It was a tale of two tones on Tuesday as leaders of opposition parties expressed their opinions on the future of governance with Andrew Furey in charge.
NDP Leader Alison Coffin was the voice of optimism, saying she'd like to form an alliance with the Liberals, while PC Leader Ches Crosbie was pessimistic of a man he believes has no real plan for the province beyond getting himself elected.
Furey won the Liberal leadership on Monday evening in a two-candidate race, and is expected to be sworn in Newfoundland and Labrador's 14th premier in the coming weeks.
Coffin said talks have been ongoing since the last general election about either forming a coalition government, or a supply and confidence agreement that would see the NDP and Liberals benefit from each other.
She met with Furey on Saturday to discuss options, and he called her Tuesday morning to say he was setting up further meetings.
"It looks like we are going to be working together but I have a very high expectation that it be something more than 'My door is open and I'll consider all your suggestions,'" Coffin said.
"We need to have meaningful and genuine collaboration, a discussion of the issues and finding solutions together. It has to be real collaboration."
A statement from Furey's office said he is open to collaboration with all parties, but did not specifically address talk of a formal arrangement with the NDP.
A coalition government is unusual territory for Newfoundland and Labrador, where minority governments have been rare throughout post-Confederation history.
Coffin said talks with the Ball government never materialized into a formal arrangement. She said the NDP want to see several legislative changes, such as reforming the Labour Standards Act, tougher environmental protections and the creation of an independent offshore safety board.
"Whether or not that can happen with this new administration is something that is going to be determined by the will of the premier-designate," she said.
Crosbie less committal to cooperation
Coffin's counterpart in blue, Ches Crosbie, wasn't quite as cordial on Tuesday.
Crosbie did say he hopes to continue working together with the Liberals on such things as the all-party committee created to handle COVID-19 strategy, but said he isn't sold on the orthopedic surgeon who was chosen as leader on Monday night.
Both men were at the House of Assembly on Tuesday — Crosbie talking to the media, and Furey talking with the finance minister.
"We are willing to collaborate if it's in the interest of the province, but we also have to have the same quality of information and depth of information that [Furey] has and is reading right now in an office in this building somewhere," Crosbie said.
The PC leader wants to see the long-term financial planning documents Furey will be working with — something he said the previous administration didn't share.
Crosbie was underwhelmed by Furey's platform during the leadership race, and said Furey appeared to be weak on job creation.
Furey had promised a non-partisan economic advisory team, spearheaded by an "economic recovery officer" within his first 100 days. One of the top priorities of the team will be jobs.
While he spoke briefly about collaboration, Crosbie didn't hold back in his first interview after Furey's election.
"So far he looks like a guy who arrived in office without a plan."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Furey on Tuesday and offered support for his transition into office.
"The two leaders committed to working together to address priorities, such as health care, protecting the environment, creating good middle class jobs and economic growth, as well leveraging the Atlantic Growth Strategy to help build a sustainable future for Atlantic Canada," a news release from the office of the Prime Minster said.
"The Government of Canada will continue working closely with Newfoundland and Labrador and all provinces and territories to support Canadians through the pandemic and safely restart our economy."