Hoping to get Liberal nod

Rudy Norman
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He campaigned for the Progressive Conservatives last election, but when the next provincial election rolls around Neville Robinson hopes to be the Liberal candidate in Baie Verte-Springdale.

Robinson is serving his second term as Mayor of Middle Arm. He came to that position during a time when the town was on the brink of financial ruin, with a debt so high they were at risk of not getting their municipal operating and other challenges had them at risk a couple years ago of not getting their Municipal Operating Grant.

Middle Arm Mayor, Neville Robinson, says he's sent off his nomination papers to the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in hopes of representing that party in the next election. Robinson doesn't have an challengers in seeking the nomination thus far, however the party has yet to put the call out.

The former Abitibi-Bowater employee says he feels the work he's done in Middle Arm can also be carried over to the provincial stage, as he makes his first bid to become MHA.

"I'm proud of what we've accomplished here in Middle Arm," he said. "We're financially strong, and we're in excellent economic position right now. For a smaller town, I'm willing to say we're in just as good shape as even some of the towns larger than we are."

Robinson says his experience in running a small town has given him a new appreciation for the challenges that councils and citizens in rural Newfoundland and Labrador face on a regular basis. It's his opinion that the current provincial government isn't doing enough to help.

"I want to see better aid and better representation for the needs of everyday people," he said. "The government isn't doing enough to address some major concerns we still have - and I don't feel we're being properly represented on those issues."

He points to roadwork and communication coverage as two issues that need to be addressed.

"What I don't think is right is that people keep bringing up these issues, like road work, and government doesn't move on it until there's a protest or a public meeting. Then they throw some money out and expect all the credit and all the praise," he said. "People shouldn't have to protest just to have their voices heard - the issues that are important to them should be addressed when they're brought up, and dealt with then."

Robinson says he "won't rest" until adequate cell phone coverage is offered within the area as well - something he said has been long overdue, and has been pushed off on private carriers for blame.

While he's slightly critical of the current PC government, Robinson admits there was a time when he was a supporter. In fact, up until a couple months ago, he was part of the executive for the local PC Association.

"I went there, and I accepted a position because there was no one else to take it, and they asked me (to take it)," he said. "After I got there, I realized just how much trouble the party was in and how I didn't actually support them after all."

Robinson was also a strong advocate for current MHA Kevin Pollard in the last general election, and admits that he campaigned on his behalf at the time.

If he's successful in earning the Liberal nod, he could face Pollard in this election.

"Things change, and people change," he said. "At the time I did what was best in my position as Mayor of Middle Arm. What was best then, isn't necessarily best now."

So far no one else has announced their intention to seek the Liberal nomination, and no one has declared they will challenge Pollard for the PC nod.

Robinson says he's already submitted his nomination papers, along with his fee and signatures to the Liberal Party, and is awaiting official confirmation on his acceptance.

The Liberal Party has not yet announced when nominations will be open for the Baie Verte-Springdale district.


Organizations: Abitibi-Bowater, Liberal Party, PC Association

Geographic location: Middle Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador, Baie Verte

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Recent comments

  • FlipFlop
    August 09, 2014 - 00:25

    A true politician! "Things change and people change"... more like "Governing Parties change, personal ambitions change". I hope they see right through him.

  • Charles Murphy
    August 08, 2014 - 06:43

    All I would like to see. is one district, In our province of N & L, to elect one person, who can build their economy. so our young people can stay at home, and have a future, am I asking to much?

  • Corporate Psycho
    August 07, 2014 - 17:04

    Another Johnny come Lately.