The Virginia Waters byelection is a high stakes contest for all three parties, so Wednesday the PC Party brought out the big guns.
Former Newfoundland premier Danny Williams was at MacMorran Community Centre in St. John's this afternoon for a meet-and-greet alongside Virginia Waters Tory candidate Danny Breen. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
Former premier Danny Williams was at MacMorran Community Centre for a meet-and-greet alongside Tory candidate Danny Breen.
Williams, who famously once said that former premiers should “shut up and go away,” acknowledged with a laugh that he's disobeying his own advice.
“I remember a former premier said that he should shut up and go away, but he didn't take his own advice,” Williams said. “I just think it's important that the people of the province are reminded, basically, of how good the Conservative government has been for the province. You know, things have never looked better.”
Virginia Waters is former premier Kathy Dunderdale's old seat, and for the Tories the byelection is a chance to prove that the government can still win. The Liberal party, which has surged to first in the polls, desperately wants a win to keep up the momentum. Since a messy caucus revolt and public meltdown last year, the New Democrats want to prove that they're still legitimate contenders.
Against that backdrop, Williams was shaking hands and talking to reporters Wednesday.
“Danny has done a lot of great community service and I'd just like to see him in this government. I think he'd perform a great service to the residents of this district,” Williams said. “I think it's important, you know, and people need to remember what it was like 10 to 12 years ago in this province. I mean, as a result of the Conservative government, there's been tremendous changes in this province.”
Breen said Williams was a big help to his campaign. Right now, the campaigns say that it'll likely be neck-in-neck up to the April 9th voting day.
“Having Danny's support is fantastic. People like him, people enjoy him, people respect his contributions,” Breen said. “I think this is going to be a very close race, and you know, it's all going to come down to talking to the people and getting the vote out on election day, and that's what we're focused on.”
Williams was also asked about the Tory leadership race while he was talking to reporters. He's said that he's against businessman Bill Barry's candidacy, but he wouldn't endorse a candidate.
“I won't be making an endorsement in this particular leadership,” he said. “I have said who I won't endorse, though.”