Provincial Tories aim to get closer to federal Conservatives, says David Brazil in 2023 look-ahead

Interim PC Leader David Brazil wants his party to become closer to its federal colleagues in 2023.  (Mark Quinn/CBC - image credit)
Interim PC Leader David Brazil wants his party to become closer to its federal colleagues in 2023. (Mark Quinn/CBC - image credit)
Mark Quinn/CBC
Mark Quinn/CBC

Interim Newfoundland and Labrador PC Leader David Brazil says he wants his party to get closer to its federal counterpart in the new year.

In a sit-down CBC News interview looking ahead at 2023, Brazil said the provincial Progressive Conservatives and federal Conservatives are like "third cousins" right now.

"We're at the point now where it's not the cousin you invite to the wedding, it's not the cousin you go out for a drink with when they come to town but it's a cousin you have a lot of commonalities and you'd like to be able to get closer," Brazil said.

"I'd like to be able to ensure that the Conservative Party federally and the provincial Progressive Conservative Party are first cousins in the next year or so."

Brazil said that means looking at policies that reflect the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said he has twice spoken privately with current Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and is gloing to Ottawa in the coming weeks for another meeting.

"The initial discussions were in a good place from my perspective and our caucus's perspective for Progressive Conservative needs in Newfoundland and Labrador," said Brazil.

"I want to make sure that's going to be his national policy and that the benefactors of some of the policies nationally will be relevant in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Brazil said Poilievre's stance on community benefits agreements — which ensure work by international companies benefits and creates jobs in the community where it's being done — is high on his list of priorities.

WATCH | Interim PC Leader David Brazil sits down with the CBC's Peter Cowan to discuss the year ahead:

Second, Brazil said, he applauds the federal Conservatives' stance against the federal carbon tax.

"We're all cognizant of doing our part for the environment. But [we need to be] consciously looking at what impact that's having on people financially, and really what is it doing to help the environment in Newfoundland and Labrador and globally as part of that process?" he said.

"Having a more open, and what I'd call a mature conversation, about what is it that we can do in Newfoundland and Labrador to do our part for the environment, to find ways as we transition into other energies, what developed partnership that the federal government must play as part of that."

Brazil also spoke about the province's need to retain health-care workers, especially those who are graduating from local medical programs.

He said other provinces are poaching health staff and the province's plan is not working.

"Start listening to the health organizations that represent the front-line workers," he said.

"Start interacting with them and putting in play some of the things they've recommended about quality of life, retraining, some of the incentives that are necessary."

Watch the full interview by clicking on the video above.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador