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Newfoundland and Labrador Votes 2003
Newfoundland & Labrador Legislature

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  Main > Parties and Leaders> LIB: Roger Grimes
Voting Day October 21, 2003  
Parties and Leaders

Roger Grimes, leader of the Liberal Party

 


Roger Grimes The province's eighth premier is attacked by his critics for never having been elected by the people. His path to the premier's chair came in a hotly contested Liberal leadership race that ended during a snowstorm in February 2001.

Only 638 people voted Grimes into the eighth-floor office. It's a fact Grimes tackles head on, arguing the Liberal Party won a mandate in 1999 to govern, not Brian Tobin.

Grimes stuck solidly behind his leadership campaign promise not to call an election before 2003, despite repeated calls from his critics. He says people are tired of going to the polls every three years.

Grimes has used the time to unite the Liberals after a bitter leadership race that threatened to blow the party apart.

Still, Grimes has been unable to bring his personal popularity and that of his party above that of Danny Williams' Conservatives in the polls. Grimes has done everything he said he was going to do, and published his government's record to date. It includes establishing an Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, revamping the Freedom of Information laws, hiring an ombudsman, signing a Voisey's Bay deal, and appointing a royal commission to examine the province's place in Canada.

Despite his ability to get things done, Grimes is in a tight race to retain power after nearly 14 years of Liberal rule.

Quick facts: Roger Grimes

Born: May 2, 1950
Education: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, Masters of Education from Memorial University.
Politics: Elected MHA for Exploits in 1989. Re-elected in 1993, 1996, 1999. Appointed to cabinet in 1991 as labour minister. Went on to serve as minister of tourism, education, mines and energy and health before winning leadership of the Liberal Party in 2001, and the premier's chair.
Before politics : teacher, president of Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (1985-1987)
Family: Wife Mary Ann,daughter from previous marriage

Roger GrimesThe Conservatives have picked up five seats since the 1999 general election, four through byelection wins and one when Ross Wiseman crossed the floor.

Grimes was born in Grand Falls-Windsor May 2, 1950, the tenth of 12 children, the son of a life-long Liberal.

He's a sports fanatic, especially hockey and golf. He's known for being feisty on the ice, and telling it like it is in a boardroom.

Grimes studied science and education at Memorial University, eventually earning his Masters degree in Education and spending 15 years in front of a classroom.

He took his first shot at politics in 1979, losing to Conservative Len Simms. He was elected to the House of Assembly 10 years later, and has been there ever since.

His use of foul language -- first in negotiations with the public service and then to a roomful of New York investors -- has been controversial. Grimes, known for his sense of humour, admits to using "language for emphasis."

 

 
 


Media:

Roger GrimesSept 23, 2003, in preparation for the election, reporters Doug Letto and David Cochrane speak with Premier Roger Grimes (runs 9:32).


Deanne Fleet prepared this retrospective on the second anniversary of Roger Grimes's leadership victory
(runs 5:22).

In October 2002, David Cochrane reported on announcements Roger Grimes was making to gain exposure (runs 2:27).

 
 
Info on the Liberal Party
Icon Audio VideoFor the record
 
 

 

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