UPDATE: Defected MHA showed no sign of discontent, premier says

James
James McLeod
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Premier Kathy Dunderdale is out of the province, but her director of communications issued a statement on MHA Paul Lane’s decision to leave the Tories today for the provincial Liberal party.

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball and MHA Paul Lane appear before media in St. John's today. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

"Mr. Lane didn’t express any discontent with leadership or the direction of the party before his announcement today, including when he accepted a promotion on Oct. 9," Dunderdale said in the emailed statement. "Mr. Lane had ample opportunity to voice his concerns surrounding leadership and direction of the party to me. He did not."

Dunderdale is reportedly in Florida on vacation, but her director of communications said she will be back in the province "in the coming days" and will comment on the situation then.

•••

(Earlier story)

Mount Pearl MHA Paul Lane said the January blackouts were "the last straw."

Lane announced he’s abandoning the PC Party at Smitty’s restaurant in Mount Pearl this morning and is joining the provincial Liberal party.

In a lengthy speech to media and constituents, he said his decision was heavily influenced by the Tories’ inability to support seniors and people with low incomes amid the current oil boom.

He also defended his vote in favour of Bill 29, but said that the amendments to the province’s access to information legislation went too far.

He said based on conversations with constituents, he feels people have lost faith in the Progressive Conservative government.

But he said that it was the January blackouts that really put him over the edge. He said while he was going door-to-door to help constituents, Premier Kathy Dunderdale was missing in action.

Liberal leader Dwight Ball welcomed him to the fold immediately.

"We certainly welcome Paul as a member of the official opposition," Ball said.

Lane has a reputation as a political bruiser and a fierce partisan.

He said that his top priority is the people of his district.

 

Organizations: PC Party

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Poor Paul
    January 22, 2014 - 22:12

    Politics is wrestlin', and writin' is fightin'. Mr. Wonderful welcomes The Iron Sheik into the fold, best publicity?, they should setup a tagteam match against the Ford Bros. at the ACC. There is very little difference in Lib or PC anymore. We may as well forget the Coke/Pepsi mindgames and let them all stand independent, in voluntary association. Then you get less situations like the one poor little Pauly Wally Laney Baby found himself trapped in, with no help, getting intimidated into the corner by the big bad MONSTERS within the secret PC party, monsters that feed on the bone marrow of children and seniors. He needs to be treated for PTSD, as soon as he is healed from having the duct tape wrapped around his face for so long.

  • Dianne
    January 21, 2014 - 05:19

    Kathleen, what's going on with you? couples month's ago, you were defencing the liberals party. now your questioning their decision concerning Mr Lane. Please tell me, who the opportunist here? Mr Ball or Mr Lane. You have to remember Ball is no Leader, That why the liberals are taking turn coat in. To see which one of the turn coat will make a better leader. Kathleen if you listen to Mr Lane yesterday, Who would make the better leader for the party?

  • WhomEver
    January 21, 2014 - 01:54

    The rats are leaving the ship and Dunderdale us on holidays again!!! No wonder she never thought the power outages was critical ; she didn't know because she was on holidays What a joker we have for Premier

  • Joannie
    January 21, 2014 - 01:31

    What about the rest of us Premier? Do you think we are showing signs of discontent? Stay on vacation. There is no story to be spun here!

  • bob
    January 20, 2014 - 22:22

    Will Mr. Lane it was only a short time ago you knocked on my front door garnishing support for Mr. Harrigton the PC running in our district. It seemed that you were full of the PC then makes one wonder of what was offered by the Liberals to win you over.

  • Kathleen
    January 20, 2014 - 18:14

    A blatant opportunist whose only interest is to be sure he is aligned with the party most likely to win the next election. I imagine he was promised a minister's post. Makes no difference whether you vote Red or Blue you will get the same government!

  • Bob
    January 20, 2014 - 16:39

    What is comical is that the PC are all trying to say how much of a surprise this is (in an attempt to discredid Mr. lane). They are dead last in the polls, least popular leader in the country (probably in NL history), and have just been ran through the ringer in the media over the power outages. How can anybody's decision to abandon ship be a surprise to anybody? I'm surprised that there has not been more!

  • Jerry Lyver
    January 20, 2014 - 15:09

    While I do appreciate the disgruntled tories finally speaking out and trying to get dunderdale to actually admit she is useless.. it just seems too little.. too late. It appears the rats are jumping ship now to save their over paid government jobs.. if they can.. If Mr. Lane is sincere in his newfound convictions, then he needs to resign his seat and run for the Liberal nomination, then for the seat again. I personally would have a hell of a lot more respect for him then.. and be more than willing to offer my support to him in joining the party that is going to form the next government in Newfoundland.

  • Adam
    January 20, 2014 - 14:09

    David, who the heck do you think you are talking to? We are adult citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador, not a bunch of youngsters consumed 24/7 with politics. We read the article, like you did, and some posted a comment, just like you did, then went on to other articles, and then on to "our lives". Heavens, boy, lighten up!

  • Isabella
    January 20, 2014 - 13:52

    David, your comment is "down-talking" to the commenters. Most of us certainly do know what politics is all about...themselves! We are all entitled to our own opinion.

  • west coast citizen
    January 20, 2014 - 13:34

    I think Paul Lane has been talked over, how anyone can blame Kathy for the power outage, seems like someone has been promised greener pastures to me. If and when Mr. Ball gets to be premier, I doubt very much that he will make a difference in this province. Nova Scotia had power outages last weekend, these things happen people. we are living in an Atlantic province in the winter, doesn't anyone remember that nothing is perfect, not even Hydro. What a joke, I think the best person that summed anything up on the news lately is SNOOK. Mr Ball talks a good talk and walks a good walk but you aren't superman. And you are in it for your own personal ego. Just wondering if you are going to give up your salary like Danny Williams did. Somehow I think not. As for Kathy Dunderdale, enjoy your vacation, you've earned it with all the negative responses.

    • Bob
      January 20, 2014 - 16:30

      Nalcor generates power for NL. Nalcor is owned by the NL gov. Dunderdale is the head of the gov. That is how/why people blame her. The power outages were not just because of the weather. It was because required maintenance was not done at hollirod. Where did the maintance money get spent instead and who directed it there? Now do you see the point?

  • Henry
    January 20, 2014 - 12:48

    Of course this is not a CRISIS right premier Dunderdale. Enjoy your vacation in Florida as your political future is in doubt back here.....

  • Too Funny
    January 20, 2014 - 11:49

    "We certainly welcome Paul as a member of the official opposition,". More like the PC Fleeing Rat party. How can Ball take someone who supported the secrecy bill, tried to fix polls, and is obviously more concerned about his pension. This is a lose-lose situation for the PCs and Liberals. How will the Liberal Party become an alternative to the Tories when it is made up of ex-tories.

  • david
    January 20, 2014 - 11:11

    It really is amazing that the 'self-preservation' mantra of politicians has to be explained or even pointed out by commenters, as if its some kind of terribly insightful bit of knowledge. Yes the rats dessert the sinking ship. Yes, Lane is worried for his salary and pension. And yes, Lane must have a very low opinion of the Newfoundland voter. But he is not unique, it has ever been thus, it often works, and why did anyone here ever think it was not so.... THAT'S the amazing bit!! For people so absolutely consumed, 24/7, with everything political, we sure don't have the first clue how it works yet.....and therefore, we get exactly what we deserve.

  • The J..
    January 20, 2014 - 11:03

    Paul will Join with Ball......the snow BALL effect! Any m,ore Liberal wanna bees out there!? Be choosy Mr. Ball.....don't take em all!

  • Selfish mha's
    January 20, 2014 - 10:52

    Agreed Michelle.... He don't give a rats a@$ about us people no more than her heiness who is surprise surprise vacationing again on taxpayers dime... Paul lane crossing over because of his own selfish needs not as he says for us people!!! Someone should play the tape of his comments when he agreed 100% with bill 29 ... Why the corossover mr lane. Got nothing to do with not getting a seat in Ottawa does it...???? All the politicians, in my opinion are out for themselves.... How long before mr kent takes back his glorifying of sunder dale and crosses the floor....???? Any bets????

  • Selfish mha's
    January 20, 2014 - 10:51

    Agreed Michelle.... He don't give a rats a@$ about us people no more than her heiness who is surprise surprise vacationing again on taxpayers dime... Paul lane crossing over because of his own selfish needs not as he says for us people!!! Someone should play the tape of his comments when he agreed 100% with bill 29 ... Why the corossover mr lane. Got nothing to do with not getting a seat in Ottawa does it...???? All the politicians, in my opinion are out for themselves.... How long before mr kent takes back his glorifying of sunder dale and crosses the floor....???? Any bets????

  • Jeffrey
    January 20, 2014 - 10:36

    What else is new for our government officials; their main focus is usually themselves. Lane's concern now is his pension if Dunderdale is not elected again.

  • Michelle
    January 20, 2014 - 10:17

    Lane is taking care of his OWN future. He's not too concerned about his constituents in the long run. In this article, he is even insulting our intelligence and common sense.

  • Michelle
    January 20, 2014 - 10:16

    Lane is taking care of his OWN future. He's not too concerned about his constituents in the long run. In this article, he is even insulting our intelligence and common sense.

    • Grandma
      January 20, 2014 - 10:37

      The rats are beginning to desert the ship. Mr. Lane is trying to secure his seat in the next election.