Former interim PC leader David Brazil launches campaign to be next MP in St. John's East

David Brazil, the former leader of the PC Party in Newfoundland and Labrador, officially announced his intention to run in the next federal election in the district of St. John's East.
David Brazil, the former interim leader of Newfoundland and Labrador's Progressive Conservative Party, has officially announced his intention to run in the next federal election in the riding of St. John's East. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

Standing inside a packed hotel conference room lined with white and blue signs and balloons, former interim Progressive Conservative leader David Brazil stood with a smile Wednesday evening as he officially announced his intention into running for federal politics.

Brazil will run to be the next member of Parliament for St. John's East, the seat currently held by Liberal Joanne Thompson, in the next federal election. The Liberal Party has held the seat since 2008.

He told supporters he's eager to begin work to be able to represent the people of the region, saying he feels the province needs someone else in Ottawa who will stand up to the government for the people of the province.

"We need a voice in Ottawa. We have one there with Cliff [Small], but Cliff needs support up there," he said, referring to Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Clifford Small, Newfoundland and Labrador's only Conservative MP.

"I think we have an opportunity to do something wonderful. Not only here in St. John's East, but in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have an opportunity to seize the moment.… I'm ready to work."

Brazil had a long career in provincial politics, representing the district of Conception Bay East-Bell Island for 14 years.

He became interim leader of the PCs in 2021 but resigned in December to focus on his health after suffering a heart attack.

Brazil told reporters that he's spent the last seven months focused on getting better and believes he's now in a good place to get back into the political ring.

"I think I bring something different to the table than what we've had for the last decade and a half."

Over 150 people were in attendance to show support for Brazil on Wednesday evening.
More than 150 people showed up to support Brazil on Wednesday evening. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

Brazil said he has spoken to federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre on several occasions leading up to Wednesday's announcement, including during his time as interim PC leader.

He told supporters Poilievre is very informed on issues facing the province — including homelessness, the impact of the federal carbon tax and the equalization system.

"I've had good conversations with Pierre Poilievre about Newfoundland and Labrador, and we're in the mindset equal about how we improve this province. So I felt comfortable to be able to run as a Conservative," he said.

"He knows where I stand, and I know where he stands. But there's a lot of things that are in common here, unlike what people may think. A lot of things that are common, from the policy that they have nationally and the policies that I would want in Newfoundland and Labrador."

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