Jim Dinn announces his candidacy to take over full-time NL NDP leadership

NDP interim leader Jim Dinn announced he would seek full-time leadership of the party on Thursday.  (Ted Dillon/CBC - photo credit)

NDP interim leader Jim Dinn announced he would seek full-time leadership of the party on Thursday. (Ted Dillon/CBC – photo credit)

Ted Dillon/CBC

Ted Dillon/CBC

Jim Dinn has officially announced his intention to remove the “interim” from his current position as interim chairman of the New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dinn launched his candidacy for party leader Thursday night at a kickoff event in St. John’s.

“I never had political ambitions. Of course, I never wanted to be the leader of any political party,” said Dinn, who before entering politics was a 32-year educator and former leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Union.

“I thank the many people inside and outside the party, my constituents, family and friends who encouraged me to drop the provisional title. I can say it was a long decision-making process, but here I am.”

Dinn, who was first elected MHA at St. John’s Center in 2019, has been keeping the NDP’s engines running since the defeat of former party leader Alison Coffin in the 2021 provincial election as interim leader.

In January, Dinn told CBC News he had considered taking the leap to full-time party leader after receiving encouragement from several people.

On Thursday, Dinn was introduced by Gerry Rogers, NDP leader from 2018 to April 2019. Dinn filled the void at NDP stronghold St. John’s Center – Rogers’ district between 2011 and 2019 – when she retired.

“His whole life has been about community, about connections, and working with others to make our world, our province, a better place for everyone,” Rogers said.

“I knew the Newfoundland and Labrador New Democrats were the perfect home for his activism. I knew Jim Dinn would be the perfect MHA for the good people at St. John’s Center. I was right.”

Ted Dillon/CBC

Ted Dillon/CBC

Most of Dinn’s announcement speech focused on Newfoundland and Labrador’s ailing health care system. It was also Dinn’s main focus in a January interview with CBC News, in which he looked ahead to 2023.

He said the provincial government must address the social determinants of health, not just the system, through the new federal health deal announced last week.

“We are not confident that the government will itself address the issues we are facing with the new deal,” Dinn said.

“We already saw this in the rushed Health Care Bill last November when it announced plans to build a new St Clare’s rather than focus on retaining health workers.”

Executive nominations opened Wednesday and are open through March 27.

So far no other candidate has come forward. If you do that, party members will vote. If unchallenged, Dinn will lose the provisional title and become the official leader of the NL NDP.

“Every day since I was elected, I’ve heard from people – those who are struggling to access the health care they need, those who have given up their dream of owning their own home and are finding it increasingly difficult to put food on the table to bring,” Dinn said.

“If we’ve seen anything from the current administration, it’s the lack of any meaningful plans, whether on climate change, a just transition, affordable housing, homelessness or healthcare.”

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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