© — Telegram file photo
PORT AUX BASQUES — Andrew Parsons and his fellow Liberals made significant gains in the past year, but the legislature member for Burgeo and Lapoile says the focus now has to be on continuing to drive that upswing in the coming year.
Parsons said the Liberal party has to build on positive developments like byelection wins, plucking veteran Member of the House of Assembly Tom Osborne from the independent seats, gains in the polls and the official establishment of Dwight Ball as leader.
“The good thing we have now is momentum,” Parsons said in a year-end interview.
“That’s something we didn’t have before.”
With Liberals getting back on their feet federally, Parsons said the party is seeing more people getting interested in helping out or even running in future elections.
“Some things are out of your control, but the important thing is to take advantage of those things that are,” he said.
Parsons is also feeling confident about his district.
The former Atlantic Seaboard Industries Ltd. metal fabrication building on the Port aux Basques waterfront is now in on the offshore oil and gas industry after years of sitting idle.
Talon Energy and Fleetway Facility Services are using the building as part of a major subsea fabrication project related to Husky Energy's White Rose Extension.
“There’s work going on there now and these are new jobs in town,” said Parsons. “That’s very positive and something people have been looking to for years and years.”
Throughout his southwestern Newfoundland district, the most consistent issue Parsons hears about is the need for road work. That, along with 24-hour snowclearing on the highways throughout the region, are going to be issues he will be pushing in 2014.
With Marine Atlantic being the largest employer in Burgeo, LaPoile district, Parsons will be sure to keep pressing for the federally-operated Gulf ferry service to be the best it can be.
“Even though it’s federal, I still think it’s my job as the member for Port aux Basques to keep at that,” said Parsons, adding that there are also important issues regarding the provincial ferry service to be addressed in the coming year.