'I'm as stubborn as they comes': Dwight Ball refuses to quit, says committed to province
Already-unpopular Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball insisted Wednesday he has no plans to quit his job, just six months into his first mandate.
Dwight Ball told media at the House of Assembly that he will not resign, despite the budget backlash plaguing his government and the signs littering St. John's this week calling for him to step aside.
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"I'm as stubborn as they comes, and as committed as they come to the people of this province," Ball said. "It's a four- year mandate, and I'm going to serve this through."
Ball and his Liberal government are coming off a stretch of bad weeks, besieged by criticism of their Spring budget and their handling of the Ed Martin severance scandal.
The financial plan unveiled in April hiked taxes, cut services, and still left the province facing a $1.8-billion deficit.
Ball said he knew that some of his decisions wouldn't be popular, but felt he had to make them to secure the financial health of the province.
"This is not in the best interest of me, as an individual," he said. "But without making [these decisions], I can assure you that the future was in jeopardy for our province."
As Ball's popularity has been plummeting — down to a 17 per cent approval rating, in one poll — calls for his resignation have grown.
Over the weekend, signs calling for Ball's departure lined street poles surrounding Confederation Building.
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The signs were torn down early Monday morning by a provincial government contractor, at a cost of $203.40, and then were put back up by protesters.
The premier insists that his office had nothing to do with having the signs removed.
"This was a decision that was made by the folks at Transportation and Works," he said.
"I get a chance, nearly every day, to look at those ugly faces on the pictures as I drive down the parkway," he added, laughing. "It's the way people express themselves."