©Barbara Dean-Simmons/The Packet
Merv Wiseman has announced he’s interested in Judy Foote’s MP position for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity.
He made the official announcement as a guest speaker at a Rotary meeting in Clarenville.
Foote announced earlier this summer she would be stepping down as MP for the riding.
“I want to get the word out there to the public and to my supporters and potential supporters to watch the landscape, watch the candidates, and don’t make any premature decisions of support until you understand who is going to be in the playing field and what the issues are going to be,” Wiseman told The Packet before the meeting.
Wiseman, who previously ran for the Liberal nomination for the provincial district of Placentia West-Bellevue, says Foote was a “high profile and effective” minister who has big shoes to fill.
“I feel that I can more than adequately provide that with my background in maritime search and rescue, safety in the fishery and a lot of transportation issues.”
Wiseman lives in North Harbour, where he owns the biggest silver fox farm in the world. He believes it’s important that a candidate would live in the district of which the MP would represent. He is also a retired search and rescue coordinator, an advocate for search and rescue reform, and the current president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture.
Wiseman added both the fishery and agriculture need to be a focus of a platform for this riding — areas in which he says he has extensive experience.
“We need to find ways to try and get an equal footing (in the fishery) in this province, not just with the foreigners, but with other parts of Canada,” he said.
When it comes to agriculture, he says it’s vital to make sure Newfoundland and Labrador is able to take advantage of its full potential through funding and development.
“There’s economic opportunity and diversification all around.”
Wiseman acknowledges it’s still early — as Foote hasn’t even officially resigned yet — but says he wanted to put his name out there.
“I’m pretty much 99 per cent in. It’s that one per cent where I have to make that final decision.”