Nfld. & Labrador

Plenty of new faces heading to Confederation Building

Cabinet defeats, stunning upsets and filled vacancies combined Tuesday to help send more than a dozen new politicians to Newfoundland and Labrador's legislature.
New Democrat Gerry Rogers was elected in St. John's Centre in Tuesday's election. (CBC)

Cabinet defeats, stunning upsets and filled vacancies combined Tuesday night to help send more than a dozen new politicians to Newfoundland and Labrador's legislature.

Two of the 14 newly elected MHAs earned their berths by knocking out cabinet ministers.

Eddie Joyce, seen campaigning with Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward, won back the seat of Bay of Islands. ((CBC) )

New Democrat Gerry Rogers, a filmmaker and social activist, defeated Natural Resources Minister Shawn Skinner in St. John's Centre, while Liberal Randy Edmunds defeated Aboriginal Affairs Minister Patty Pottle in Torngat Mountains.

The NDP, which made a historic breakthrough in the election, is sending other new faces.

Party president Dale Kirby defeated PC incumbent Bob Ridgley in St. John's North, George Murphy defeated Tory backbencher Ed Buckingham in St. John's East, and Christopher Mitchelmore defeated Liberal incumbent Marshall Dean in The Straits-White Bay North.

The six-member Liberal caucus includes two members who are not entirely new to the house of assembly. Eddie Joyce, the former Liberal MHA for Bay of Islandssettled a political score by defeating Tory incumbent Terry Loder, and Dwight Ball regained Humber Valley by ousting Darryl Kelly.

A new Liberal MHA is in a unique position. Jim Bennett, who defeated Tory backbencher Wallace Young in St. Barbe, led the Liberal party for three months in 2006.  Bennett, a lawyer, quit the job in a dispute with the members of the caucus of the day. [MORE: Watch a video interview with Jim Bennett and his wife, former Ontario cabinet minister Sandra Pupatello.]

Also elected to the Liberal caucus is Andrew Parsons, who succeeds his father Kelvin Parsons as the representative for Burgeo-La Poile.

The Liberals lost their hold on a former stronghold, with PC candidate Glenn Littlejohn, the mayor of Bay Roberts, defeating Leanne Hussey in Port de Grave. The seat had consistently been in Liberal hands since 1985.

The Tory caucus will also have new blood, as the party held seats where former members had retired.

In Lake Melville, where Labrador Affairs Minister John Hickey is retiring, PC candidate Keith Russell edged New Democrat Arlene Michelin and Liberal Chris Montague.

In Mount Pearl South, Tory Paul Lane defeated New Democrat John Riche and Liberal Norm Snelgrove. The seat had been held by Dave Denine, the outgoing minister of intergovernmental affairs.

St. John's West voters elected Dan Crummell, a veteran PC organizer, who defeated NDP candidate Chris Pickard and Liberal George Joyce.

Labrador West also has a new MHA. Tory Nick McGrath won a race between New Democrat Tom Harris and Liberal Karen Oldford.

In Bonavista North, where Harry Harding is retiring after seven years in the seat, voters chose PC Eli Cross over Liberal Paul Kean and the NDP's John Coaker. Cross is the son of former Tory MHA George Cross, who held the seat for one term in the 1980s.

In nearby Bonavista South, the seat of retiring Speaker Roger Fitzgerald, PC candidate Glen Little defeated New Democrat Darryl Johnson and Liberal Johanna Ryan Guy.