Coleman says he wants to be premier, in July

James McLeod
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Media report he wanted to wait until the end of summer not correct, he says

Premier-designate Frank Coleman said he wants to take over as soon as possible, after he’s confirmed by the PC Party rank-and-file in early July.

Frank Coleman

Coleman debunked an earlier news report that he didn’t want to take over right away, and was planning on touring the province for the summer before being sworn-in as premier.

“I don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” he said. “I think the right answer is, you know, I go to the convention meeting in the first week as July, and then very shortly after, I get sworn in as premier.”

Coleman is the last man standing in the Progressive Conservative leadership race to replace Kathy Dunderdale, who stepped down as premier in January.

When rival candidate Bill Barry dropped out of the race a week and a half ago, Coleman became the uncontested premier-in-waiting.

He doesn’t need to win a byelection before he becomes premier, but he does need to get the PC Party membership to formally endorse him first. That is scheduled to happen at a convention on the first weekend in July.

“After the convention, within a very, very short span of time, I would like to be sworn in as premier,” Coleman said. “I don’t want to wait a whole lot of time after the convention, and I don’t think that the people of the province would want me to wait either.”

Coleman said he hasn’t figured out when, exactly, he’ll call the byelection to win a seat in the House of Assembly.

Current leader Tom Marshall has said he will retire and vacate the Humber East seat when Coleman takes over, but as for the exact date of a byelection, that still needs to be worked out.

Coleman said it’s been a hectic time since Barry dropped out of the race, and he hasn’t had a chance to have a lot of discussions with Marshall yet.

“He’s been away. He was, I think, in Ottawa this past week. He’s been travelling a fair bit and so have I. We’ve talked a few times on the phone. We haven’t met in person, and I really want to sit down with him, hopefully very soon.” Coleman said. “I think both he and I recognize that we need to be communicating a bit more now that the race, as such, is over.”

In the meantime, he said he’s going to use the next few months to tour the province and talk to party members, getting ready to take over as premier of the province.

“Right now, today, I’ve been all the way down the Port au Port Peninsula. I’m meeting with town officials today. I’m meeting with district association people shortly. I’m busy, I’m active,” he said. “It is an attempt by me to try to get out and see every district that I can before this convention — as much as I can, anyway.”

Organizations: House of Assembly.Current

Geographic location: Humber East, Ottawa, Port au Port Peninsula

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Recent comments

  • Charles
    April 29, 2014 - 06:03

    I have to say, were doing pretty good in picking out our leaders, Question is. Leaders for whom? the people or some other agenda behind its? that what puzzle me the most. For some reason we can ask a question, but never get a straight answer. But yet we stand by, and lets this go on. Once more why?

  • CBGirl
    April 28, 2014 - 21:35

    Arent actual elections this fall anyways? Why cant they leave well enough alone, let Marshall call the election the day after the PC convention, and see what happens? You think anyone is going yo listen to an unelected non MHA premier knowing an election is imminent? He'd have nothing useful to contribute until elected.

  • What?
    April 28, 2014 - 21:25

    Are you kidding me a by-election? The people of this province,including members of your own PC party, are entitled to a general election . You have no mandate , not even from the rank and file of your own party. Only the back room PC bag men, there should only be a general election after your coronation not a by election . We have this system called democracy , maybe the boys and you should check it out sometime!

  • Randy
    April 28, 2014 - 18:59

    I would prefer that Mr. Marshall stay on as long as possible after hearing Mr. Coleman's statement. " I think the right answer is", why would you say that. Just another nail.

  • Matt
    April 28, 2014 - 18:46

    So was Marshall talking through his hat? Makes you wonder what's going on in the back rooms.

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 28, 2014 - 18:46

    How nice for him.

  • Virginia Waters
    April 28, 2014 - 18:02

    When you say george that you're not familiar with the process, that's a bit of an understatement. No - being an MHA is not requirement but you could've gleaned that from the article itself. And no there won't be any 'stealth candidate' show up. The party has confirmed that it's Coleman's by default (also in the article). Finally George - yes, we do know who his Liberal opponent will be. His name is Dwight Ball. Maybe you were out of town when he won the Liberal leadership race last year - one contested by other candidates. So barring Ball stepping off the curb and getting hit by a bus, he will lead the Liberals in the next election. Your notion that Gerry Byrne might drop his hat into the ring is a bit perplexing. First he would have to find a ring. Something you said does make sense - that "Coleman seems oblivious to the backlash against this government'. Coleman has rated the performance of his Tory predecessors as simply 'amazing'. If that were true, then there would have been no opportunity for Coleman to claim the leadership prize that seemingly no one else wants. Coleman does have an excellent background as well as some integrity I think. But he is taking over a government that has behaved so badly, been so inept and so arrogant - that its defeat at the polls is inevitable. To contemplate any other outcome is to say that incompetent, devious, undemocratic governments can avoid taking their punishment at the polls simply by putting on a nice new sweater.

    • george p b
      April 29, 2014 - 07:50

      Pardon me for living Virginia. I realize I know little about the political process in NL, but I stated that. No need for your supercilious response. I did read about not necessary being MHA, and it made me wonder....Could it be possible for Danny & his back room buddies to remove Tom Matshall and install Amos Moses as premier????? Bypass the democratic process completely??? I am not a constitutional expert,. So from your vast knowledge of politics, maybe Virginia you can quote the chapter & verse adressing this issue...

  • george p b
    April 28, 2014 - 16:39

    While I feel that Frank Coleman would make a terrific premier, he is being presumptuous....He seems oblivious to the backlash against the current government, and it is unknown who his Liberal opponent will be......Let's think about what would happen if Gerry Byrne dropped his hat into the ring.......

  • george p b
    April 28, 2014 - 16:19

    I agree that Frank should have his hand on the steering wheel asap, if he gets the nod...I am not familiar with the process and do not know if there is a stealth candidate that can show up...However since Frank is not a MHA, how can he have any claim to becoming premier????? Is being a MHA not a requirement?????

  • Henry
    April 28, 2014 - 15:09

    Yes Mr. Coleman get sworn in as premier ASAP. Then call a general election ASAP so the electorate can choose a new premier....... We will get you out of this jam real quick!!!!! Sound like a plan to you?

  • Skepitcal
    April 28, 2014 - 14:54

    ''I think the right answer is'' ...?? Is this his answer, or is he guessing what his handlers within the PC party are thinking. I almost pity the man, he seems to be in way over his head and has not demonstrated any political chops whatsoever. With the supporting cast of incumbent MHA's having his back, things are not going to get any better.