Dwight Ball is calling it quits as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“To my fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, I want to say thank you for the opportunity you have given me to serve you,” said Ball, in a video message released Monday afternoon and kept under strict embargo until 6 p.m.
“I’ve always worked on your best interest. Tonight, I am announcing my time in politics is coming to an end.”
In the video, Ball says he has asked the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador to begin a leadership process at the earliest opportunity. He does not name an immediate successor for himself as leader of the Liberal Party, saying only he wants the leadership process to be fair.
Ball will remain leader of the Liberals, and premier, until the leadership process concludes.
According to provincial legislation, a provincial election must occur no more than one year after the resignation of the premier.
Ball will also step down as MHA for Humber-Gros Morne, the district he has represented first in 2007, then from October 2011 to the present day, at the next provincial election.
Ball, 62, became leader of the Liberals in 2013 and served for two years as leader of the opposition. In November 2015, Ball’s Liberals won a landslide victory and he became the 13th premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2019's general election, Ball and the Grits emerged with a minority government.
“I guess Poppy will now be able to spend more time at your gymnastic classes." — Dwight Ball
In the video, Ball highlights some of his proudest accomplishments as premier, including his government’s intention to work with federal counterparts on a rate mitigation plan for Muskrat Falls, which he announced a week ago.
“Since joining politics, there has been one priority area that has been very close to me — an area in need of significant improvement: mental health and additions services for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” he said.
“Not only have we worked together with community to shine a spotlight on mental health, we are reducing wait lists for mental health services by 68 per cent. We are in the final stages to replace the Waterford Hospital.”
Ball says he’s looking forward to spending time with his family in his post-politics life.
“I guess Poppy will now be able to spend more time at your gymnastic classes,” said Ball, directing his comment to his granddaughter.
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