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Paul Davis (Canadian politician)

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Paul Davis (Canadian politician)

The Honourable
Paul Davis
MHA
12th Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 26, 2014[1]
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Governor Frank Fagan
Preceded by Tom Marshall
Minister of Health and Community Services of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
May 1, 2014 – July 2, 2014
Preceded by Susan Sullivan
Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
October 9, 2013 – May 1, 2014
Preceded by Charlene Johnson
Succeeded by Clyde Jackman
Minister of Transportation and Works of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
October 19, 2012 – October 9, 2013
Preceded by Tom Hedderson
Succeeded by Nick McGrath
Minister of Service NL of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
October 28, 2011 – October 19, 2012
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Nick McGrath
Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly
for Topsail
Incumbent
Assumed office
April 5, 2010
Preceded by Elizabeth Marshall
Deputy Mayor of Conception Bay South, NL
In office
2005–2010
Personal details
Born 1960/1961 (age 53–54)[2]
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Cheryl
Residence Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador
Occupation Police officer

Paul Davis MHA (born circa 1961), is a Canadian politician who currently serves as the 12th Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was sworn in as premier on September 26, 2014, after he won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2014 leadership convention on September 13, 2014.[1]

Davis was elected to the House of Assembly in a 2010 by-election in the district of Topsail and was re-elected in the 2011 provincial election. He has served as the Minister of Health and Community Services, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services, Minister of Transportation and Works, and Minister of Service NL. Prior to entering cabinet in 2011, he served as the Legislative Assistant for the Department of Municipal Affairs. Before entering provincial politics Davis was the media relations officer for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) and the Deputy Mayor of Conception Bay South.

Background

Davis joined the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) in 1985, after graduating from Holland College. Between 1987 and 1992 Davis worked with Corner Brook Division of the Constabulary, before being re-assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division in St. John's. During his service with the RNC he also had assignment in Property Crimes, Major Crimes and the Child Abuse Sexual Assault Units.[3] Davis became the RNC Media Relations Officer in 2006, and served in that role until he entered provincial politics.[4] Davis was also a town councillor in the St. John's suburb of Conception Bay South, and was twice chosen by his fellow councillors to serve as Deputy Mayor. He was first elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2005 and 2009.[5]

Provincial politics

Following the appointment of member of the House of Assembly Elizabeth Marshall to the Canadian Senate, Davis announced he would seek the Progressive Conservative nomination in her former district of Topsail.[6] In a four person race for the nomination Davis was easily elected as the party's candidate, winning 882 out of 1215 ballots cast.[7] The following month Davis was elected to the House of Assembly after winning 82 per cent of the popular vote in the by-election.[8][9] He subsequently resigned as a member of the RNC and was sworn in as the member of the House of Assembly (MHA) for Topsail on April 5, 2010.[10] On July 27, 2010, Premier Danny Williams appointed Davis as the Legislative Assistant for the Department of Municipal Affairs.[11]

On May 12, 2011, Davis was acclaimed as the Progressive Conservatives candidate in Topsail for that October's general election.[12] Just weeks later in early June, Davis announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in April. Due to his illness he would be unable to make public appearances till he finished his cancer treatments, and would work from his home.[13] Due to his battle with cancer Davis was unable to campaign in public during the October election, despite this was re-elected with 68 per cent of the popular vote.[13][14]

Minister of Service NL

On October 28, 2011, Premier Kathy Dunderdale appointed Davis as the Minister of Service NL and Minister Responsible for the Government Purchasing Agency, Office of the Chief Information Officer, and the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission.[15]

Minister of Transportation and Works

In a cabinet shuffle held on October 19, 2012, Davis became the Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.[16]

In February 2013, Davis announced that the government would decommission and sell the MV Nonia, a ferry that was purchased by the previous Liberal government in 1999. The ferry was purchased for $1 million and had been plagued with problems, with $18 million having been spent over the years to keep it afloat.[17] In March it was revealed that the government had spent $3 million in repairs on the Nonia only months before the decision was made to sell it.[18] The ferry ended up being sold for just $76,222.[19]

In May 2013, Davis announced changes to the Green Bay ferry service. In an effort to find savings, the dock at Shoal Arm would no longer be a stop on the ferry route. The route would now include only Pilley’s Island, Long Island, and Little Bay Islands. In 2011-2012, the 45 minute sailing between Little Bay Islands and Shoal Arm had an average ridership of just three vehicles and five passengers.[20]

Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services

On October 9, 2013, Davis was appointed Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services.[21] The following week Davis announced that the department would start flying social workers into the isolated Innu community of Natuashish on a rotational basis, two weeks in and two weeks out, to help resolve issues in recruitment.[22] Earlier the year the chief of the community went to the media after he found seven children under the age of 12 in a house by themselves inhaling gas.[23]

On December 3, 2013, Davis announced changes to the provinces adoption law. By modernizing the law Davis stated that the government would “streamline and expedite” the adoption system. The changes saw the definition of relative expanded; great-aunts and great-uncles will be able to adopt children through a simpler process. Changes were made to make it easier for an adopted person to reunite with their parents or relatives, once they reach adulthood. As well adult adoptions can now occur because of the updated legislation. This allows for step-children to be adopted by a parent to receive such things as health benefits or inheritance, and allows for people to adopt a person in their care who is developmentally delayed.[24][25]

Minister of Health and Community Services

On May 1, 2014, Premier Tom Marshall held a cabinet shuffle and appointed Davis as the Minister of Health and Community Services, replacing Susan Sullivan. Davis' appointment came after the government reversed a previous decision to provide cancer treatment at a new hospital in Corner Brook. Sullivan had stated for years that the population in the Corner Brook area did not warrant radiation therapy or a Positron emission tomography (PET) scanner.[26] However, Marshall, who was sworn in as premier in January 2014, announced that both radiation therapy and a PET scanner would be part of the new hospital.[27] In June 2014, Davis along with Marshall announced a company had been hired to evaluate the best plan for providing radiation therapy at the Corner Brook hospital.[28]

Davis resigned as Minister of Health and Community Services on July 2, 2014, to seek the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.[29]

Party leadership

On January 24, 2014, Kathy Dunderdale resigned as Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Davis announced days later that he would not be a candidate in the race to succeed her.[30] He later stated that he ruled out a bid in January because of health issues related to his 2011 cancer diagnosis.[29][31] Businessman Frank Coleman eventually became the lone candidate in the race and was expected to be sworn in as party leader on July 5, 2014. However, on June 18, 2014, Coleman announced that due to a health issue in his family he would not takeover as party leader or premier.[32] The party cancelled their July convention and scheduled a new leadership convention for September 13, 2014.[33]

On July 2, 2014, Davis launched his bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party at an event in Paradise. [29][31][34] Davis received endorsements from 14 members of the Progressive Conservative caucus, including eight cabinet ministers. He was also endorsed by several former politicians, including former party leaders Len Simms and Loyola Sullivan.[35] Davis is generally perceived as being the frontrunner in the race, which also includes former ministers Steve Kent and John Ottenheimer.[29]

On August 8, 2014, Abacus Data released an opinion poll that showed Davis was the favourite among the public to win the leadership of the PC Party. 34 per cent of those polled said they would select Davis as leader if they were casting a vote in the leadership race. Kent placed second with the support of 27 per cent and Ottenheimer was third with of 21 per cent. 18 per cent of those polled were undecided. Among those who voted PC in the 2011 election 40 per cent picked Davis as their choice for leader. Kent had the support of 26 per cent, Ottenheimer was third with 24 per cent and 10 per cent were undecided. Abacus also asked those surveyed which party they would vote for in a provincial election under each leadership candidate. Davis performed better than both Kent and Ottenheimer, but under his leadership the PC Party would still trail the Liberals. With Davis at the helm, 46 per cent of respondents would vote Liberal, 38 per cent would vote PC and 16 per cent would vote NDP.[36]

Davis won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party with 52% of the vote on an unexpected third ballot at the party's convention on September 13, 2014. Davis trailed Ottenheimer on the first ballot by 36 votes, Kent finished third and dropped off the ballot. Kent immediately announced he was throwing his support behind Davis. When the second ballot votes were announced chief electoral officer John Noseworthy announced there was no clear majority. Davis received 340 votes, Ottenhimer won 339 and there was one spoiled ballot. Davis won a clear majority on third ballot receiving 351 votes of the 678 cast.[37]

Premiership

Davis was sworn in as the 12th Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador on September 26, 2014.[38] It is believed that Davis is the the first premier in Canadian history to have previously worked as a Police Officer.[4]

Public safety

During his swearing in ceremony Davis stated that one of his first priorities will be to strike an advisory committee on crime, which he had promised during his leadership bid. The commitment came after an 11 year old boy had been stabbed the previous evening while participating in a skills competition on a soccer field near Davis' district of Topsail. Davis, who went to the soccer field following the stabbing, acknowledged the victim in his first speech as premier. He later told reporters that the advisory committee would bring together people involved in corrections, law enforcement, mental health and advocacy.[38][39]

At the swearing in ceremony for his cabinet on September 30, 2014, Davis announced that the Department of Justice would now be titled the Department of Public Safety and that the Fire and Emergency Services portfolio would now fall under the department. In a surprise move Davis announced that St. John's lawyer Judy Manning would serve as the department's new minister, despite not being an elected member of the House of Assembly.[40][41] Davis received criticism for dropping justice from the department's name as well as the appointment of Manning, due to her being unelected and not willing to seek a seat in the House of Assembly until the next election.[42] Representative from the provincial branch of the Canadian Bar Association met with Davis on October 10, 2014, to question him on why the former Department of Justice was replaced with the Department of Public Safety. Following the meeting Davis announced the department would be re-named the Department of Justice and Public Safety.[43]

Fiscal policy

When Davis appointed his cabinet he kept Ross Wiseman as Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, Wiseman had taken over the portfolio earlier that month.[44] On November 27, 2014, Davis announced that government was imposing a freeze on discretionary spending and imposing an extra layer of approval on all hiring. The announcement was made following a decision by OPEC not to cut oil production despite a major drop in the price of oil since the summer of 2014. When the 2014 budget was released the government forecasted a deficit of more than half a billion dollars and were predicting oil to trade at $105 a barrel. When OPEC made their decision not to cut production oil was trading below $80 a barrel. For every dollar the price of oil is below the provincial government's projected amount, the treasury loses roughly $25 million.[45] Davis would not rule out spending cuts or tax increases in the 2015 budget.[46]

Health policy

Davis appointed leadership rival Steve Kent as Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Community Services. During the leadership contest both Davis and Kent had promised a health care summit. In November it was announced that the Premier's Health Care Summit would take place on January 14, 2015 in St. John’s. Consultations throughout the province began in November to allow residents the opportunity to provide feedback in advance of the summit.[47] Kent announced in December 2014, that work on a new mental health and addictions strategy would begin in early 2015.[48]

Electoral record

Newfoundland and Labrador general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Paul Davis 3860 68.35% -13.07
     NDP Brian Nolan 1507 26.69% +15.53
     Liberal Nic Reid 280 4.96% -2.14
Topsail, By-Election - March 16, 2010

On the Senate appointment of Elizabeth Marshall, January 29, 2010

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Paul Davis 2737 81.42 -1.62
     NDP Brian Nolan 374 11.16 +2.91
     Liberal Shane Kennedy 238 7.10 -1.61

References

  1. ^ a b "Paul Davis sworn in as 12th premier". CBC News, September 26, 2014.
  2. ^ Bailey, Sue (September 26, 2014). "New Newfoundland and Labrador premier vows action on crime, mental health". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ "House of Assembly Profile". House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Roberts, Terry (13 October 2014). "Paul Davis: first cop in Canadian history to lead a province". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Premier Dunderdale Appoints New Cabinet, Announces Departmental Restructuring". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Liberal, Conservative nominations for Topsail byelection open". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Paul Davis wins Tory nomination in Topsail". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "PCs hold Topsail in byelection". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Landslide a 'pleasant surprise': Davis". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Davis sworn in as Topsail MHA". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Premier Announces Senior Appointment". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Nominations close in Kilbride and Topsail". Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  13. ^ a b Dooley, Danette (4 June 2011). "‘It can’t always be somebody else’". The Telegram. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Powers, Victor. "Report on the Provincial General Election October 11, 2011". Elections Newfoundland and Labrador. p. 21. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Premier Dunderdale Appoints New Cabinet, Announces Departmental Restructuring". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Dunderdale shuffles the deck". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Province getting rid of ferry Nonia". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Antle, Rob (18 March 2013). "$3M sunk into Nonia in months before decision to axe ship". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Antle, Rob (16 December 2013). "Nonia ferry sold for $76K after millions spent on refit". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Charting a new course". The Nor'wester. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "New people in cabinet, others shuffled". The Georgian. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Natuashish - Social workers' challenge". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "Young children found sniffing gas in home with unsecured guns, ammunition:police". MacLeans Magazine. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  24. ^ McLeod, James (4 December 2013). "Government revamps adoption law". The Telegram. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "Legislation Focuses on the Safety and Well-being of Children". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 3 December 2013. 
  26. ^ McLeod, James (1 May 2014). "Premier conducts major overhaul of cabinet". The Telegram. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  27. ^ Crocker, Diane (29 April 2014). "Radiation unit, PET scanner will be part of hospital’s functional plan: premier". The Western Star. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  28. ^ "Radiation services 'guaranteed' at new hospital, says premier". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  29. ^ a b c d Bailey, Sue (6 July 2014). "Newfoundland Tories revamp leadership race". Metro News. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "PC leadership race: Paul Davis says he's out". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  31. ^ a b "Paul Davis enters PC race with call for ‘new beginning’". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Frank Coleman nixes move to politics, premier's office". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  33. ^ "Newfoundland Tories restart leadership contest with Sept. 13 vote". The Globe and Mail. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  34. ^ McLeod, James (3 July 2014). "Davis launches bid to become premier". The Telegram. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  35. ^ "Endorsement tracker: Who's endorsing whom in PC leadership". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  36. ^ "Paul Davis favourite for PC Leadership; 53% of NL has positive impression of NL Leader Dwight Ball". Abacus Data. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  37. ^ "Paul Davis wins PC leadership, becomes premier-designate". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 13 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  38. ^ a b Bailey, Sue (26 September 2014). "New Newfoundland and Labrador premier vows action on crime, mental health". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  39. ^ McLeod, James (27 September 2014). "Premier asks people to pray for stabbed C.B.S. child". The Telegram. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  40. ^ "Premier Paul Davis Unveils New Cabinet, Innovative Approach". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  41. ^ "Judy Manning to wait until next election to run for seat". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  42. ^ "Lawyers question revamping of former justice department". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  43. ^ McLeod, James (11 October 2014). "Davis does about face; renames department ‘Justice and Public Safety’". The Telegram. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  44. ^ "Paul Davis taps Steve Kent as deputy premier". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  45. ^ "Paul Davis announces freeze on spending, hiring". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  46. ^ McLeod, James (28 November 2014). "Davis won’t rule out tax hikes, spending cuts due to dropping oil prices". The Telegram. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  47. ^ "Delivering Quality Health Care for Residents". Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  48. ^ McLeod, James (5 December 2014). "Kent promises new mental-health strategy". The Telegram. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

External links

  • Paul Davis' PC Party biography
  • Paul Davis on Twitter
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