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Meet Newfoundland Premier Roger Grimes

The Story

To the dismay of many, Brian Tobin says goodbye to provincial politics and returns to the federal scene just 20 months into his second mandate. A bitter Liberal leadership race ensues, with Roger Grimes emerging as leader and premier. Unflappable, Grimes trades on his reputation as a hard working and realistic politician. A week before being sworn in, Grimes speaks with This Morning host Shelagh Rogers about Tobin's departure, plans for Voisey's Bay... and his history of hockey fights. 

Medium: Radio
Program: This Morning
Broadcast Date: Feb. 5, 2001
Guest(s): Roger Grimes
Interviewer: Shelagh Rogers
Duration: 13:09

Did You know?

• Roger Grimes won the Liberal leadership race by beating out rival John Efford by just 14 votes on the second ballot. Efford refused to serve as a cabinet minister and left provincial politics to take over Brian Tobin's federal riding. Third-place candidate Paul Dicks also quit politics after losing to Grimes. Grimes later appointed Dicks to the board of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

• During the leadership campaign Roger Grimes spoke with CBC Television about allegations that he is "boring and bland".   He said that he preferred to emphasize his broad experience and level-headedness.
• Roger Grimes was sworn in as Newfoundland and Labrador's eighth premier on Feb. 13, 2001. He had previously held office as the province's minister of labour, tourism, culture and recreation, education, mines and energy, and health.

• Roger Grimes is an avid sportsman and coach, playing both golf and hockey. The province's Web site credits Grimes with being a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Baseball Hall of Fame for coaching minor baseball.
• When Brian Tobin stepped down, Beaton Tulk became premier until the leadership race was decided.
• At dissolution there were 27 Liberals, 19 Conservatives and two New Democrats in the 48-seat House of Assembly.

• Unemployment and outmigration remain huge issues in Newfoundland and Labrador politics. The provincial population dropped almost 10 per cent between the 1991 and 2001 censuses. Rural Newfoundland has been hit the hardest as people thrown out of work by the groundfish moratorium look for work elsewhere. In December 2002 the unemployment rate was 18.5 per cent. (The national average was 7.1 per cent.)


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