Liberals, NDP have their candidates, Conservatives close behind
The race for the federal seat in St. John’s East is starting to take shape, with the three major parties getting candidates in place.
Liberal incumbent Nick Whalen was elected in 2015 after eking out a 646-vote win over the New Democratic Party’s Jack Harris. The Liberals swept all seven seats in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2015.
Harris, who was confirmed as the NDP candidate in the district on Tuesday evening, says he plans to run on his prior seven-year record representing the district.
“The big issue in 2015 was getting rid of Mr. Harper. Well, I haven’t seen much evidence of him lately, except when he’s hanging around Andrew Scheer and whispering in his ear, but other than that, Mr. Harper is gone,” said Harris.
“Now, we’re dealing with a government that came to power based on not being Mr. Harper, but there’s a lot of the same-ol’-same-ol’ going on.”
Former Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry Association CEO Bob Cadigan is the latest to put his hand up for the race, announcing on Tuesday he will seek the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in the riding.
Cadigan says Bill C-69 and the province’s treatment by Ottawa are among his top concerns as the federal election approaches.
“I think we’re in a time where the province is in the most difficult position it’s been in fiscally, and with the decline in population, you’d have t go back pre-confederation to see the kind of trouble we’re in right now,” said Cadigan.
“All the levers to solve our problems are not in our hands.”
St. John’s Coun. Debbie Hanlon had indicated her intent to seek the nomination, but says she is no longer seeking the Conservative nomination.
Cape St. Francis MHA Kevin Parsons had also mulled seeking the nomination, but ultimately stayed with provincial politics.
Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada will field William Lorimer in the riding.
In 2015, the Communist Party of Canada had its first candidate in Newfoundland and Labrador in the riding. There’s no word on whether the party will have another candidate for the coming election.
Barring an early election call, the federal election will take place on Oct. 21.