Graydon Pelley walks away from PCs to start new political group
Pelley plans to be on the ballot in 2019
Graydon Pelley is walking away from the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and starting a new political group, with the goal of forming the provincial government in the 2019 election.
"Over the last little while I feel that we are not seeing that move toward real change that people want," Pelley told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.
"I feel people are fed up with the way that party politics is operating in our province."
The now-former president of the PC Party is calling the new party NL Alliance, and Pelley is seeking the required number of people to join him to officially register as a party for the 2019 ballot.
According to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador, before a political party can be registered, it must:
- Submit an application.
- Submit a signed petition with a minimum of 1,000 names of eligible electors that can attest to the existence of the political party.
- Appoint both a chief financial officer (CFO) and auditor.
- Provide a mandatory audited statement of the assets and liabilities as of a date not earlier than 90 days prior to the date of application for registration and attested to by the CFO.
A party is not an officially registered party until the chief electoral officer has approved the application.
Political parties in the province have lost focus on representing the people, according to Pelley. Ideas, regardless of whether they are good or bad, will by default be argued against by an opposing party, he said.
"That needs to change and we need to focus on the people."
No animosity, just change
Pelley said he's staying away from the word "party" in his new political adventure. He said he hasn't had a falling out with any party in particular, but just wants to see change in politics in the province.
"Change has to start somewhere, and I believe that change has to start with somebody who's out there, who's involved with people, who's very community oriented, who has no hidden agendas, no hidden interests in getting involved in politics," he said.
According to Pelley, he would like to be an elected member to the new party and to sit in the House of Assembly, but he's just as content with starting the party and working behind the scenes.
"It's not about me. It's about the people of the province," he said.
"I'm certainly willing to do whatever my role would be to make to make this work, and to better the province of Newfoundland and Labrador."
Allegations Pelley is against LGBTQ
A Twitter post surfaced Wednesday morning alleging that Pelley had in the past taken a stance against the LGBTQ community, stemming from a post he had made on Facebook in March.
That couldn't be further from the truth, according to Pelley.
<a href="https://twitter.com/VOCMOpenline?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VOCMOpenline</a> Ask Graydon on his party's thoughts on LGBTQ+ rights? <a href="https://t.co/BPxsj5Nkps">pic.twitter.com/BPxsj5Nkps</a>—@JohnRiche
"I am a firm believer that every person, no matter what their sexual orientation, no matter what their religious background, no matter what their thoughts and views, every person is to be respected," he said.
"Not only am I a father of three immigrant children, I have a son that is a practising gay. As long as we are able to work together, and collaborate and work for the better of a future, that's how it's going to work. By working with everybody."
Further, Pelley said it's time to lose the fear of immigration and cultural differences being detrimental to not only Newfoundland and Labrador, but across Canada as a whole.
"We have to be willing to do it right, and that is working together with these people and making sure that we are accepting of everyone," he said.
With files from The St. John's Morning Show and On The Go