Ex-premiers will remain so

Published on June 20, 2014
Brian Tobin and Danny Williams at the 2014 NOIA conference on Friday.
Keith Gosse photo

Anybody hoping two political heavyweights from the past will come out of retirement in the wake of Frank Coleman's long walk from a short political career best look for new blood.

Two ghosts of premiers past were active at the 2014 NOIA conference on Friday. Danny Williams and Brian Tobin were part of a special leaders panel. But at a media scrum afterwards, reporters were a little too slick to let the talk revolve completely around oil with Coleman — the sole candidate for the PC leadership — announcing this week he would no longer be taking the province’s top political position.

Here is some of the back and forth between Williams and Tobin concerning provincial politics.

“I was (Premier) number nine, I resigned. Number 10 resigned. Number 11 wants to resign and number 12, in waiting, has already resigned. So maybe what we should do is probably if you and I split it — you want to look at that? Give ‘em time to go into an election.” — Danny Williams

“I want to say, Danny, that is a really interesting idea. But I know of one person who probably might say that’s not the ‘Dwight’ answer.” — Brian Tobin

“All I can say is that I happen to know that there is an illness in (Frank Coleman’s) family and that’s his own personal business and he has a right to absolute privacy on that particular matter.” — Danny Williams

“To take on the task of premier is a massive commitment — or any senior role. Frank Coleman says that he’s not able to give his time and effort and energy, I think we should respect the decision and wish him well and wish his family well.” — Brian Tobin

“Absolute truth — I’m going fishing in July. I’m going up to Labrador and doing some salmon fishing and I’m going to try and stay as far away from (the PC leadership) scenario as I can. Not because I don’t support everything the party is doing. It seems any time I try and do anything at all, I get drawn in. I don’t need to get drawn in. I don’t want to get drawn in. And I wish everybody who stands as a candidate for that party all the very best, but I’ll be staying away.” — Danny Williams

“We’ll have a new premier within a few months, we’ll probably have an election within a year and then the people will decide who should be the government, and whoever that is should go forward and build on the foundation that exists today.” — Brian Tobin

“Would it be better to have the leadership settled and to have a leader who’s going to be around for years in place with a team? It would be, but I don’t think we should tell ourselves that terrible things are happening in the interim.” — Brian Tobin