TIGNISH — The defection of Hal Perry to the Liberals is not the end of the world as far as District 27 Progressive Conservative Association interim president Paul Shea is concerned.
“I believe this strengths the PC Party in District 27, Shea said in a telephone interview.
He said that right from the time Perry won the PC nomination, prior to the 2011 provincial election, there were people in the association questioning his loyalty to the party.
“Overall, I think the district feels good about the move. It’s not damaging us in any way, whatsoever.
If the loyalty was questioned, it’s a great time to go,” said Shea, pointing out it gives the party and potential candidates plenty of time to prepare for the next provincial election. “We always have people lined up in the background, just in case things happen.”
Shea believes Perry’s shift leaves the District 27 Liberals in a precarious position.
“There’s going to be some rift there,” he predicted.
“They are going to have to go into the next nominating convention with Hal (Perry), and the membership is going to have to be questioning whether they want a person like Hal to run on their behalf to represent them.”
“Not a clue,” Shea answered when asked whether he had any knowledge that Perry was shifting sides.
“It was a decision made by himself, as far as I know, 100 per cent, and he’s going to have to live with the consequences.”
Shea doesn’t expect Perry to be in politics after the next election, and he doesn’t expect the Liberals will be in government.
PC supporters who questioned Perry’s political background in the last election, Shea predicted, will be more supportive of the Tory candidate who emerges from the next District 27 PC nomination meeting.
“We feel pretty confident going in with another candidate.”