Nfld. & Labrador

4 Labrador seats essential, says Colin Vardy

The premier announced last week he was looking to cut 10 seats from Newfoundland and Labrador's House of Assembly, but there were no details about where those changes would happen.
Wabush Mayor Colin Vardy says the district boundary lines should stay as they are for Labrador, and the MHA cuts should happen elsewhere (CBC)

The premier announced last week he was looking to cut 10 seats from Newfoundland and Labrador's House of Assembly, but there were no details about where those changes would happen.

Paul Davis called the MHAs back to St. John's Monday, opening the House of Assembly to talk about the proposed cut to the number of MHAs.

While there are no specifics about where the district lines may be redrawn, some people in Labrador are worried they'll be the first spot to get changes.

Wabush Mayor Colin Vardy was in the House of Assembly Monday to hear discussion about the proposed changes.

Vardy said the size and cultural differences throughout Labrador should be reason enough to entice government to leave the boundaries as they are.

"We have a vast land, we have a couple different cultures in Labrador, the problems between community to community are very different and that changes fairly regularly, so I think it's important the four districts in Labrador stay the four districts," said Vardy.

"You can drive through four, five, six districts here in a matter of a couple of hours — you're not doing that in Labrador."

Vardy sent a letter to the three party leaders. As of Monday, he received a supportive response from the NDP, no response from the Liberals, and an acknowledgement — but no further detail — from the Tories.

However, Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said Monday he believes the boundary lines should remain as they are for Labrador, following talks over the weekend.

Vardy said at least in his region, MHA support to keep the districts the same is vital.

"I don't know what it's like in the rest of Labrador when it comes to the political scene, but I know in Labrador West, without a doubt, it would be important to have our MHA support keeping the four seats."

He added that people in Labrador "always feel like they've almost had to fight to keep everything in Labrador, and any consideration of reducing seats" would be "unacceptable."

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