Harbour Main’s NL Alliance candidate is a no holds barred type of campaigner
By Mark Squibb | Vol. 32 No. 5 (April 17 2019)
An outspoken opponent of the Eagleridge International Limited project in Holyrood is the Harbour Main district candidate for the newly minted NL Alliance party.
“This province could be doing so, so, so much better,” said Mike Cooze, a self-described jack-of-all-trades who originally hails from Bonavista Bay but now calls Holyrood home. “But it will not do it under the leadership of a PC government, or a Liberal government. Change is not going to come from the PC government or the Liberal government, change is going to come from the Newfoundland people.”
Cooze made headlines back in January when he tied himself to an access road gate on a road leading to the proposed mining exploration site.
He told The Shoreline that his protest of that project was the genesis of his political activity.
“I took up that battle with government, and dealing with government, and meeting with government, and writing letters to government, letters to the Queen on down to David Suzuki, that brought my attention to the corruption in government on the provincial level,” he said.
“I’d like to see 40 seats of NDP, Independent, and NL Alliance. Not one PC member, not one Liberal member.”
He said that a lot of his respect for the new party, which was registered with Election NL on April 12, rests with its leader, Graydon Pelley, the former president of the PC party.
“Graydon Pelley is taking the high road,” said Cooze. “But in saying that, he’s taking the most difficult road. I had some conversations with him before I threw my name in the hat, and I wanted to get a feel of what he was about and what his plans were, and he’s just a good guy. His guiding principles, and what he wants brought back to Newfoundland, he’s a lover of Newfoundland too, and he thinks we could be doing so much better. To take on the task of trying to start up another party, there’s no glory in it, there’s no money in it… The majority of the Liberals or PC’s would never take that road. That’s a hard road.”
But that loyalty to Pelley and the new party only goes so far.
“Running as a candidate for Harbour Main, at least that puts me in somewhat of a position to tell the truth, to bring the facts to the public,” said Cooze. “Even with the NL Alliance, and I’ve had this discussion with Mr. Pelley, if I get elected there in Harbour Main, I’m going to serve the people first and the party second. He applauded me for saying that.”
Cooze cited the recent announcements of millions and millions of dollars by the Liberal government as an example of the party’s bad politics.
“All these announcements are going out. It’s upfront lies, It’s propaganda,” he said. “I won’t say it’s as bad as Hitler’s (propaganda style), but on a different level. It’s lying to the Newfoundland people. You’re lying to the people you’re supposed to be serving.”
Cooze said that Newfoundlander’s ought to take the vote very seriously, and not vote for a party favorite.
“The Newfoundland future is in the hands of the Newfoundlanders,” said Cooze. “We’ve had 70 years of PC governments and Liberal governments and we’ve seen every kind of mistake in the book. It’s time for Newfoundlanders to get their backbone and speak up… I’m black and white; I don’t lie; I don’t like grey areas. If you want the truth, you’re going to get it. If I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it.”