Tories poised to pick new leader this summer

It appears the next leader of Newfoundland and Labrador's governing Progressive Conservatives — and the next premier — will not be on the job until the summer.

It appears the next leader of Newfoundland and Labrador's governing Progressive Conservatives — and the next premier — will not be on the job until the summer.

The Tories announced earlier on Monday their leadership convention would be on the June 27-29 weekend at the St. John's Convention Centre.

However, the party said a lack of hotel space may have pushed the convention into the following week.

The party is expected to have a clear date set within 48 hours.

The convention is expected to be co-chaired by Tom Williams, a St. John's lawyer and brother of former premier Danny Williams, and Sheila Kelly-Blackmore, a tourism manager who has been chair of the provincial council of the Newfoundland and Labrador government's Rural Secretariat.

So far, Corner Brook businessman Bill Barry is the only candidate to enter the race officially. Several members of the PC cabinet and a number of outsiders have said they are considering a run.

Kathy Dunderdale resigned as premier on Jan. 22. Tom Marshall, the former finance minister, was sworn in to replace her until the PCs elect a new leader. Marshall is retiring at the next election.

The new leader will have 12 months to declare an election after he or she is sworn in as premier.

The Tories swept to power in 2003.


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