Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie won’t rule out forcing an election call before the Liberals have chosen their new leader.
Crosbie held a news conference on Tuesday to discuss the resignation of Premier Dwight Ball.
While credence was given to the New Democratic Party ahead of the 2019 provincial election to have a leader in place before the campaign started, Crosbie isn’t sure the same will be offered to the Liberals.
“The Liberals did that because it suited them to do that at the time. They triggered an early election last year because they thought they could catch us not quite prepared for the election. I’m not sure I’m willing to make that undertaking,” said Crosbie.
“I’m not going to rule it out. At the rate things are going, it’s a probability there’s going to be an election before the summer anyhow.”
"At the rate things are going, it’s a probability there’s going to be an election before the summer anyhow.” — Ches Crosbie
Crosbie says when the next confidence vote in the Liberals comes up, public opinion will inform whether his party votes for or against.
“It’s not a matter of playing tricks or anything like that. It’s a question of reading the temper of the public. My reading so far has been that the public wants to have a government in place that functions, that is competent, that cares about the public and is addressing the major issues of the day without corruption,” said Crosbie.
“We’re not even a year out right now from the last election. It may be that we’ll be thrust back into an election in approximately a year from the last one. If that happens, it’s going to be due to the Liberal party seizing what they think is their electoral advantage, not due to anything that the PC party wants to see happen.”
Liberal rules not set
Meanwhile, the Liberal party has yet to set what the rules for the coming leadership contest will be. Originally, the party had said the rules would come Tuesday, but that’s not the case.
In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, party president John Allan says the rules will be announced “in the coming days.”
That could leave Liberal leadership hopefuls waiting to announce their intentions.
Team Broken Earth founder Andrew Furey, Newfoundland Growlers CEO Dean McDonald and former Liberal candidate Paul Antle have each stated they’re waiting for the rules to be announced before making their intentions clear.
The list of those not seeking the Liberal leadership includes current MHAs Andrew Parsons, Gerry Byrne, Siobhan Coady, Steve Crocker, Christopher Mitchelmore, Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Carol Anne Haley, Brian Warr, Pam Parsons, and Sarah Stoodley. Former Liberal MP Nick Whalen told The Telegram he would not seek the Liberal leadership.