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West coast Newfoundland mayors share their thoughts on election outcome

From the left, Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose, Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons and Dean Ball, mayor of Deer Lake.
From the left, Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose, Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons and Dean Ball, mayor of Deer Lake. - SaltWire Network File Photo

Stephenville's Tom Rose, Corner Brook's Jim Parsons and Deer Lake's Dean Ball weigh in

CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

It’s no doubt that most people in the province were interested in finding out the results of the provincial election on Saturday.

An election that the unofficial results have the Liberals forming a majority government with 22 seats. The official results will be released on Tuesday.

It’s also an election that saw Liberal Leader Andrew Furey retain his seat while PC Leader Ches Crosbie and NDP Leader Alison Coffin suffered big defeats in losing theirs.

Among those paying close attention to the results were some west coast mayors and here’s what they had to say:


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Jim Parsons, Corner Brook

Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons encouraged people to make sure their voices are heard during the PET scanner protest in the city on Monday. — SaltWire Network File Photo
Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons encouraged people to make sure their voices are heard during the PET scanner protest in the city on Monday. — SaltWire Network File Photo

Reaction to vote

“The biggest thing I noticed was the turnout. The turnout I thought was higher than I expected given I guess the challenges of the election.

“But at the same it is always disappointing when you have a low turnout.”

“Whether there are court challenges or not, we’ll see, but I think right now that the Liberal party has to move, form a government and start doing the work it has to do.

Two leaders not elected

“I think everyone’s looking forward, there’s some renewal required in the parties.

“Now we need to really focus on good governance. I think that we’ve got to put aside this partisan bickering really and move to a constructive new reality for the province.

“It’s not going to come without challenges for Premier (-elect) Furey, but I can tell you know the City of Corner Brook is looking forward to doing its part.


"... we’ve got to put aside this partisan bickering really and move to a constructive new reality for the province." — Jim Parsons


What will the Liberal majority mean for the province and municipalities?

“The province is still facing the same challenges we were before the election.

“I think it’s going to be very important for all parties to work together with all levels of government to fix some of our very pressing problems in the province.

Do you fear cuts to municipal funding?

“Generally, the City of Corner Brook is very self-sustainable in every way except for help with infrastructure.

“So, we do desperately need the support of our federal and provincial partners when it comes to maintaining what we have and replacing what we have.

“We’re still waiting on things like our multi-year capital works program that didn’t roll out last summer as expected and it’s in danger at this point of not rolling out again this summer.

“I’m looking forward to getting rid of our caretaker status of government and getting that multi-year capital funds out and announced to the municipalities. Because we have a lot of work to do and we’re in danger of losing the second summer of that.”


Dean Ball, Deer Lake

Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball. — SaltWire Network File Photo
Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball. — SaltWire Network File Photo


The results

“This is good. This is a good day.

“Let’s get back to work now. The province has been dragged through a lot the last 10 weeks and I’m certainly glad that it’s done.”

“Regardless of the voter turnout, it was 48 per cent. It is still a strong mandate to govern and to me I hope our resources now are not dragged through the court system.

“I just hope we get on with business, and get back to work and let’s do what we can do in this province.

Do you fear cuts to municipal funding?

“It’s nothing new to municipalities now to look at their budgeting in a completely different way in this environment than we did 20 years ago.

“And it comes down to budgeting and strong leadership when it comes to budgets, and sticking to your numbers and living within your means.

“And every municipality big or small will face those challenges. You just have to be stringent on forecasting and that’s always challenging.


"This province has got a long way to go to get over some hurdles that we face and there’s going to be some tough decisions." — Dean Ball


Liberal majority

“I think now they have a mandate and I really think that we’ve needed this and this was a long time coming.

“We’re here now, today my thought process now is all parties have to pull together now and bring this province back where we need to be.

“And I think that Premier (-elect) Furey has what it takes right now to take us to the next level here.

“This is still not over. This province has got a long way to go to get over some hurdles that we face and there’s going to be some tough decisions. I think he has a mandate to do that … let’s look at the cup as half full instead of half empty.

“We need some strong leadership and there’s some tough decisions. Tough decisions that won’t be made lightly and you can’t make all the bad decisions at once.”

“I think we all are nervous of where some of this stuff might go, but you know what, we’ve got to get our house in order.”


Tom Rose, Stephenville

Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose. — SaltWire Network File Photo
Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose. — SaltWire Network File Photo


Reaction

“There’s so much to this election, myself, like most people, are probably glad that it’s over.

“Provincially I’m pleased that we have a majority government because it’s ability to govern. To govern a province of this scale, this magnitude, with such rich resources but yet struggling with some deficit issues. It is challenging but you need strong leadership to move forward.

“And, I think, a government that’s a majority gives you that ability to spend the tide of any adversity and look at moving forward.”

Do you fear cuts to municipal funding?

“I don’t really see that affecting us even with the fiscal position the provincial government is in. Because the (COVID-19) pandemic has played a critical role in stalling the economy on some many fronts … that you’ll probably see some federal initiatives that will trickle down through the province, then trickle down through the municipalities that’s going to help us stimulate the economy.

“Because nobody can stimulate the economy any better than municipalities. We’re ground level and when we start spending money within our communities it has a multiplying effect.

“Canada is a G7 nation in this world and Newfoundland is a great rich province in so many ways. And if Canada and Newfoundland can’t afford to carry debt and manage debt nobody can.”

Two party leaders that weren’t elected

“That’s tough on those parties. Although it wasn’t a real strong majority, we’ve got some good opposition and I think that’s also healthy. But it’s still healthy to me to have a majority government who can actually govern.

“I’m not sure what will happen with the court challenges, whether they’ll even happen. But at the end of the day a government must have the ability to govern. Because you can’t allow all of these minister portfolio department to sit in abeyance. It’s just not healthy.

“We’re coming out of this pandemic, we need good leadership, we need to stimulate the economy and I think municipalities will play a critical role. Stephenville certainly will.”


Diane Crocker reports on west coast news.
[email protected]
Twitter: @WS_DianeCrocker


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