I gave the following speech on Oct. 30 in St. John's.
Good afternoon and thank you for coming.
It’s been 11 days since the longest federal general election campaign in modern history, and the results have settled in.
Canada is finally rid of Stephen Harper, and that’s a good thing … for Canada.
A great thing for Newfoundland and Labrador.
I’m proud — it was an honor — to have served for more than four years as part of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Ottawa.
The most effective Opposition in the Harper era …
An Opposition that helped take Harper down.
Day after day, month after month, year after year in the House of Commons we hammered Harper and his scandal-riddled administration for disrespecting Parliament …
For changing the face of Canada into an image we no longer recognized — or liked.
Newfoundland and Labrador suffered under Harper’s rule; he was no friend of ours.
And Canadians — Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — saw the Trudeau Liberals as the wave to ride him out.
The country now has a majority Liberal government and the entire East Coast of Canada— all 32 seats, including 7 here in Newfoundland and Labrador — are red.
That’s the first time since Confederation that all seats have been held by one party.
Change is good — even for me.
Harper is finally gone.
But we’re left with no federal opposition on the East Coast.
There is no federal opposition to keep the Liberal majority in line …
To ensure their commitments to provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador are delivered.
There is no opposition to ensure federal government policies best reflect what we need and deserve … to prosper.
There is even talk right here in our province of a Liberal majority after the provincial election on Nov. 30th.
Some people say it’s a given; it’s a fait de complis.
I say that would be a political nightmare, a political worst-case scenario.
A Liberal majority in Ottawa, combined with the Liberal grip on Eastern Canada … and the thought of a Liberal government right here in Newfoundland and Labrador …
Would not work for democracy, would not work in our best interests.
There would be no democratic checks and balances — and that political nightmare has kept me awake at night.
Dwight Ball expects to take government by default.
Not by what he has to offer, but by standing on the sidelines, waiting for his turn …
For his turn.
That’s not good enough, that will not do.
Paul Davis is a friend of mine.
I’ve known him as a police officer with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, as an MHA when I served the constituents of the great riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl …
And I’ve known him as a leader, as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
When Stephen Harper reneged on yet another commitment to our province — a commitment to compensate the province for relinquishing minimum processing requirements as part of the Canada-EU trade deal …
Premier Davis stood up to Harper.
Premier Davis stood up for our province.
I stood with the premier then.
I stand with the premier now.
There are no federal Opposition MPs in Eastern Canada to challenge the Trudeau government …
To ensure they follow through on the $280 million in compensation for CEDA.
To ensure that promises made are promises kept, to ensure that Liberal MPs don’t become yes men or yes women.
I’ve seen that happen first hand.
A Progressive Conservative government would ensure the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador are looked after — always.
I can make sure of it.
A Progressive Conservative team led by Premier Davis would provide the vision and inspiration to push this province forward.
I’m here today to announce my candidacy for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the new district of Windsor Lake.
I raised my two boys in the riding.
We played street hockey on Parliament Place; we planted trees and watched them take root.
I’m here to say I want to be a part of a government led by Premier Paul Davis.
I know Ottawa, I know what works and doesn’t work.
I know Newfoundland and Labrador and what we need to move forward.
I know the district of Windsor Lake — I know the people.
You’re probably wondering why I’m not running as a New Democrat?
Simply put, this is not about the NDP.
This is about Newfoundland and Labrador, and what I see as our best way forward.
This is about Premier Paul Davis and his team’s ability to best do that.