Paul Antle pans 'tired' Tories in leadership bid launch
St. John's businessman touts accountability and transparency
St. John's businessman Paul Antle says he wants the provincial Liberal Party’s top job because of "dismal" leadership by the governing Tories.
"When I look around — I have two young babies — I’m worried about where this province is going," Antle told reporters at his official campaign launch Thursday.
"I’m worried about the leadership. I’m worried about the tired, haggard look of our government. I’m concerned for the future."
Antle was a last-minute addition to the Liberal field before last week's deadline for nominations.
"I decided it was time to step up," Antle said.
The businessman, who made his name in the environmental field, focused largely on the governing Progressive Conservatives in his speech, offering few specific details about his own platform.
"I don’t stand here today to say that I have all the answers, because I don’t," Antle told supporters.
"What I do know is that we need a new, realistic plan to sustain the economic development that we are enjoying."
Antle was introduced by central Newfoundland MP Scott Simms before leading off his speech with two words — "accountability" and "transparency."
He referenced the controversial Bill 29, charging that the PCs have lost touch.
Antle said he supports the development of clean energy projects, but only if the business case is sound, and criticized what he says is excessive secrecy around Muskrat Falls.
"For me, Muskrat Falls today has too many unanswered questions," Antle said.
Asked about his unsuccessful federal run in 2006, Antle said it was "a great learning experience" and he is "much more seasoned now."
Antle answered media questions for three minutes before being whisked away by a handler.
He is the fifth candidate in the Liberal field. The others are Cathy Bennett, Jim Bennett, Danny Dumaresque and Dwight Ball.
The party will select its new leader in November.