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Kevin Aylward

Is it too late for the Liberal party?

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Kieran Hanley explores how the Liberals went from governing to 6% support in St. John’s in just 9 years

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Kevin Aylward not going to hang on to leadership

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In an expected move, provincial Liberal leader Kevin Aylward has announced that he is resigning as the leader of the Liberal party. Aylward, who managed to grow his party’s seat count in this month’s election, was unable to secure his own district in Stephenville. It is generally frowned upon to be the leader of the opposition but not hold a seat in the House of Assembly, but insiders suggest that Aylward wasn’t in for the long haul anyways; Aylward is being praised in all Liberal corners for taking the reigns of the party at a difficult time and producing a reasonable result in the election. Aylward will stay on as leader until the party chooses a new one, likely to take place in the new year.

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Decker believes Aylward should step down

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“All of us Liberals owe Kevin a tremendous debt. What he did for the party was absolutely outstanding,” said Chris Decker, a former minister in the Clyde Wells Liberal government of the early 90’s. “[But] my advice to Kevin would be to step aside.” Liberal leaders Kevin Aylward did not win his own riding in Stephenville, which means that the official opposition is left without its leader in the House of Assembly. There are three options ahead for the party: Aylward can step aside and the party can appoint a new interim leader; Aylward can ask one of his elected MHAs to resign so that he can run in a by-election to win a ‘safe’ seat; or he can stay on as leader. Some believe that the latter option is most reasonable – Aylward did not enter into the fray expecting to be the leader long term, but he did…

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Everybody Wins!

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Some post-election thoughts from Kieran Hanley

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Election Round-up: This is it!

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On the cusp of Voting Day, a final analysis of the 2011 General Election…

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Aylward maintains that Liberals are a factor in 25 ridings

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To the polls be damned. Liberal leader Kevin Aylward said yesterday that according to his party’s internal polling, the Liberal party is close in at least two dozen races. “What we also see, in many of the districts — and we’re in play in 15 to 25, easily 25 to 30 districts — we have candidates who are possible winners,” he said. Polls throughout the campaign would seem to suggest otherwise; polls from various sources have consistently put the Liberals in third place in public opinion behind the NDP. The Independent‘s own analysis of Liberal strength throughout the province in 2007 (click here), in combination with the events thus far in this campaign, would also strongly indicate that Aylward’s predictions are unlikely. Somewhere between the polls and Aylward’s comments lies reality. Source: CBC

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Election Round-up: One week to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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NL Election 2011: The Final Week

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Newfoundland and Labrador is entering its final full week of its provincial election campaign, and VOCM is giving an update on where the leaders will be today. PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale will begin this week’s campaign in St. John’s with a visit to the Independent Living Resource Centre on Escasoni Place. She’s then heading off to the west coast where she will campaign with Wally Young in Rocky Harbour and Darryl Kelly in Deer Lake. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward is focusing his energies today in St. George’s-Stephenville East where he’s hoping to win back the district he held for 18 years away from incumbent, Joan Burke. NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is making an announcement this morning at 11 at her campaign office concerning the 2014 Health Accord. Michael will be joined by Megan Leslie, the NDP MP for Halifax. Stay tuned this week for TheIndependent.ca’s review of the three political…

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Aylward comes under fire for decisions made as MHA

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Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward is on the defensive regarding his role in preventing the auditor general from reviewing constituency allowances; before retiring from provincial politics in 2003 he was one of seven politicians on the Commission of Internal Economy when it voted to prevent that from happening. Ultimately of course when the books were reviewed later in the decade, gross mis-spending was uncovered which saw four politicians sent to jail. But Aylward said all politicians in the late 1990s supported the move to exempt the legislature.”The collective house of assembly including Jack Harris, leader of the NDP, and Loyola Sullivan and the Tory caucus also went collectively with that decision,” said Aylward reports the CBC. “It’s regrettable what occurred … Since then the Green commission has put in place what’s required. But we had a systematic breakdown in our accounting system.” Source: CBC

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Election Round-up: Two weeks to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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Liberals make promise to public service pensioners

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Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward has promised to provide a one-time increase to public sector pensioners of 2.5 per cent, and then make annual increases equivalent to the Consumer Price Index up to 2 per cent. Currently, the public service pensions are not indexed. Aylward was speaking to a rally organized by the members of the Public Sector Pensioners Association, who had congregated at the Confederation Building. The association has had a lengthy battle with government to get an increase for public service pensioners but has been unable to secure extra funding. “Healthy pension plans for all retirees is a critical part of supporting the seniors of our province,” said Aylward. Source: CBC

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A quick introduction to the provincial leaders

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The Canadian Press published their “Quicksketches” on the provincial leadership hopefuls yesterday, which serve as a helpful introduction to the characters in play for the next 4 weeks for those who aren’t intimately familiar with them already. ——————————— Kathy Dunderdale | PC Party Age: 59 Education: Attended Memorial University. Early career: Worked in community development, communications, fisheries and social work before entering politics. Political career: She was a town councillor and later deputy mayor of Burin before she was first elected to the legislature for the St. John’s area riding of Virginia Waters in 2003. She was sworn in as premier on Dec. 3, 2010. Served as minister of innovation, trade, rural development, natural resources and deputy premier in the government of Danny Williams. Personal: Married to Peter Dunderdale and they have raised two children, a son and daughter. Quote: “I think that what we have to say will resonate…

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Opposition questions report in Muskrat Falls

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The Opposition is questioning an independent report which has given the Muskrat Falls development the thumbs-up. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward says there was a flaw in the mandate of the report: Navigant (the consultant) was commissioned to look at what Nalcor has already done, and Aylward says Nalcor has only considered one option. If they form the government, Aylward says the Liberals will halt the spending, stop the contracts and set-up an independent process to look at all of the power options. Meanwhile Nalcor CEO Ed Martin says Navigant looked at the same alternative energy options as Nalcor did. He says Navigant came in to try and find something wrong, and they didn’t. Source: VOCM

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The Liberals: 2nd is a Success?

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The NDP: A Long way to go
In this 3-part series, the results of the 2007 election are represented geographically, giving us an idea of the work ahead for each party to win even just one more seat.

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Election Round-up: Four weeks to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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Poll says PC support holding, while the NDP gaining ground

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A newly released poll pegs PC support in Newfoundland and Labrador at 54 percent of voter support, while the NDP were up to 24 percent from 20 percent some months ago; the Liberal Party remained at 22 percent. The poll was conducted between Aug. 15 — the day after Kevin Aylward was appointed leader of the Liberal party — and Aug. 31, the last day of a string of high-profile spending announcements that the governing Tories have made this summer. Premier and PC leader Kathy Dunderdale was pleased with the numbers, as was NDP’s Lorraine Michael whose party moved into 2nd place for the first time. Liberal leader Aylward took the poll results in stride, saying that the Liberals intend to fight for every seat in the province. “This means to me that there is work to do, but I can say this with the candidates that we have now…

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… meanwhile the Liberals lose a 2nd candidate

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With the provincial election just over a month away, the Liberal party has lost its second candidate in under a month. Ken Carter told the party that he would no longer be able to run in the riding of Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune because it was too far away from his home and his family. Carter lives in St. John’s while the riding is situated on the south coast of Newfoundland. Carter says the decision is based primarily on the time commitment required of him, and has nothing to do with the party’s leadership. Earlier in August John Baird withdrew his candidacy because he had no confidence in new Liberal leader Kevin Aylward. Source: CBC

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Nalcor and Lower Churchill opponents spar over report

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While Nalcor officials are unhappy with a report on the project’s environmental, social, and economic impact, environmental groups are saying they are happy with the report. The Joint Panel Review of the Lower Churchill Project called Nalcor’s analysis “inadequate.” “We agree completely with the panel’s recommendation that the independent review is required,” said Liberal leader Kevin Aylward. “We’ve been saying that all along. And it will be part of our party platform, including public consultation, and we are looking at bringing in energy experts in North America who understand the energy grid and understand economics.” Meanwhile former premier Danny Williams also commented on the review Friday, saying that work on the Lower Churchill project needs to continue. “People have a right to scrutinize. People have a right to ask questions. You know, I welcome that,” he said. Source: CBC

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Confusion over service Canada downsizing

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The Provincial government is calling them job cuts, while the Federal government is calling it attrition and retraining – but whichever way you slice it, Service Canada job losses are taking place in Newfoundland and Labrador. Peter Penashue is disputing reports and claims that workers at Service Canada offices across the province are going to lose their jobs. He says the government will take care of workers who will be affected by changes that occur through attrition and other means, such as retraining. Jeannie Baldwin of the Public Service Alliance of Canada said the union had been told that the modernization of employment insurance processing at Service Canada centres will result in a total of 70 job cuts in Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook and Goose Bay. Some pink slips, she has been told, have already gone out. She said Gander will be the hardest hit, with 29 positions being…

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Hundreds turn out for Layton memorial

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Hundreds showed up to Harbourside Park last night for “St. John’s Remembers Jack”. It was a tribute to former NDP Leader Jack Layton who died Monday following a battle with cancer which also allowed the public to sign a book of condolences. In addition to local members of the NDP, other dignitaries present included Liberal MP Scott Simms, provincial Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward, City Councillor Sheilagh O’Leary and Nurses’ Union President Debbie Forward. Source: VOCM

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