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Newfoundland and Labrador to go to polls on Feb. 13

Dr. Andrew Furey officially enters the race to replace Dwight Ball as leader of the provincial Liberal party and Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador at the ALT Hotel in St. John?s on Tuesday March 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Douglas Gaulton

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey has called a provincial election for Feb. 13.

Furey’s request to dissolve the legislature follows two days of free-flowing funding announcements from the governing minority Liberals.

The campaign will be the fourth provincial election since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, following elections in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick.

Read more: N.L. offers owners of Terra Nova oilfield $175 million – but only if oil flows again

It will also be the first provincial campaign for Furey since he was elected Liberal leader in August, replacing premier Dwight Ball.

Furey’s biggest competition will come from the Opposition Progressive Conservatives, led by lawyer Ches Crosbie, son of the famously outspoken politician John Crosbie.

The election comes at a time of deep economic trouble for the province, which is suffering from the struggling oil and gas industry. With a population of just over 520,000, Newfoundland and Labrador faces a $1.84-billion deficit and a $16.4-billion net debt.

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At dissolution, the Liberals held 19 seats, the Progressive Conservatives held 15, the NDP had three and there were three Independents.

Click to play video: 'Newfoundland and Labrador premier Dwight Ball abruptly resigns' Newfoundland and Labrador premier Dwight Ball abruptly resigns
Newfoundland and Labrador premier Dwight Ball abruptly resigns – Feb 17, 2020

More coming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.

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