Keith Russell makes his pick

Derek Montague
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Lake Melville MHA says Steve Kent the right candidate for premier

The PC leadership convention is still two months away, but Lake Melville MHA Keith Russell is already throwing his support behind Steve Kent, one of three contenders in the race to become party leader and this province’s next premier.

Lake Melville MHA Keith Russell (right) recently showed PC leadership hopeful Steve Kent the sights of the Upper Lake Melville area, including North West River.

“When Steve was here (in the Lake Melville district) recently, he really took the time to listen and talk to people about various issues, such as recreation, health, seniors and more,” said Russell.

“He treated everyone he met just the same as he treated me.”

Russell said Kent was instrumental in helping him adjust to political life at Confederation Building, both in the House of Assembly and in caucus.

“He really paid individual attention to me as the MHA for Lake Melville, in those first few days,” said Russell.

“He also really cares about the issues in my district, and helped facilitate my meeting with the premier on some key issues, including the proposed wellness centre, which now has secured funding from the province for Phase I and II, and hopefully, for Phase III.”

Kent is the MHA for Mount Pearl North, and recently stepped down as Minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs in order to challenge for the leadership.

Two others — Topsail MHA Paul Davis who, until recently was Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services, and former MHA and high profile cabinet minister John Ottenheimer — are also in the race.


Impressed by Kent’s youth, energy

Russell said while Kent was in the district in his role as minister, he met with many people and toured various infrastructure in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, North West River and Sheshatshiu.

“There is a perception out there that we’ve lost our connection to the people,” said Russell.

“I think Steve will change that by his youth, his energy, his work ethic and his dedication. In my opinion, he is really in tune to the needs of youth and elders.”

Russell said Kent was integral to more serious consideration being given to the former Paddon Home.

“The 20-bed expansion announced for the long-term care facility is great, but we still have needs for seniors in this region. As our community grows, so will the need for amenities for our elders, from all across Labrador.”

Russell believes Kent will bring “vision” to the province.

“Steve has the ability to make you feel comfortable, and gives great insight and guidance. His support is second-to-none with regards to fighting for what the people need and want.”

Russell said he is looking forward to the convention in September and although personally supporting Kent, believes it will be a “great race” with the three contenders.

“All three are great candidates, they are good people, personable, and approachable who, I believe, all have the best interest of the people of the province at heart.”

Organizations: Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, Youth and Family Services

Geographic location: Lake Melville, Mount Pearl North, Happy Valley Goose Bay North West River Labrador

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