Nfld. & Labrador

Dwight Ball touts election success ahead of party leadership vote

Dwight Ball used his address to the Liberal party Friday to say he's open to feedback, after a year that has seen his popularity plummet and the introduction of a raft of unpopular budget measures.

Ball gets support from federal Liberal minister Foote

Dwight Ball receives a standing ovation as he enters the opening ceremonies for the Liberal Party annual general meeting in Gander on Friday (Peter Cowan/CBC)

Dwight Ball used his address to the Liberal party Friday to say he's open to feedback after a year that's seen his popularity plummet and the introduction of a raft of unpopular budget measures.

"We are human beings too, when we fall short of your expectations we count on you, we count on you to let us know," Ball said Friday night at the opening ceremonies to the Liberal party's annual general meeting in Gander.

"If we've ever properly failed to live up to your obligations, if there's advice that you feel that we should heed, then I want you to let us know."

On Saturday the party members will vote on Ball's leadership.

There won't be an opportunity for party members to publicly speak before the vote, it will be done by secret ballot. Voting will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with results expected before Ball delivers the keynote address that night.

Ball hasn't said what level of support he'll need to stay on.

If more than half the party asks for a leadership review, it will force a leadership race, but traditionally leaders look for more than 50 per cent support in order to stay on.

During the speech he thanked party volunteers for their work last fall that saw Newfoundland and Labrador elect 31 Liberal MHAs and seven Liberal MPs.

Ball endorsement from federal minister

Ball didn't mention the province's tough financial situation or his government's unpopular spring budget — but he did pledge to listen to feedback.

"If from time to time we get a little too big for our britches I want you to reign us in, because we are accountable to you," he said.

Ball got support from the federal minister for the province.

"The fact that you're doing so well under trying circumstances," Judy Foote said to Ball during her speech, "we're there for you as a federal Liberal caucus."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Cowan

CBC News

Peter Cowan is a St. John's-based reporter with CBC News.

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