Liberal Leader Gerry Reid encouraged Labrador voters Wednesday night to defeat their region's cabinet representative and unleash their anger over a controversial energy plan at the ballot box.
In his first trip to Labrador during the campaign leading to the Oct. 9 election, Reid focused his sights on a plum target: Lake Melville, the district held by Transportation Minister John Hickey, who is also responsible for Labrador affairs.
Reid has promised to pump a fraction of resource revenues into a billion-dollar Labrador Fund, a pledge that Williams has called irresponsible.
"He said we were going to bankrupt the province. Well, then, let's bankrupt it, if that's the case," Reid told a rally.
He added that Williams has underestimated how angry Labradorians are about the PC energy plan, which people in the region see as extracting resources like hydroelectric power without returning many benefits.
"I say shame Mr. Williams, shame," Reid said.
Liberal candidate Chris Montague compares Labrador's relationship with the island to 17th-century colonialism.
"You see, there has to be serious change if Labradorians are to be satisfied," Montague said.
"Would Newfoundland be satisfied with losing 95 per cent of its resources to Canada and [receiving] nothing in return? And that's what we're asking for, a fair share."
Labrador's four seats have become a key battleground in the campaign. The Labrador party withheld campaigns in Lake Melville and Labrador West in order to defeat incumbent Tories.
In Lake Melville, a tight race is expected between Hickey and Montague.
'Willing to destroy the Churchill'
Happy Valley-Goose Bay voter Gerald Dyson said he doesn't trust the Tory plan to develop the Lower Churchill hydroelectric megaproject without sending electricity to Labrador communities.
"They're willing to destroy the Churchill, and it will be destroyed, to put transmission lines up the Labrador coast, not touching any of the communities," Dyson said.
But Marg Saunders, a resident of Mud Lake, thinks Danny Williams's popularity will help the PC campaign in the district.
"It's Danny Williams I'm voting for," said Saunders, who had been a long-time Liberal supporter.
"I think he has charisma and he seems to have vision and this absolute heart for the province and not just the island part."
- Liberal Leader Gerry Reid speaks to a rally in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Wednesday night (Runs: 3:01)
- Play: Real Media »
|Last Update:October 9, 10:58:12 PM NDT|
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