Port de Grave MHA Glenn Littlejohn was not surprised by Kathy Dunderdale’s decision to resign as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and leader of the Progressive Conservative party, effective Friday.
“I think if you look at some of her comments, her year-end comments and some of her comments she has made in the last number of months, she’s talked a lot about reflection, and family and spending more time with her grandchildren,” he said. “When you read the tea leaves, I think that she has been giving this some consideration for some time.”
Word broke late Tuesday (Jan. 21) night that Dunderdale would be stepping down from her post as premier, and Wednesday (Jan. 22) morning she made it official after a news conference at Confederation Building.
Finance Minister Tom Marshall will serve as premier in the interim.
Being a member of the Conservative caucus, Littlejohn was on hand for a meeting with Dunderdale prior to the announcement. He stood by as Dunderdale addressed a throng of people, that included family members, dozens of media representatives, government workers and party supporters.
“The premier made a decision, and as she said in her interview, there is a time in your public service life that you know that the time is up. She has a family, and grandchildren, and she chose to spend time with her family and grandchildren. Who can argue that?” he said of her decision.
As of late, Dunderdale has come under fire for the way she handled the rolling blackouts and electrical failures that left much of the province without power ealier this month.
On Monday, Jan. 20, high profile Mount Pearl South MHA Paul Lane defected to the Liberals.
“With the power outages, premiers have been criticized because they’re always front and centre, and they don’t give their work to their ministers,” said Littlejohn. “The premier was very much team-oriented, the minister of fire and emergency services and the minister for natural resources, they were doing media interviews but they were in consultation with the premier.
“The premier was working and she was doing everything she could … and when she felt she needed to step forward she did. It wasn’t because she wasn't working.”
Despite Dunderdale's departure, Littlejohn remains steadfastly committed to the PC Party.
“We move forward,” he said. “There is a process in place for many other leadership reviews and we’re going to follow the process.”
Littlejohn also expressed his faith in Tom Marshall, calling him a “very capable and energetic person.”
“He is very well-liked in the general eye and respected and he will hold the fort until the party goes through the leadership process,” he said.