Premier of Newfoundland resigns

Update -- Jan. 22, 7:30 a.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale is stepping down as premier and leader of the province’s Progressive Conservative Party.

Dunderdale announced she will be resigning Friday, and the province's Finance Minister Tom Marshall will be taking on the role of interim premier.

"Ancient Hebrew scriptures teach us that there's a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens," Dunderdale said Wednesday morning from the Confederation Building in St. John's.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale announces her resignation in St. John's, N.L., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

"I have discovered that this also applies to public service. Just as you know when it's time to step up, you also know when it is time to step back, and that time for me is now."

Dunderdale, 61, told reporters that she was leaving the province in better shape than when she first took over as leader of the party in 2010. She cited a number of her proudest accomplishments including strengthening the economy, investing in offshore oil exploration and overseeing the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

Original Story 

Sources say Kathy Dunderdale will step down Wednesday as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador after cutting a family vacation short over political upheaval.

Two sources say that key people in the province's Progressive Conservative party were informed of Dunderdale's decision Tuesday night.

The premier's office declined comment.

Dunderdale has been under increasing pressure after two defections from members who questioned her leadership.

One of her most vocal defenders, backbencher Paul Lane, left the Tory government on Monday to join the Liberals.

Lane said Dunderdale has lost touch with voters and badly handled major electricity failures earlier this month.

Lane's move followed one by Tom Osborne, who left the Tories to sit as an Independent a year ago before crossing the floor to join the Liberals.

One source says the premier had planned to hang on in power until at least the spring budget but Lane's departure during what was supposed to be down time with her family has sped her resignation.

A second source says Finance Minister Tom Marshall is expected to serve as interim premier until a new leader is selected.

Marshall has indicated he has no plans to run in the next provincial election, scheduled for October 2015.

Dunderdale was first elected in 2003 and took over as leader of the Progressive Conservative party after former premier Danny Williams quit politics in late 2010.

She was re-elected with a majority government in October 2011.


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