Nfld. & Labrador

Liberal candidate for eliminated Kilbride district puts positive spin on change

A Liberal candidate, who spent months campaigning in a district that's now been eliminated, says his time has not been wasted.
Jeff Marshall won the Liberal nomination in Kilbride almost a year ago. But now that district has been eliminated, so Marshall will seek the nod in Ferryland. (CBC)

Liberal candidate Jeff Marshall, who spent months campaigning in the now-eliminated Kilbride district says his time has not been wasted.

The Goulds chiropractor won the Liberal nomination for Kilbride back in June of 2014. 

But the proposed electoral map has axed the district, so now Marshall plans to run in the new Ferryland district.

He's already knocked on numerous doors in the Goulds. Some are in the new district, but others — like those in Southlands and Brookfield Plains — are not. 

"I think anyone in the position I was in would look at the map when it first came out and, you know, I'm human, you have a little bit of disappointment. There's no doubt there." Marshall said.

"But I think it's important that once you get to wrap your head around it, sleep on it a little bit, that I try my best to keep it in perspective that it's not about any MHA or any candidate and I think that I have full faith in what the electoral boundaries commission is doing."

There's also a silver lining according to Marshall. All his hard work in Southlands and other areas will help the other Liberal candidate. 

In addition, Marshall says he actually knows more people in the Ferryland district than in the former Kilbride district.

"My clinic is in the Goulds, 80 to 90 percent of my patients are from the Goulds or the southern shore, Irish Loop area. I'm a long-time member of the Goulds Lions Club and been involved in the Irish Loop Chamber of Commerce for over a year." 

But it all means Marshall may now have to contest for the nomination in the new district of Ferryland, despite having won the nomination for Kilbride almost a year ago - and he's not the only one.

The Liberals had 27 candidates officially nominated. But the new electoral map eliminates or merges some of those districts and jams multiple nominated candidates into a single district.

Re-opening nominations

The president of the provincial Liberals, John Allan, said the party may need to re-open their nominations on the island.

"One thing that Dwight Ball, our leader has been adamant about through, I guess, this process and a lot of other government issues that he's talked about is about openness and transparency. There will be...I don't see anybody protected." Allan said.

"If you have a sitting MHA or a candidate that's been there for a number of months, they've done a great job, well it's a good chance that they may not be challenged when the nominations are recalled." 

Marshall says he'll welcome any contest for the Liberal nod in Ferryland.

"I think it's important that not only for me to test any kind of organization that I have built up, but also so that people in Ferryland district know that I not only contested nomination in Ferryland, but it's my second contested nomination in two years. So I don't think anyone can question my dedication or want, to be a representative in the House." he said. 

Marshall will also face an uphill battle from the Tories. He'll now be pitted against Municipal Affairs Minister Keith Hutchings in Ferryland.

However, John Allan denies that all the groundwork put in by Liberal candidates has been a waste. 

"From our side — we may have some problems. Our competition has problems too," he said

"At the end of the day we will have a full slate of candidates that will be a great team for all Newfoundland and Labradorians to consider putting us back in power."