After decisive victory that earns him a place in the House of Assembly, he says guiding the province through COVID-19 is his top priority
Premier Andrew Furey has won a seat in the House of Assembly.
Furey was victorious Tuesday in the Humber-Gros Morne byelection, returning the district to his Liberal party after the resignation of former premier Dwight Ball.
“I’m very humbled by the support I received tonight,” Furey told reporters after his victory.
“Looking forward to doing the hard work that the people of Humber-Gros Morne deserve. Of course, my uncle (Chuck Furey) represented a portion of this riding, so there’s some sentimental value attached to this for me.”
With opposition parties stating they will support the 2020-21 budget, it falls to Furey to call the next general election. By law, the election must take place sometime before September 2021. Furey says he doesn’t intend to call an election in the fall, but hasn’t made a decision on when the general election will be.
“I’m not making any of those decisions tonight,” he said.
Furey enters the legislature at a historically difficult time for the province. A $1.8-billion deficit, driven further by the downturn in oil prices and paired with the public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the future of the Come By Chance refinery up in the air will give Furey plenty to do as an elected official.
Furey says his top priority as premier and now as an MHA is to guide the province through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything else is secondary to the health and safety of the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.
Progressive Conservative candidate Mike Goosney offered his congratulations to Furey for his victory, and to his supporters for turning up on election day. He said he hopes Furey doesn’t forget the district that elected him.
“Keep a close ear to your local municipal councils. I look forward to working with Mr. Furey as the deputy mayor (of Deer Lake). I’ll continue to work at the issues together,” said Goosney.
“It’s time people in the province realize the hardships that we find ourselves in. It has to be more collaboration than going against each other.”
Other candidates say they intend to run again
Goosney says he intends to put his name forward in the general election, whenever it is called.
Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley placed third in the election, the second time his party has appeared on the ballot in an election in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the first time in Humber-Gros Morne.
Pelley says it’s not the result he wanted, but he feels momentum for his party from Tuesday’s result.
“This certainly adds momentum. We have another district where we have a good base of people to start with and continue to build our district alliance in Humber-Gros Morne,” said Pelley.
New Democratic Party candidate Graham Downey-Sutton says he intends to write a letter to Furey to offer congratulations, but also give voice to issues he saw on the campaign trail.
“I want to make sure the concerns I heard are able to be relayed to (Furey). I see in the next few days, Mr. Furey will receive a letter first as congratulations, but also some issues which I discovered while campaigning in the district,” said Downey-Sutton, who added he intends to appear on the ballot in the next general election, whenever it is called.