Charlie Oliver says no to PC leadership run

James McLeod jmcleod@thetelegram.com
Published on February 5, 2014
Charlie Oliver. Telegram file photo

St. John’s businessman Charlie Oliver is counting himself out of the running for the PC Party leadership.

In a news release sent out Wednesday morning, Oliver said he’ll be putting efforts into a private think tank instead to put forward non-partisan solutions to policy issues facing the province.

“Politics was always a strong interest for me, but not my passion,” Oliver said in a news release. “Over the past two weeks, it was quite unexpected when so many people I respect around this province actually reached out, encouraging me to run for the PC leadership"

The idea for the think tank, instead, would be to look at issues like health care, pensions, and education, and provide an outside perspective.

“They will be researched, evaluated, diagnosed and commented upon without attachment of any preset bias,” Oliver said. “The intent is to clearly present the facts and propose actionable solutions.”

At around the same time Wednesday, the PC Party announced that the leadership convention will be happening July 4-5 in St. John’s. On Monday, the party said they were aiming for June 27-29, but they had to re-jig things in order to find appropriate space to hold the convention in town.

Sheila Kelly-Blackmore and Tommy Williams will co-chair the leadership convention.

So far, only fish processor Bill Barry has declared his candidacy for the PC leadership.

Oliver is one of a few people who were said to be considering it, but counted themselves out - cabinet minister Paul Davis and Ottawa lobbyist Tim Powers have also said they won’t be running.