Eleven Septembers ago
From the memory hole:
Ross Wiseman resigns from the Liberal Caucus, accepts invitation to join the PC Caucus
CLARENVILLE, September 7, 2001 — Trinity North MHA Ross Wiseman issued a statement at a news conference at 10:00 a.m. today at St. Jude Hotel in Clarenville. The following text may vary from the delivered version.
Today I have written Premier Roger Grimes and advised him I am resigning from the Liberal Caucus and have been invited to sit as a Member of the P.C. Caucus in the House of Assembly. This is not a decision made in haste nor was it an easy decision. My message today is for the residents of Trinity North.
On April 25th, 2000 you elected me to represent you in the House of Assembly. At that time I made a personal commitment to:
- be available to constituents;
- be responsive to the district; and
- be a strong voice for the interest of the district.
I have worked extremely hard to honour these commitments; I have made the interest of my constituents my #1 priority. I will continue to speak out on your behalf.
It is because of my concern for the district and for the entire province that I can no longer support the Liberal Government. The people of Trinity North and the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve a government that has a vision for the future and a plan of action to ensure the prosperity of all regions of the province, especially rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Our province is in desperate need of: strong leadership, improvements in our health system, greater benefits from our oil, gas and mineral resources, better management of our fishery, greater financial accountability and fiscally responsible spending. We also need a government that will insist on negotiating better financial arrangements with the Government of Canada. I have lost complete confidence in the current government's ability to lead us into the future; they do not have a plan but rather are reacting to issues as they arise. We need an action not a reaction oriented government. The actions that a Government take should be based on a plan and that plan should reflect a vision for the future. This vision is formed by understanding the potential for our Province and our people and understanding the issues that are important to our Province.
I am especially concerned about the approach the current government has taken with respect to Voisey's Bay. The political parties and people of the province had reached a strong consensus on Voisey's Bay development. We had drawn a line in the sand saying, on this resource, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would be the principal beneficiaries. The government was elected in 1999 on a mandate that no Voisey's Bay nickel ore would be shipped from the province and that there would be a proven processing facility established in this province. That was still the government's position when I was elected last year. But Mr. Grimes, since becoming Premier, has abandoned that position. I have seen the direction he is taking on Voisey's Bay development and I don't support it.
I am also very concerned about the serious fiscal problems facing our province and the growing expectation that the government will miss its financial target this year by a wide margin. It is becoming increasingly apparent that this year's budget rests on very shaky ground, and that worries me greatly.
I am afraid for the future of our district, particularly our smaller communities. While the current government jumps aimlessly from issue to issue, Danny Williams has a vision for a strong, more prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador and he has the strength and the leadership skills to make that vision a reality. I am convinced that the people of Trinity North will be better served by his vision and his plan. My decision to join his team is intended to send a strong message to this government and to the people of the province. I have lost confidence in this government's ability to deal with the critical issues that face our people and it is time to go to the people of the province and ask them to choose who they feel is better prepared to represent us on the many critical issues facing our province.
Many people throughout my district share my concerns and my frustrations with the current government. I will be seeking the nomination for the PC Party in the next election whenever it is held, and I will be asking for the support of Progressive Conservatives as well as those who stood by me in the last election as we fight for the best interest of Trinity North and of Newfoundland and Labrador.
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For more information:
Ross Wiseman, MHA Trinity North
Ross Wiseman, MHA Trinity North
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