Dempster not surprised by Dumaresque’s decision
Danny Dumaresque wants to get back into provincial politics, even if it means having to unseat fellow Liberal Lisa Dempster, who is currently MHA for Cartwright- L’Anse au Clair.
Anticipating an election in the near future, the Liberals have started the nomination process for three riding, as of May 2: Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair, Carbonear-Harbour Grace, and St. Barbe.
Nominations will remain open until May 7. For ridings that have more than one nominee, there will be a vote held on May 15.
Dumaresque served as the Labrador south coast’s Liberal MHA (then known as the Eagle River riding) between 1989 and 1996, before being defeated by Yvonne Jones, who ran as an independent.
He ran as Liberal candidate for Torngat Mountains in the 2007 election, but lost to PC Patty Pottle. Then, in 2011 he ran in The Isles of Notre Dame district, but lost to PC Derrick Dalley.
Between 2006 and 2009, Dumaresque also served as the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party.
In his latest bid to reenter provincial politics, Dumaresque joined the 2013 Liberal leadership race. He was eliminated on the first ballot, receiving just 670 out of 23,823 votes.
But Dumeresque feels that, given his experience in the fish processing and marketing industry, he is an ideal MHA for Labrador’s southern region.
“There is a real crisis facing the fishery on the coast of Labrador, particularly in places like Black Tickle and in Charlottetown. We’ve seen a dramatic cut in the shrimp quotas,” said Dumaresque.
“I worked very hard when I was the member for Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair to bring a new fishing fleet of young Labradorians into this industry and it certainly kills me to see that some of them could be driven out because of the cuts that are happening.
I have the experience in government that nobody else has. From the fishing experience, I believe I have the right skill set.”
Dumaresque wouldn’t comment, however, of whether or not he feels Dempster is doing a good job as Liberal MHA.
“Competition should be welcomed. It’s not about what somebody else doesn’t have, it’s about what I bring,” said Dumeresque.
Dempster, who has been the Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair MHA for less then a year, said she wasn’t surprised to hear that Dumaresque is after her seat.
“He wants to get back in the House of Assembly and I don’t really know if it matters a great deal to him what seat it is…so, no, I’m not surprised,” said Dempster.
“The man is very passionate about politics, more so maybe then any specific region. That’s what I’ve observed.”
Dempster said she would be in the House of Assembly while Dumaresque is out campaigning for the Liberal candidacy. But she believes the work she has put into her riding will speak for itself during the nomination process.
“One of the disadvantages may be, when a nomination is called like this, for the next two weeks he’ll beat the streets and I’ll be in the House of Assembly. But what that boils down to is, I am doing the job, and he wants the job,” said Dempster.
“I can tell you, since the 25th of June last year, 10 months ago, I’ve taken very little time for me. Basically (I’ve) worked seven days a week, right on straight through. And I’m doing that by choice. I love what I do.”
Dempster also said she will not get into a verbal battle with Dumaresque while vying for the Liberal candidacy, believing it will do more harm to the party than good.
“I think what often has damaged parties in the past, and we’ve seen it in nomination races, is when people on the same team go head to head. But I’m not a person who will get down in the trenches because you might be right, but you’ll still get dirty,” said Dempster.
“On May 15, the Liberal people will decide if they want me to continue to be their member, or if they want change in short order just 10 months in.”