Newly minted Liberal Leader Dwight Ball spent between $200,000 and $300,000 on the campaign – most of it his own personal money.
Dwight Ball - Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
The day after he was declared as the party's new leader, Ball sat down with The Telegram and talked about where things are, and where he wants to take the party.
Ball said he won't disclose the list of people who donated to his campaign, but he'll make some numbers public next week.
“What we plan on doing is, over this weekend we'll be finalizing the numbers of how much we spent on the campaign, and we'll be looking at the donations,” Ball said. “We'll disclosing the amounts that people donated and we'll be disclosing, certainly, how much I put in.”
Ball said the biggest contributor – by a long shot – was Dwight Ball. He said most of the donation amounts were sufficiently small that nobody could think he'd been “bought.”
On Monday, Ball also settled back into the role of Official Opposition Leader in the House of Assembly. He started off question period by asking about Bill 29, and calling on Premier Kathy Dunderdale to repeal the legislation which he said increases government secrecy.
Dunderdale said that Newfoundland and Labrador is more open with information than many other provinces in Canada.
Ball told The Telegram that in the short term, the Liberals are entirely focused on the Carbonear-Harbour Grace byelection, and making sure that candidate Sam Slade wins.
Beyond that, he said, his job is about preparing the party for the next election.
“We've got about eight more days left until the 26th of November, so that's the short term goal to do whatever we can to support Sam Slade,” he said. “Then we're going to continue with candidate recruitment, getting ourselves ready for upcoming byelections or whatever it is.”
Ball's message wasn't so much about attacking the Tories, as it was about presenting the Liberals as a party of “change” for voters.
“People that I talk to are saying, well, you know what? The future of Newfoundland and Labrador is bright,” he said. “The change that they're talking about is that they want someone in place, a manger in place, a leader in place that they can have confidence in.”