'I'm a west end townie"

James McLeod
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Seamus O’Regan plays up local roots as he launches political career with Liberals

Seamus O'Regan has deep roots in the riding he is seeking to represent and spent the biggest chunk of his brief speech Monday afternoon reiterating those facts.
O'Regan, who will seek the Liberal nomination in St. John's South-Mount Pearl, wants people to know he's from the area. He went to mass at St. Theresa's on Mundy Pond Road. He delivered papers for The Telegram, and his family stretches back generations in the area.

Former CTV journalist and host Seamus O’Regan launches his campaign Monday to represent the Liberals in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl in the next federal election. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

"You know, I'm a west end townie. I've always been a west end townie," he told reporters afterwards.

"I think a lot of people know that I'm home all the time. I've been coming home at least once a month for 10 years."

At the same time, a comic appeared on Twitter Monday depicting O'Regan as parachuting into St. John's.

As a journalist and host for CTV's Canada AM, O'Regan has been living in Toronto for a while. He was even rumoured to be considering a run for the Liberals in a byelection in the riding of Toronto Centre earlier this year.

O'Regan said he was approached to run there, but it wouldn't have been right.

"The only way I felt right about it is if it was home and it really became that simple," he said.

O'Regan also spent some time talking about his personal background, seeking to emphasize his education and experience in government.

He said he wanted to make it clear that he's more than just a guy who's been on TV.

In the 1990s he worked as a senior policy adviser in the premier's office under Brian Tobin, as well as other political positions within the Liberal government.

He has a master's of philosophy from Cambridge University in England.

"I needed to let people know that I do have a professional and academic background in issues that are really important to this province, so I think I've got something to offer," he said.

The rest of his speech focused in broad brush strokes on the kind of representation Newfoundland and Labrador needs in Ottawa.

"We need to make sure that all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have their opportunity to do well - that everyone has a fair crack at it," he said.

"We need to demonstrate to this country that the days of snide remarks towards Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are over. We are a have province. We are hard workers."

He also mentioned the need for the federal government to create more jobs and improve access to post-secondary education.

The next federal election is likely more than a year away, scheduled for October 2015.

If O'Regan wins the nomination, which the Liberal party is expected to call in the coming weeks, he'll face off against NDP MP Ryan Cleary.



Organizations: Canada AM, Toronto Centre, Cambridge University

Geographic location: St. John's, Toronto, England Newfoundland and Labrador Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Ken
    August 20, 2014 - 22:53

    Congratulations Seamus, ignore the negative Conservatives. You'll make a positive change for the province in Ottawa.

  • James
    August 20, 2014 - 11:37

    All he has is his former star power. He needs more depth than that. An understanding of the issues and grudges we have with Ottawa need to be be fixed but so far it reads like he does not know what they are.

  • Seamus, please be up front with us by spelling out your platform of your desires to right the wrongs of the past.
    August 20, 2014 - 08:21

    If Seamus could feel freely about letting his intents known on how he is going to serve our province's needs from the beginning to the end, HE certainly would have a much greater advantage. If he could come out and AVOW to his potential electorate that he is in the race to right the wrongs of the past and to apprise all Canadians of the deplorable way Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and the province itself have been treated under Canada, by being told we should have been towed out to sea and sunk because we were only beggars. That despite the fact Canada, under Ottawa's approval, received every last natural resource in the raw state that was developed here, for use in other parts of Canada to build great economies, while the province f Newfoundland and Labrador languished economy-less. And despite the fact we held the complete Eastern periphery of North America which was placed safely in Canada's arms once we were coerced into Canada by hook or by crook in 1949. Yes Seamus you certainly would have a much larger advantage if you, up front, made your platform known to the electorate. You have to be honest to your words right to the end though. Otherwise every Newfoundlander and Labradorian is going to think you are no different than the former politician mentioned in Matthew's comment above.

  • Matthew
    August 20, 2014 - 07:14

    Being an advisor to Brian Tobin is nothing to boast about. Like Tobin who could not get away from here fast enough, O'Regan is just using this place for his own puroose and fulfillment. An ex-patriot who knows little of the issues that people here are concerned about. His life is in Toronto. Stay there.