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Newfoundland and Labrador Votes 2003
Newfoundland & Labrador Legislature

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  Main > Parties and Leaders >PC: Danny Williams
Voting Day October 21, 2003  
Parties and Leaders

Danny Williams, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party


Danny WilliamsDanny Williams is not in politics for the money. If elected premier, Williams says he will donate his salary to charity, as he has done with his opposition leader's pay.

Williams, a Rhodes Scholar and high-profile St. John's lawyer, made millions in the sale of Cable Atlantic to Rogers communications. His success in business has earned him a nickname in the legislature, "Danny Millions."

Williams was still in law school when he led a group of business people seeking the province's first cable television licence. He grew the company into one of Atlantic Canada's largest communications companies, before selling it for $282 million prior to getting into politics.

Williams was born in St. John's to a political family of long-time Progressive Conservative supporters. He eventually followed his father Tom's interests, first into law, and then politics.

He married young, settling down with his high school sweetheart, Maureen. The couple were named King and Queen of roller skating in the 1960s at Memorial Stadium, which is where Williams took over the reigns of the Tory party in 2001, four decades later.

Williams excelled in business as well as law. He was involved the province's offshore through an oil and gas supply and services company, and has been formally recognized for his entrepreneurial success and charitable works.

Quick facts: Danny Williams

Born: Aug. 4, 1949
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Memorial
University; Rhodes Scholar, degree of Arts in Law, Oxford University, England; Bachelor of Law,
Dalhousie University.
Politics: Sworn in as Conservative Party leader
April 7, 2001. Elected MHA for Humber West in 2001
Before politics : lawyer, Cable Atlantic boss,
Family: Wife Maureen, four children

Like Liberal Leader Roger Grimes, the man he's campaigning to replace, Williams loves hockey and golf. He founded the St. John's Hockey League and was instrumental in bringing the St. John's Maple Leafs to the city, as well as Mile One Stadium. He also owns three golf courses in the province.

Danny WilliamsWilliams' refusal to roll out his party's platform prior to the campaign came under fire by Liberals, who accused him of not having a plan.

However, the attacks haven't hurt Williams, or the Conservative Party, in the polls. An August poll by Corporate Research Associates shows 52 per cent of those surveyed believe Williams is best able to lead the province, compared to 27 per cent for Grimes. Six per cent backed the NDP's Jack Harris. The results are an improvement for Williams compared to previous CRA polls*.

The poll indicates the Progressive Conservative Party has the support of 54 per cent of decided voters, compared to 36 per cent for the Liberals and six per cent for the NDP*.

Williams, a "townie", has tried hard to appeal to rural Newfoundland since taking over the party. He has toured the province extensively in his Winnebago and white pick-up truck with the PC logo emblazoned on the side. He has proven, in four byelection wins in just over two years, that a townie can win in rural Newfoundland.

The Progressive Conservative Party's popularity skyrocketed with Williams' arrival on the political scene, making him the party's best chance of forming the government in 14 years.

*(CRA's polls are based on a sample of 800 people in the province and are considered accurate to within 3.5 per centage points, 19 times out of 20)




Danny WilliamsSept.25, 2003, PC Leader Danny Williams speaks with Canada Now's Doug Letto and CBC Radio's David Cochrane about how a Tory government would compare to 14 years of Liberal rule (runs 8:37).

In April 2001, Danny Williams became PC leader. Debbie Cooper of had this report on the party's welcoming convention (runs 1:33).

In June 2000, Doug Letto took this look at whether Danny Williams wanted to enter the world of politics and run to be leader of the PC party (runs 1:57).


Info on the Conservative Party
Icon Audio VideoFor the record


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