Taylor calls it a day

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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High-profile cabinet minister resigns for personal reasons

The province's transportation minister is going down the road. Trevor Taylor, a high-profile cabinet member since the Tories took power in October 2003, announced late Thursday morning he was leaving politics.

He had resigned from cabinet just prior to speaking with reporters and said he would be done as the MHA for the Straits-White Bay North next Friday. He cited personal reasons for the decision.

Trevor Taylor, minister of Works, Services and Transportation, speaks with reporters after announcing his resignation from cabinet Thursday at the House of Assembly. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The province's transportation minister is going down the road. Trevor Taylor, a high-profile cabinet member since the Tories took power in October 2003, announced late Thursday morning he was leaving politics.

He had resigned from cabinet just prior to speaking with reporters and said he would be done as the MHA for the Straits-White Bay North next Friday. He cited personal reasons for the decision.

"Despite what some people might think about the lives of ministers and politicians, it takes a heavy toll on people and their families, and after nine years I just realized that I didn't have the same fire for it anymore," said Taylor, eyes watery as he stood before the mike outside the doors of the House of Assembly.

He elaborated on the impact on his loved ones when asked about the worst part of political life.

"It took a heavy toll on my family to the point where I lost part of it, you could say. I'm going to try to get that back now," he said.

Taylor said he began pondering his political future over the summer, and stressed that his ultimate decision had nothing to do with past or present government policy.

To douse any speculation, he noted it was unrelated to what's happening in Flower's Cove, the community in his district where the government has come under fire for cutting lab and X-ray services.

"I've never ran away from a fight since I've been in politics, and I certainly wouldn't be leaving on account of that right now."

Taylor said he enjoyed working with some "magnificent people" and on initiatives involving fibreoptics and aquaculture. But he noted he didn't like living in a fishbowl.

"I didn't mind scrutiny, but I didn't want it for the rest of my life," he said.

Taylor entered provincial politics in January 2001 when he took his district in a byelection.

It was one of two byelection wins in Liberal strongholds on the Northern Peninsula that night for the then-opposition Tories, as Wally Young took the St. Barbe seat.

Premier Danny Williams reflected on those victories, as well as his early dealings with Taylor, when he met with reporters at noon Thursday.

He said the byelection wins were significant for himself, the party, Taylor and the province.

The premier said he respected his longtime minister's decision, adding that Taylor has made a significant contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador.

"So, I'd be less than honest if I didn't say it was a sad moment. I think (Trevor's) the smart one - he's out of this racket. ... Anyway that's another comment," Williams said.

Taylor, 42, said he told the premier of his decision a week and a half ago.

He also emphasized he is not leaving to run federally.

"If you hear anybody say that, tell them, for God's sake, 'Don't call me!' Four runs at this is enough for me."

On his post-political plans, he said he would be doing some work in Arctic fisheries and ecosystem management with an organization funded by a large American foundation.

It's a field of interest to him, said Taylor, who was a fisherman and union leader before entering politics.

The former fisheries minister didn't name his new employer, but said there might be an announcement next week.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael said Taylor's announcement came as a surprise.

"Obviously, he's stated that it's for personal reasons, so we have to leave him with the reasons why he's stepped down," she said, before wishing Taylor well.

Williams said he hoped to name an acting transportation minister within days to ensure the large portfolio is taken care of.

He said he would wait to fill the job permanently.

The premier added he'd like to have a new minister in place before the legislature opens for the fall sitting.

A byelection must be called for Taylor's seat within 60 days after he steps down.

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Straits-White Bay North, Taylor's

Geographic location: Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador, Arctic

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Dennis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I was listening to Taylor's comments on the radio yesterday, and was disgusted when he joked about there being less heckling in the House now that he's gone.

    For years, he crapped all over the place, and made it intolerable for people watching from the gallery, not to mention impossible to to have a sustained, rational debate without the speaker repeatedly asking for quiet (to no avail).

    So yes, there will be less heckling there. Let`s hope the remaining honourable members don`t pick up the slack.

  • Tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Good for you, Trevor! Family should ALWAYS come first! Best of luck to you!

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    As Minister of Trade, I had the pleasure of meeting Trevor Taylor several times in Boston when he attended trade exhibits. He was a fine representative of Newfoundland and worked hard to achive success for the Province and business. I wish him all the best.

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    But I first thought he was stepping down to spend more time with family....only to hear that he is taking on a job which he said will involve a lot of travel. Heh??? I'm sure it's just me - I'm not getting it.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    The resignition of Minister Trevor Taylor has nothing to do with the good work of Danny Williams. I was the first to thank Trevor for his great work and honest determination and hard work to give Newfoundlanders nothing but the best odf service. I could not say this about Danny Williams because there would be a lot of people who would never trust my insight into what a poor job Premier Williams is doing to the forestry, fishery and mining, and most of all the health care.
    The citizen's of St. John's are already sensing the departure of Danny who thinks he is the Lord of The Ring. He feels the job as a politician is something not everyone should get themselves into. He may sense that himself as time to move on like Trevor Taylor.

    Frank Blackwood

  • Taxpayer Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Just going to be interesting to see who gets chselected to fill the void.

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I was saddened to hear that Trevor has decided to leave the political arena. I think he was an honest and thought full individual,who gave it his all.That I'm sure weighed heavily on his decision to step down. I wish him only the best in his future endeavors. Good luck to Danny and keep up the good work.

  • Angelica
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Sad to hear this. Trevor looks haggard and I am sure it was a difficult decision. I wish him the best of luck. He was a fine representative for Newfoundland.

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Dennis, nature abhors a vacuum, and John Hickey is still an MHA. I think you can work out the rest of the physics.

  • newfoundlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I can certainly understand someone wanting to get away from the scrutiny of public life.The various scandals make it obvious that a high level of scrutiny is warranted but its gotten to the point where a politician would probably be afraid that someone would do an access to information request to complain about the fact that their taxpayer-funded lunch cost 30 bucks or something and thet money would be better spent for healthcare . (30 bucks sounds like a lot but try getting a meal for less at a downtown hotel in many cities)

    Its a fishbowl life where even the most honest people might have difficulty facing that level of scrutiny day in and day out. I don't know minister Taylor but I could certainly understand taking a different job, even one with a fair bit of travel, just to get out of the public eye.

    I work in private industry and I can tell you-- I wouldn't want an MHA's job despite all the perks and supposed perks ( Oh and frequent travel is NOT a perk)An MHA is answerable to everyone. If it were just the rational opr well-informed it might be ok but the posts on this site demonstrate that there are many with very vocal opinions that they express freely (without the benefit of any real knowledge and reasoned with an apparenty lack of intelligent) thought

  • Dennis
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I was listening to Taylor's comments on the radio yesterday, and was disgusted when he joked about there being less heckling in the House now that he's gone.

    For years, he crapped all over the place, and made it intolerable for people watching from the gallery, not to mention impossible to to have a sustained, rational debate without the speaker repeatedly asking for quiet (to no avail).

    So yes, there will be less heckling there. Let`s hope the remaining honourable members don`t pick up the slack.

  • Tina
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Good for you, Trevor! Family should ALWAYS come first! Best of luck to you!

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    As Minister of Trade, I had the pleasure of meeting Trevor Taylor several times in Boston when he attended trade exhibits. He was a fine representative of Newfoundland and worked hard to achive success for the Province and business. I wish him all the best.

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    But I first thought he was stepping down to spend more time with family....only to hear that he is taking on a job which he said will involve a lot of travel. Heh??? I'm sure it's just me - I'm not getting it.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    The resignition of Minister Trevor Taylor has nothing to do with the good work of Danny Williams. I was the first to thank Trevor for his great work and honest determination and hard work to give Newfoundlanders nothing but the best odf service. I could not say this about Danny Williams because there would be a lot of people who would never trust my insight into what a poor job Premier Williams is doing to the forestry, fishery and mining, and most of all the health care.
    The citizen's of St. John's are already sensing the departure of Danny who thinks he is the Lord of The Ring. He feels the job as a politician is something not everyone should get themselves into. He may sense that himself as time to move on like Trevor Taylor.

    Frank Blackwood

  • Taxpayer Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Just going to be interesting to see who gets chselected to fill the void.

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I was saddened to hear that Trevor has decided to leave the political arena. I think he was an honest and thought full individual,who gave it his all.That I'm sure weighed heavily on his decision to step down. I wish him only the best in his future endeavors. Good luck to Danny and keep up the good work.

  • Angelica
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Sad to hear this. Trevor looks haggard and I am sure it was a difficult decision. I wish him the best of luck. He was a fine representative for Newfoundland.

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Dennis, nature abhors a vacuum, and John Hickey is still an MHA. I think you can work out the rest of the physics.

  • newfoundlander
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I can certainly understand someone wanting to get away from the scrutiny of public life.The various scandals make it obvious that a high level of scrutiny is warranted but its gotten to the point where a politician would probably be afraid that someone would do an access to information request to complain about the fact that their taxpayer-funded lunch cost 30 bucks or something and thet money would be better spent for healthcare . (30 bucks sounds like a lot but try getting a meal for less at a downtown hotel in many cities)

    Its a fishbowl life where even the most honest people might have difficulty facing that level of scrutiny day in and day out. I don't know minister Taylor but I could certainly understand taking a different job, even one with a fair bit of travel, just to get out of the public eye.

    I work in private industry and I can tell you-- I wouldn't want an MHA's job despite all the perks and supposed perks ( Oh and frequent travel is NOT a perk)An MHA is answerable to everyone. If it were just the rational opr well-informed it might be ok but the posts on this site demonstrate that there are many with very vocal opinions that they express freely (without the benefit of any real knowledge and reasoned with an apparenty lack of intelligent) thought