Michael Conners created the piece and has also written up an article for their website: http://www.ntv.ca
All eyes on federal race in Avalon
by Michael Connors
January 5, 2006
It will be the race to watch on election night. With John Efford in retirement, the riding of Avalon will be electing a new MP on Jan. 23, and it's a seat that all of the parties would dearly love to win. Bill Morrow now carries the Liberal flag. He says he won't try to fill Efford's shoes, rather he'll bring his own experiences as a lawyer in Bay Roberts to the table if he wins the election. Avalon is the most interesting of the new ridings created in the province after the last census. North of the Trans-Canada Highway used to belong to the Liberal stronghold of Bonavista-Trinity-Conception; south of the highway used to belong to the Tory stronghold of St. JohnÂs West. So the winner may come down to which side does a better job of getting its vote out to the polls. Former MHA Fabian Manning is running for the Conservatives. He was kicked out of the provincial Tory caucus earlier this year for speaking out against the governmentÂs controversial plan for raw material sharing in the crab industry. It was a move that made Manning very popular with fishermen and vaulted him into federal politics. He promises to do more of the same if elected to represent Avalon. Trying to break the Liberal and Tory dominance are the New Democrats and the Green Party. Eugene Conway of Harbour Main is running for the NDP. If elected, he says he will use his vote in the Commons as a bargaining chip for provincial interests with whatever minority government emerges. Shannon Hillier is one of three locally based candidates running for the Greens in the province. For her, the top issue in Avalon is waste management and encouraging more people to recycle. The Liberals and Conservatives remain tied in national polls and the gap between them is closing in Ontario. That means on election night, all parties will be looking at the early returns from Avalon and wondering if they're a sign of things to come.