Liberal hopeful talks 5 Wing Goose Bay and resource development
A passion for politics has been flowing through Perry Trimper’s blood for a long time. The principal scientist at Stantec Consulting LTD first tried to become the Lake Melville’s Liberal MHA in 2003.
© Derek Montague/The Labradorian
Perry Trimper tried for the Lake Melville Liberal nomination in 2003. Now, 11 years later, he’s throwing his hat back into the political ring.
Back then, Trimper had just one opponent for the Liberal nomination: Ken Anthony. It was a close contest but, in the end, Anthony came out on top.
“We both worked hard at it, and I lost by 27 votes,” recalled Trimper.
“It was a good experience for me, even though I lost … it’s kind of been in my soul for 11 years.”
The people of Lake Melville would go on to elect PC candidate John Hickey that year, and Trimper would put his political aspirations aside for over a decade. Still, each provincial election since 2003 has brought temptations to throw his hat in the Liberal ring once more.
“Each election since, people have asked if I would put my name forward again,” said Trimper.
“It’s good for the ego when people tell you that you should offer your name.”
Trimper, a resident of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, first moved to Labrador in 1987. Although he wasn’t born here, he has long called the Big Land his home.
“I chose to stay and work here, and I’m a Labradorian by choice,” said Trimper. “I’ve had a fantastic 27 years here.”
The political situation is much different in the Lake Melville area now than it was in 2003. The Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador has not officially called for nominations in the area yet, but several people have already announced their intentions to run, including: Brandon Pardy, Lori Dyson, and Waylon Williams.
Despite the heavy competition, Trimper feels that now is the right time to seek the nomination again. One of his main priorities is trying to get Labradorians working together.
Trimper likes to use the popular Labrador Winter Games as an analogy of how the Big Land should be, people from all across Labrador gathering together as one group, for the same purpose.
“After the Winter Games, we tend to go back to our own worlds,” said Trimper. “We need to work as a team to solve Labrador’s problems.”
Trimper notes that the Lake Melville area has a very diverse population, with people from three distinct Aboriginal backgrounds, different levels of income, and different ways of life.
But the Liberal hopeful believes that his years of involvement with groups like the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce, the Goose Bay Citizens Coalition, and the Labrador Heritage Society, will help him engage with people of different backgrounds.
“This community is extremely diverse … you’ve got to get yourself out there in all walks of life,” said Trimper.
“We should celebrate diversity. There’s not a more interesting place you can live than right here.”
In terms of the major issues surrounding the district, one of Trimper’s main priorities is seeing a secure future for 5 Wing Goose Bay.
With residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the surrounding areas still waiting for Ottawa to announce a long-term plan, there is concern that the base may no longer be a federal priority.
“There’s nothing more important than 5 Wing Goose Bay,” said Trimper. “It is, and always will be, the economic anchor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Natural resource development is booming right now in Labrador. Trimper wants Labradorians to benefit from the principle of adjacency when large-scale development takes place in their backyard.
“Those living immediately adjacent to the resource should receive the maximum benefit associated with that project,” said Trimper.
Furthermore, Trimper claims that not enough emphasis is placed on the younger generation when large projects are planned. He wants to see more people going into the high schools and educating kids on the opportunities that will be available for them in the near future.
“We need to keep our kids here, and let them avail of school and opportunities,” said Trimper.
“There’s tremendous economic development potential here, but we need the younger generation to believe that the opportunities are for them.”