© Star file photo
Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender gestures toward deputy mayor Bernd Staeben during the Monday, Jan. 23, 2014 public council meeting.
CORNER BROOK Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender does not think the change in premier will significantly impact the municipality itself.
If anything, he said Corner Brook and area issues may be better heard under interim Premier Tom Marshall, the MHAâfor Humber East.
Pender said he was not overly surprised that Kathy Dunderdale resigned Wednesday. He said the last number of months must have been difficult for her, and that the comments and reactions made toward her over things, such as the widespread power issues and apparent unrest within the Conservative party, set the stage.
The mayor, who has run for provincial positions under the governing party, said it is hard to know whether it was a necessary decision.
âIt is difficult at the best of times for any leader to be in the position that the premier was,â Pender said. âGiven the polls, and everything else, she made her own decision. I donât think it was surprise she was going at some point, if things didnât turn around. Just the timing of it is maybe the surprise to most people.â
With a change in leadership, there could expect to be some slowing of on certain files, said the mayor. He hopes that is not the case, especially because Marshall has such a grasp on things happening from his time as Finance minister.
âAll-in-all, Iâsuspect it will be business as usual, at least for a little while,â he said.
As for Pender himself, and any further attempts to gain a provincial government seat, he said that is not even a consideration of his at this time.
âMy focus right now is on the City of Corner Brook, as its mayor,â he said. âWe have a snow storm on the way, we have infrastructure planning that we need to get done now for this summer. My focus is on those things, with capital improvements to our roads, water and sewer, and making sure the hospital project moves faster than it has been and we get the right size hospital with the right equipment for our population.â