Manning gets back in the game

James McLeod
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Many provincial MHAs show support at campaign kickoff

Provincial cabinet ministers, senators, chanting supporters and a band crowded into the Holyrood Star of the Sea Hall Monday night.

They were all there to welcome Tory Fabian Manning back into elected politics.

Manning announced he was resigning his seat in the Senate to run for the riding of Avalon in the May 2 election.

“In a choice between the Senate and the Avalon, I chose the Avalon,” Manning declared before a crowd of cheering supporters.

On Monday, the lay of the land for the election was starting to firm up, with former journalist Ryan Cleary confirmed as the candidate for the NDP in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.

“Harper has not only shown contempt for Parliament — he has shown contempt for Newfoundland and Labrador,” Cleary said.

Former provincial finance minister and fisheries ambassador

Loyola Sullivan is expected to announce this morning that he will be the Conservative candidate in the riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.

But it was the Manning announcement that has been speculated about for weeks, with even his wife saying he would be crazy to give up a senate seat.

Senators  hold their position until the age of 75, and get paid more than $130,000 annually.

Manning was elected to the House of Commons in 2006, but he lost his seat in the 2008 federal election.

During that campaign, then-premier Danny Williams targeted Manning as part of his ABC (Anything But Conservative) campaign.

Things got so bitter that Manning accused an MHA of threatening one of his campaign workers, and Williams said Manning should stop dealing in “deceit and telling lies.”

Shortly after the election, Manning was appointed to the senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Asked by reporters, Manning said he was in the election to win, but wouldn’t rule out returning to the senate if he lost the election, and was offered the job again.

But the mood in the room emphasized this campaign would be different.

Tourism Minister Terry French, was sitting conspicuously in the front row as Manning made his announcement Monday night.

He said that it was hard to withdraw support from Manning and other Conservatives during the last election, but this time around they’ll be out in full force.

“An awful lot of us spent our lifetime campaigning for the Progressive Conservative Party and in turn the Conservative Party,” he said. “I think the statement was made the last time with the ABC campaign, (but) I mean that was tough for an awful lot of us.”

“In a choice between the Senate and the Avalon, I chose the Avalon.” Fabian Manning

To drive the point home, French was joined by Justice Minister Felix Collins, Transportation and Works Minister Tom Hedderson, and MHAs Keith Hutchings and Calvin Peach.

Manning will also be receiving support from other heavy hitters. Senator Elizabeth Marshall will be heavily involved in his campaign, and on Thursday Harper will be in the province to lend his support.

For supporter Robert Lundrigan,  it was good to be back in Manning’s corner.

Lundrigan said he stayed quiet in 2008, and withheld his support.

“I was a provincial government employee last time,” Lundrigan said. “My support was clouded. I was in a different place in my life and I didn’t openly support anyone.”

Eta Nash, meanwhile, said she never wavered.

“The mood is excellent here this evening,” she said. “His chances are 100 per cent.”

Organizations: ABC, NDP, Progressive Conservative Party House of Commons

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • ABC voter
    April 01, 2011 - 15:29

    "Manning said he was in the election to win, but wouldn’t rule out returning to the senate if he lost the election, and was offered the job again." Hahahah yeah hes in it for the people alright... Would belly up to the Senate trough again in no time... Hahhaha

  • Tucker
    March 29, 2011 - 20:14

    Fabian is the ONLY choice for the Avalon. He'll be in Cabinet when he's elected! (Not a silent backbencher in the Opposition) Enough with being pawns for the higher -ups. Let's get the best representative for our area and our province! It's common sense. No to a coalition. No to sacrificing as a province. Yes to FINALLY getting heard in Ottawa again! Yes to Fabian Manning!

  • Avalon District
    March 29, 2011 - 15:45

    Hats off to you Fabian on the hard decision you had to make , but you put the People of Avalon First, .Eighteen years ago my family and I were 100% behind you , and we are 110% behind you this time...............

  • jack stang
    March 29, 2011 - 14:57

    he sat next to Harper , clapped , and grinned as Harper mocked newfoundland- right after they took back billion$. seriously- someone thinks hes a good idea? seriously?

  • BMAN
    March 29, 2011 - 13:25


    March 29, 2011 - 13:03

    So glad you are back! We need you! The "Avalon" riding is YOURS!!!

  • Manning Supporter
    March 29, 2011 - 12:51

    Manning your a man with guts ! Fabian you a people person who stands your ground for the people you represent even when it might cost you an X from texas! Living in a rural area makes you a better person for this position because you know the needs and understand the people of the Placentia , St. Marys and surrounding areas this side of the overpass. You have shown that you are a hard and dedicated worker for the people in your area for the past 18 years, whether it was as an MHA or a backbencher ( when word was sent from Texas!- because you stood your ground for the fishermen of your area) ! .. an MP or Senator . You have made us proud in all you have done!!! look forward to celebrating with you on May 2nd when you are declared the new MP for the Avalon riding.

  • Manning Supporter
    March 29, 2011 - 12:38

    Manning your a man with guts ! Fabian you a people person who stands your ground for the people you represent even when it might cost you an X from texas! Living in a rural area makes you a better person for this position because you know the needs and understand the people of the Placentia , St. Marys and surrounding areas this side of the overpass. You have shown that you are a hard and dedicated worker for the people in your area for the past 18 years, whether it was as an MHA or a backbencher ( when word was sent from Texas!- because you stood your ground for the fishermen of your area) ! .. an MP or Senator . You have made us proud in all you have done!!! look forward to celebrating with you on May 2nd when you are declared the new MP for the Avalon riding.

      March 29, 2011 - 21:10

      ( I have posted this exact comment that I wrote for a vocm poll commentary ever I can... Because I believe the Youth of this province should have a say and we must be heard far and near by every ear. Thank you). I'm a young Newfoundlander and Labradorian, and it really displeasures me to see such stupidity and selfishness among my elders. You people are blind and oblivious if you think for a second that Harper is not forming a majority and to an even more sad realization you people are saying don't elect Manning or Sullivan. Do you want all the young and up and coming youth in our Province ( myself included) to simply have no hope. Our province has so much potential in the coming months to sign major deals that will create jobs and allow us to prosper... however those deals will be tossed out the window without any voice in the federal cabinet. So you people think its a good idea to be spite full and send no seats to Harper... do you honestly think he gives a damn how many seats we send him. However Manning has a strong relationship there with him... that could do this province wonders.. like Crosbie and Mulrooney in the past. In closing i'll just ask you with all my heart.. think of us just leaving university, and high school.. Do you think it's going to do us good by sending no one to Ottawa on our behalf.. i think not. These liberal members have just been slapping there gums as far as i can see it. What benefit to us did we get from them being there... absolutly nothing. Remember of your embarrassing spite filled ways.. you get more with honey then you do with vinegar. Please don't make this election another newfie joke Thanks, Young Newfoundlander and Labradorian

  • Brian Semple
    March 29, 2011 - 11:50

    I voted against Fabian Manning in 2008. I've voted Liberal all my life. The desperation our party is showing to replace a government which has addressed the recession well concerns a lot of us, not just me and my family. Many of my friends feel like I do. It is in the best interests of NL, if only this once, to return Fabian Manning to the House of Commons and a conservative majority.

    • Rob J
      March 29, 2011 - 12:49

      Brian, the CPC didn't adress the recession. They rode the policies of the Chrtien-Martin era which Harper actively campaigned against. Harper is the guy who saved us from the recession? Harper is the guy who repeatedly called out the Liberals for not deregulatingt he financial industry. If we had done what Harper wanted, we'd be in the same boat in the USA. However, by mere fact that he's managed to spend a record amount of money on no major policy program you're suggesting he's dealt with it? Quite frankly, I have a hard time believing you're anything but a loyal Conservative trying to convince people to vote against the Liberals. I say this because you didn't present an actual reason for voting CPC, just a "gut feeling" that we're supposed to accept Harper as being somehow good? The Liberals were not desperate to force a contempt ruling. That situation could have 100% been avoided had Harper not actually held parliament in contempt. They were going to defeat the budget, however the Conservatives did nothing to avoid having it defeated. It's simply wrong to say that only the Liberals wanted this election. Much like the HST, both the Liberals and the Conservatives were for it.

  • jack stang
    March 29, 2011 - 11:20

    this is how he defended his homeland..just wacth him laugh and applaud as Harper ridicules Newfoundland

  • Robert
    March 29, 2011 - 11:14

    Top 6 reasons not to vote conservative (1) 1st Government in Canadian History to be found in contempt of parliament (2) Multiple ministers and senior party members under investigation for election fraud in the infamous "in and out" fraud scheme ...(3) Harper directed minister Bev Oda to alter a Canadian International Development Agency memo without informing the organization resulting in funding being lost of KAIROS (4) Harper appointed more to the senate than any other prime minister and then proceeded to order them to block climate change legislation that had already passed through the house usurping the will of the people (5) Harper tried to eliminate the mandatory long-form census which is used by researchers, planners and health officials from all across Canada to inform their decisionmaking. (6) Harper tried to eliminate the long-gun registry despite the RCMP and police forces across the country saying that it should remain in place. Please tell me how in goose conscience a person can ignore that. We need a government that makes decisions based on evidence not ideology.

  • Avalon Girl
    March 29, 2011 - 10:53

    Not going to happen Fabian.YOU ARE OUT : )

  • pat
    March 29, 2011 - 10:11

    This is sickening. We didn't want him in 2008, we don't want him now. he sat by Harper with a greasy grin on his face, while harper was delivering bad news to us Newfoundlanders. Now Mr. Manning is saying if he don't get Avalon he may return to the senate. Abolish the senate. Cushion jobs for suck ups. Scott got teh energy and compassion to be our member. have fun back at the senate fabian. You have done nothing for us. Give us crumbs while allowing your Leader to take away Old harry Oil project and give it to Quebec.....Hang your head Manning

  • Newfie Gal
    March 29, 2011 - 10:04

    Looks to me like Mr. Manning has been asked to try and unseat the Liberals in the Province and help the Conservatives work towards their majority Government, and if it doesn't work out he will gracioulsy be given his cushy set back in the Senate. Something smells fishy here!

    • Placentia Area Resident
      April 30, 2013 - 12:43

      I completely agree, there's no way he is giving up a senate seat, to lose all together there is definitely something cookin on the back burners!

  • Manning Supporter
    March 29, 2011 - 09:32

    I am so glad to have you back Manning. A true constituency man and a fighter for all. You'll certainly have my support!

  • Don
    March 29, 2011 - 09:27

    No sweat for Fabian to win.....Scott Andrews is a joke!

  • Remember
    March 29, 2011 - 09:09

    For those of you that don't remember anything that Fabian Manning along with Harper did.Here is a your you tube video and an article from 2008 by Bill Westcott..enjoy : Tell what Newfoundlander in their right mind would vote for these characters.Not me.

  • BC
    March 29, 2011 - 09:09

    Way to go Manning! Avalon is yours!

  • Bill
    March 29, 2011 - 08:52

    Let us remember that the Conservative Party has been found in contempt of Parliament, yet Harper fails to acknowledge he did anything wrong. Now Mr. Manning said in his CBC interview that he did not like the easy life of being a Senator, yet he had no problem accepting the patronage appointment when it was offered. And now he has the arrogance to say as reported in this article, "Asked by reporters, Manning said he was in the election to win, but wouldn’t rule out returning to the senate if he lost the election, and was offered the job again." So is this the kind of trustworthy person who should be a representative of the people of NL? He is just playing a game and we as taxpayers are paying the admission price.

  • GM in NB
    March 29, 2011 - 08:51

    How soon we forget that Fabian Manning has learned some hard lessons from his time in provincial politics. As a minister in Mr Williams' cabinet he stood up against the premiers policy and was punished for it. The second time around he learned his lesson and did not publicly stand against a leader(Mr. Harper). For this he was publically and politically punished by this province and the provincial tories. I guess it speaks to the difficulty of the position, trying to please everyone and still get your voice heard. The fact that there are many provincial PC's backing him now only goes to show that they did not agree with the actions last time but had to follow a premier with his vendetta. And having learned from Mr. Manning in the past, toeing the line was the best option. Good Luck Mr. Manning

  • Jay
    March 29, 2011 - 08:49

    Maybe he should make up his mind, Anyone else have two jobs they can just move back and forth betweenwith a huge pension and full benefits? Whats with stuffing the senate with failed candidates. Think smart before voted for this douche. Tory times were hard times when they were progressive. These non-progressive tories will toss us like a used tissue. They just need the numbers for a majority. All the want/need is one and canada as we know it is lost. Start saving for your healthcare.

    • Kim
      March 29, 2011 - 09:02

      @ JAY: Douche? I'm sure your eloquence is reflective of your intellect. Mr. Manning, you have always risen above and put your heart and soul into representing your district, both provincially and federally. You will have our support on May 2nd! Let the good times roll!

  • Leonard Phillips
    March 29, 2011 - 08:48

    Finally representation will return to the Avalon district! Looking forward to your victory on election day Fabian! Everyone's a critic, and you've weathered the ups and downs. Thanks for coming back! It takes guts - and that's what we need! Ignatieff as Prime Minister is a scary thought - but a coalition with the Bloc is even scarier. Get informed voters! MANNING FOR AVALON!

  • Jay
    March 29, 2011 - 08:45

    Hey Dave, are you one of those commentors the Conservative party was advertdisng for on craigslist? You know the ad, the one where they want people to do what you do? Plant comments to make others think what the Harper Gov does is normal and to pull the wool over all the corruption this government is involved in? Pretty sad when you have to be paid to comment that way. Besides, no one cares about the coalition other than the one Harper signed onto in 2004. Care to comment on that or will you get fired. lol.

  • mj
    March 29, 2011 - 08:26

    Too bad I'm not in his district; I'd be the first one to vote for him. And I'll vote for the Tory in my district. Harper needs a majority to run this country and not be choked by opposition parties hanging on hos coattails trying to get an agenda across.

  • Bob R
    March 29, 2011 - 08:25

    Do we really want to vote for somebody that gives up a senate seat, hoping to get elected. If not elected, he hopes to get back to the Senate. Does he have a few $$$$ put away in case none of this works ??? Even his wife thinks he is crazy !!!!! I don't believe that has been done before, I wonder why. Fabian, save your money. However I would like 1 Conservative to be elected so we have somebody else announce the money Harper gives us.

  • P F Murphy
    March 29, 2011 - 08:23

    Does anyone think that Danny Williams' opinion of Steve Harper has changed one iota and we got where we are from that stance? Does anyone really believe that go along, come along will get this province anything on the hydro? The more you grovel, the less you need to be given. Two pictures I have difficulty getting out of my mind are Mr. Effort and his "take it or leave it" and Mr. Mannings simpering smile sitting behind Mr. Harper in the House of Commons while he said no to Newfoundland. I think it would be as well to note who the cabinet ministers and ordinary members are who support Mr. Manning for refer in the upcoming provincial election as people probably not worth a vote.

  • jack stang
    March 29, 2011 - 08:21

    "..I chose the Avalon.” - Fabian Manning ..actaully, sir, the Avalon has CHOSEN seomone else- - - i bet this clown will show up at the Royal weeding univited as well..

  • Dave - Ottawa Valley
    March 29, 2011 - 08:17

    As a NFLDer, I have great concern that if we do not support the Harper Conservatives, that a united group lead by Iggy and totally beholden to the Bloc will control the government. If this happens, ANY support for the Hydro development will be gone. Do we think that a government controlled by the Quebec seperatists will allow Federal money to be used.

    • Josh
      March 29, 2011 - 08:53

      Sounds like more B.S. from the Conservative scare machine. Now tell us the one about how the NDP will nationalize our toothbrushes!

  • Wildrose
    March 29, 2011 - 08:07

    Welcome to the Tea Party (north) Mr. Manning.

  • Scott Free
    March 29, 2011 - 08:02

    A true polictian that young fellow Manning; seize the opportunity. What is truly sad and pathetic here is the spineless jellyfish provincial cabinet ministers and the dyed in the wool Tories who are coming out now to support Mr. Manning now that King Danny is out of the picture. The sheep couldn't think for themselves last time around and had to follow the dictator's directive to stay home. I don't want any of those ministers of the clown making any decisions for me whatsoever; we have an opportunity to toss them all out this year; let's do it. And, no wonder Danny was denied access to cabinet ministers' cell phones; he would have called them and warned them not to show support for Mr. Manning. The puppets are out; the puppets are out!

  • Ches in the Bay
    March 29, 2011 - 07:42

    Well I thought I heard it all but I guess not. As a persone who once voted for Mr. Manning I now question his thought process. I was hopeing to see new blood running in this district not someone who thinks he is Superman! I just wonder if Mr. Manning will have to start living on his pension's. I just hope he will not get offered another senate seat after May 2, now that would be discusting! I will be pleased if Mr. Manning get the message this time! Time to wake up my friend.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    March 29, 2011 - 07:30

    And please help me remember ---- who is it that Fabian Manning owes his loyalty to --- is it the voters of Avalon ---- or Stephen Harper? Ah yes, that's right. He was the one sitting next to Mr. Harper in the House laughing at NLer's when he supported Harper taking $10 BILLION dollars away from NL by keeping revenues from our non-renewable resources in the equalization formula. And who was it that rewarded him for that betrayal of NL? That's right --- Stephen Harper. So who do you think Fabian will support if re-elected in Avalon --- NL? or Stephen Harper?

  • John
    March 29, 2011 - 07:20

    Say what you want about him, Fabian Manning was the only one of the Terrible Trio that had the stuff to actually let electorate decide whether they wanted him or somebody else to represent him. What do we do this time around? Here, we have a man on the one hand not afraid to do what is right, while on the other, he has shown that he only cares about what is good for Fabian Manning. Do we give him a second chance, especially, when reading between the lines and being a bit of a cynic, it appears that maybe, Stevie Boy has offered him back his Senate Seat if he loses. Oh, the decisions that an election forces one to make.