Carbonear Mayor Sam Slade was approved unanimously by council members to take a three-week leave of absence effective today (Nov. 5) at yesterday’s town council meeting.
© Compass file photo
Slade is the Liberal candidate in the Carbonear-Harbour Grace provincial byelection that has been called for Nov. 26, after former Progressive Conservative MHA Jerome Kennedy resigned the post a month ago.
There is no rule about Slade needing to vacate his seat during the byelection, but he made his decision after some serious consideration.
“I want to make sure Carbonear has the attention it deserves,” Slade told The Compass during a phone interview today while campaigning in Spaniard’s Bay. “I have respect for the people of Carbonear and felt this was the best choice.”
Slade will have to resign his seat on council if he wins the byelection.
Deputy Mayor George Butt Jr. assumes the chair effectively immediately. There will not be a deputy mayor replacement at this time.
The next council meeting is expected to take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 18.
Slade will have a meet and greet at his headquarters in the former Rowe Building on Water Street in Carbonear (across from the Stone House) tonight at 8 p.m.
The 55-year-old fisherman already has some groups on social media to support him for the MHA position, one being, "Youth In Support of Sam Slade (Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Candidate)" on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Jack Harrington — former constituency assistant to Jerome Kennedy — has also begun campaigning.
Signs toting the blue Progressive Conservative emblem have be seen in the district since the byelection was called yesterday.
His headquarters is located at 127 Columbus Drive in Carbonear in the same plaza as Ches’s Fish and Chips and Macho Pizza. Information on the opening of Harrington’s office has not yet been released.
NDP officials have confirmed they are still actively seeking a candidate for the area, and expect to have one in place by the nomination deadline Nov. 16.