Roland Butler considering run at municipal politics

Former Port de Grave MHA eyeing a seat on Bay Roberts town council

Nicholas Mercer nmercer@cbncompass.ca
Published on February 19, 2013

Former Port de Grave MHA Roland Butler is pictured here on the provincial campaign trail in 2007. Butler confirmed last week he may seek a seat on the Bay Roberts town council this fall.

File photo by Terry Roberts

The former Liberal MHA for the district of Port de Grave, Roland Butler, says he is "seriously considering" making a return to politics.

When the next municipal election rolls around in September, voters in Bay Roberts could find Butler's name on the ballot.

"Matter of fact, sir, I'm preparing for it," Butler said from his home in Shearstown last week.

It was for medical reasons that Butler first exited provincial politics in 2011. Since that time, he has worked to get his health under control.

"If that stays the way it is, anything can happen at all," he said.

The announcement comes as speculation begins to ramp up that as many as three current councillors in Bay Roberts could be retiring at the end of this term.

Should those councilors decide to return, Butler would withhold his name.

"If the other six guys were running, I wouldn't think one minute about taking them on. I think they're doing a wonderful job," he said.

Butler said he has not decided which seat he would be running for, but he does know which one he will not pursue.

"A lot of people have been calling to run for mayor, but I have no intentions of doing that," he said.

Butler, 68, first became the MHA for Port de Grave in 2001 and held the post for a decade before his retirement. It's only been a little under two years since his retirement, but Butler is feeling that familiar itch.

"The last year, little over a year here, I'm like someone chained up in a zoo, seriously," he said.

One of the reasons for his return is the desire to give back to the community he has called home for the past three decades.

"The way I look at it, the people of Shearstown, Butlerville ... and the municipality of Country Road, Bay Roberts and Coley's Point, they've been good to me for the last 11 years," said Butler. "Personally, I might be getting up in years a bit, but I think I can offer something back to the town."

Preparation

There are still seven months between now and the election, planned for Sept. 24, and Butler realizes that anything can happen between now and then.

But, should he finalize his plans to run for Bay Roberts council, Butler said he will be preparing for it like he would a provincial election.

"I'm sizing up the different areas and the different polling divisions," he said.

"I think I bring the knowledge of having been in government," he added. "Dealing with the various departments, I had a good working relationship with every politician in there, I don't care what political stripe they were."

Meanwhile, Mayor Philip Wood has confirmed he will seek re-election.

nmercer@cbncompass.ca