do the people of the province fit in there?

  • Paul
    March 19, 2014 - 11:53

    Liberals all the way. I have had enough of the Federal and Provincial Progressive Conservative Party. Time for a real change. Who needs HARPER style politics, they are ruining the country.

  • Paul
    March 19, 2014 - 11:45

    LIBERALS - All the way. Had enough of P Conservatives both Federally and Provincially.