From the memory hole... thirteen years ago today.
ST. JOHN'S, May 16, 2001 — Following is the Private Member's Resolution put forward in the House of Assembly today by Opposition Leader Ed Byrne. Government members voted down the resolution.
WHEREAS the current Premier ascended to that post by being elected leader of his Party on February 3, 2001 by 638 delegates to his Party's leadership convention;
AND WHEREAS it is reasonable and proper to demand that a new Premier overseeing a new administration, unless merely filling a caretaker role in continuation of the mandate of his predecessor, should move swiftly to seek a new mandate directly from the people, whom the Premier presumes to govern;
AND WHEREAS on every other occasion in this province when there has been a change in leadership of the governing Party, a general election has followed within 100 days;*
AND WHEREAS the current Premier, during the first 100 days of his administration, has stated and demonstrated his desire to take his administration in policy directions that deviate significantly from those of his predecessor;
AND WHEREAS on the bulk water export issue in particular, the current Premier has stated publicly he now prefers to pursue a policy that defies not only the policy but indeed the legislation that was drafted, passed unanimously and enacted under the administration of his predecessor, with the current Premier's support at the time, and that is now the law of the province;
AND WHEREAS on the Voisey's Bay development issue in particular, the current Premier has articulated a position on the export of nickel ore prior to finished processing that explicitly defies the position that was published and provided to voters in the Liberal Party's 1999 election ‘red book', on the basis of which the voters of the province gave the current Premier's predecessor his mandate;
AND WHEREAS at least two prominent Members of the Cabinet of the current Premier's predecessor have, publicly and repeatedly, expressed grave concern and opposition with respect to the approach of the current Premier on the Voisey's Bay development issue;
AND WHEREAS the current Premier has stated in this House that he is willing to sign a binding contract on Voisey's Bay development without first bringing it directly to the people of the province and their elected representatives in the House of Assembly for scrutiny and approval, thereby shackling the people of the province to a deal on which they have had no input;
AND WHEREAS the current Premier has failed to articulate a strategic plan for the province's fishing industry as a principal means of fostering the economic development that rural Newfoundland and Labrador desperately needs;
AND WHEREAS numerous other significant public policy issues with enormous long-term implications for Newfoundland and Labrador and its people – including energy supply, Churchill Falls development, oil and gas development, forest management, infrastructure management, federal-provincial agreements and others – are now before the provincial government for decisions, yet the people of the province have been given no clear articulation and no direct opportunity to approve or disapprove of the direction the current Premier intends to take on these vital issues;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House urge the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador to promptly ask His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor to dissolve the General Assembly and to issue a writ of general election.
- 30 -For more information:
Ed Byrne, MHA Kilbride
* Note: In this province, there have been four changes of leadership in a governing party. In the case of three of those, a general election followed within 100 days. Brian Peckford succeeded Frank Moores as Party Leader on March 17, 1979 and as Premier on March 26, 1979, and a general election was held on June 18, 1979. Tom Rideout succeeded Brian Peckford as Party Leader on March 11, 1989 and as Premier on March 22, 1989, and a general election was held April 20, 1989. Brian Tobin succeeded Clyde Wells as Party Leader on January 17, 1996 and as Premier on January 26, 1996, and a general election was held on February 22, 1996. Roger Grimes succeeded Brian Tobin as Party Leader on February 3, 2001 and as Premier on February 13, 2001.
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