John Crosbie says Frank Coleman's exit gives PCs 'new opportunity'
Crosbie said he was 'astonished' that Coleman stepped aside before becoming premier
Retired provincial and federal Tory politician John Crosbie said he welcomes the news that a Progressive Conservative leadership convention will be held.
Crosbie was scrummed by reporters on Wednesday at the annual NOIA oil and gas conference taking place in St. John's.
'I'd run myself if I wasn't too old.' - John Crosbie
Crosbie made headlines a couple of weeks ago, when he said he doubted Frank Coleman had the political skills to lead the province.
Coleman announced on Monday that a serious issue had arisen in his family, making it impossible for him to become PC Party leader and premier. He was set to become Newfoundland and Labrador's 12th premier in early July.
Crosbie said he was astonished that Coleman stepped aside before becoming premier.
However, he said Coleman's exit provides a new opportunity for the party.
"They now have a chance to get over the mistakes of the past three or four months, and hopefully come up with a competitive convention ... not as the last thing, you could only say was farcical. I'd run myself if I wasn't too old," Crosbie said.
Government needs to better manage its money
Crosbie also chastised the Newfoundland and Labrador government for its spending habits.
He said government needs to do a better job of keeping its fiscal house in order.
"I think the main danger that we are in economically in Newfoundland, is that our provincial government is going to continue with its very great overspending of the last three or four years."
Crosbie said the government needs to pay down the debt while money is coming in. He added there needs to be restraint on social spending, or the province will find itself in deep trouble.
"Skullduggery" behind the scenes
Crosbie also told reporters on Wednesday that former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams discouraged other candidates from running against Frank Coleman.
He also accused Williams of "skullduggery" behind the scenes.
Crosbie had previously told CBC that Williams played a big role in applying pressure to others who may have been interested in vying for the province's top political job.