Former N.L. premier to resign seat, clearing way for bid by Premier Andrew Furey
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball poses for a picture in his office at the Confederation Building in St. John's on February 18, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly)
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Newfoundland and Labrador's new Liberal premier says he is planning to run for his seat in the west coast riding that former premier Dwight Ball will soon vacate.
Ball announced today that he is resigning as the member of the legislature of Humber-Gros Morne, clearing the way for Premier Andrew Furey to make a bid for a seat.
Furey was chosen as the leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador last month, and sworn in as the 14th premier.
The riding of Humber-Gros Morne -- held by Ball since 2011 -- includes portions of the island's west coast and Northern Peninsula, along with Ball's hometown of Deer Lake.
Ball tweeted on Monday afternoon that he's announcing his resignation, and the Liberal party sent a news release shortly afterwards announcing it's opening nominations for the district.
Furey wrote in the release that he's looking forward to the opportunity to represent the district.
The premier, who is a surgeon and charity CEO, was elected Liberal leader Aug. 3, replacing Ball, who stepped down in the winter.
He has long hinted he's interested in running for Ball's Humber-Gros Morne district, and has made multiple visits to the riding.
He inherits a troubling financial situation in Newfoundland and Labrador, with officials attributing a $2.1-billion deficit to falling oil prices and pandemic-related spending.
The new premier has already said he does not plan to call a general election before the end of 2020 and that he intended to run for the next seat that becomes available.
Ball won a minority government in 2019. There are currently 20 Liberal members in the legislature, 15 Progressive Conservatives, three New Democrats and two Independents.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2020.