The liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador has a new leader Monday, who will become the new prime minister of the province, replacing Dwight Ball.
Dr. Andrew Furey, an orthopedic surgeon, has been preferred, by far, to John Abbott by the activists of the party, winning almost two times more points than his only rival. He will become the 14th prime minister of the history of Newfoundland and Labrador when he will be sworn in by the lieutenant-governor of the province.
The non-elect has never served in the legislative Assembly of newfoundland. He was also recognized Monday as one of its priorities will be to stand for election as soon as a chance arises.
In the meantime, the prime minister in become account quickly at work, even if it will not be able to sit. It must be said that Dr. Furey inherits a province that is in a pitiful state financially. Undermined by the drop in the price of a barrel of oil, and by the fiasco of the proposed hydroelectric dam project of Muskrat Falls, the province finished the year 2019 with a deficit of more than $1 billion.
“The COVID-19 has also exacerbated the economic slowdown in this province. We face a difficult economic period. Manage our economic situation and make sure that we have jobs now is critical. This is not a crisis that we will solve in the short term,” acknowledged the prime minister become in his victory speech, Monday, in front of a room virtually deserted due to the pandemic.
Andrew Furey said that his province must “redefine” and questioning the place given to its industries, including the environment and oil and gas, tourism and fisheries sector and fish farming. The new liberal leader has briefly referred to a diversification of the economy to focus on other areas, such as technology and the arts.
The election of Dr. Furey at the head of the liberal party of the province was made necessary by the unexpected resignation of the first minister Dwight Ball from his post as party leader last February to be able to spend more time with his family. It is, however, remained prime minister until the transfer of powers and will keep his seat in parliament thereafter.
Dwight Ball had led the liberals and the victory in the island province in 2015 and was re-elected in may 2019.