#NL; #AndrewFurey; #PremierDesignate; #ProvincialLiberalLeadershipRace
Newfoundland & Labrador (NL), Aug 3 (Canadian-Media): Andrew Furey, the Orthopedic surgeon, becomes premier-designate of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) after he won Monday evening the provincial Liberal leadership race, media reports said.
Andrew Furey with his family. Image credit: Twitter handle
Frontrunner from the very start, with the backing of entire cabinet of the outgoing Premier Dwight Ball's, Furey's votes doubled the only other candidate, longtime civil servant John Abbott, with 26,443 points to 13,557 points.
Ball's decision to resign came amid growing scandals within his caucus.
In his victory speech, Furey promised to be "frank and transparent," and called on all Members of House Assembly (MHAs) to work together to address the problems at the province.
"Together we can emerge from this crisis as a stronger, more caring, more passionate and more diverse Newfoundland and Labrador," he said.
Furey has never held office before, and doesn't have a seat in the provincial legislature.
Furey will also inherit the province's troubling financial situation, which has since worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition there has been a push to bring the over budget Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project online.
A transition period would follow after the elections, in which Furey will be referred to as the premier-designate.
Once he is sworn in, Furey will become the 14th premier of NL, after which the first meeting he wants is with Department of Finance officials to get a better understanding of the province's $2.1 billion deficit, the second worst in the province's history, only just behind the $2.2 billion deficit of 2015-16.
In his speech, Furey said growing and diversifying the economy will be a top priority.
"We can do it. It just takes the political will," Furey said.
Calling on Ottawa will also be at the top of his list since Ottawa has a fiscal responsibility to NL, said Furey.