It has been a week since a report outlining possible boundary changes to provincial districts was made public, and two Trinity Conception MHAs that may have to face off for a single seat are speaking out.
Sam Slade, MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace, and Steve Crocker, MHA for Trinity-Bay de Verde, said they were blindsided by the proposed changes released Friday, April 10, but for completely different reasons.
Slade’s district may be completely eliminated, with Carbonear, Bristol’s Hope and Victoria joining Trinity-Bay de Verde, while Harbour Grace, Upper Island Cove, Bryant’s Cove and Spaniard’s Bay would join the Port de Grave district.
Both men have confirmed they will seek the nomination in whichever region they fall into once the boundaries have changed.
The former Carbonear mayor, who won a byelection in November 2013 after the resignation of former cabinet minister Jerome Kennedy, was disappointed to see Harbour Grace and Carbonear split up.
“I’ve been hearing from both districts,” Slade told The Compass. “And people are disappointed. I don’t think the commission got it right at all.”
On Crocker’s end, the Trinity-Bay de Verde district will lose Cavendish, Whiteway, Green’s Harbour and Hopeall. Those communities will join Placentia-St. Mary’s.
The Heart’s Delight-Islington resident won a byelection in November, 2014 after another Tory cabinet minister, Charlene Johnson, moved to Southeast Asia with her family. He’s receiving an abundance of complaints about the communities the district is losing.
“These people are very upset. The majority of what I have heard about so far extends from Cavendish south to Hopeall,” Crocker said. “They in no way at all feel they have anything in common with the Placentia district. Everything we do as a region is somewhat jeopardized when you see, for lack of better words, Route 80 divided in two.”
Slade and Crocker encourage residents to make presentations at the public consultation meetings in Carbonear April 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Fongs Restaurant and Whitbourne April 29 at the St. John the Baptist Anglican Social Centre from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more from Slade and Crocker, see the April 20th print edition of The Compass