Andy Wells, a long-time politician of St. John’s, famous in Canada for exaggerated and sometimes mean gladiatorial battles with his opponents, has now passed away.
Wells served as the mayor of St. John’s from 1997 to 2008, when he resigned as chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, a supervisory position that removed one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most outspoken politicians from the public Pulled out of the words.
At the age of 72, Wells tried to regain the post of mayor in 2017, but was unsuccessful.
“They are trash and cowards,” he tweeted about his rivals in that campaign-a mild form of insults he suffered during his long career.
Wells is a former labor organizer who has gradually turned to the conservative side of the political spectrum. He was first elected to the St. John’s Council in 1977, representing electoral districts including the city’s colorful downtown.
He often fights with others.His brutal and often lively debate with former Mayor John Murphy was conducted on the local cable TV in a televised meeting appointed by the city council, and the clips were often broadcast on CBC radio When it happens.
Wells is well received by voters and usually wins re-election easily.
Even after he traversed powerful circles, he gained power. By the 1980s, he had been a consumer representative on the Public Utilities Commission and attacked the executives of power and telephone companies.
But his rude style made him lose allies in politics. It is well known that he is rude in private meetings and will exhaust the patience of others.
In 2006, after he called Shannie Duff-herself a former mayor and then a councillor-a “stupid old woman”, the Parliament took measures against harassment.
Watch | From 2017, when Andy Wells prepares for a political comeback, look at his countless controversial moments:
“There is a proverb in life:’Sometimes you are a dove, sometimes you are a statue.’ Well, I felt like a statue last week,” Wells said in an apology.
“I will abide by the regulations,” he said. “So I think I will be as boring as everyone else.”
Colorful disputes with Danny Williams
Wells has a complicated relationship with many people, including Danny Williams, a lawyer and businessman for St. John’s, who will continue to serve as prime minister in 2003. In 1994, when an urban labor dispute threatened the game of the St. John Maple Leafs team assisted by Williams, he was brought to St. John’s Hospital. Wells said Williams drove him over and threatened him.
“‘I hope you get rid of your shit’-that’s exactly what he said to me,'” Wells said.
As far as Williams is concerned, he said Wells quoted him incorrectly. Williams told the CBC at the time: “What I said to him is that I personally think that if he knocks his shit down, it will be in the best interest of the city.”
Later, Williams-who once described Wells as “an ignorant pig”-began to ally with Wells, and Williams appointed him to a $175,000 per year position in 2008 to oversee PUB. The job requirements mean that Wells needs to remain silent on the issue, which means that he will resign as mayor.
Later, after retiring from the Public Utilities Bureau, Wells said he personally opposed the destructive Muskrat Falls hydropower project and severely criticized the Conservative government that initiated the project. The project has exceeded its budget by billions of dollars and is still incomplete today. operating.
“They are a bunch of bullies,” he said in 2018, while describing an investigation into Muskrat Falls and how the government treated PUB’s questions about the project.
“They chase people on the board. If the boots are not marching in the street, they are marching in the suite.”
When he tried to make a political comeback in 2017, Wells brought fierce rhetoric to the election, accusing the parliament of illegal spending and secret meetings.
Danny Brin, who defeated Wells in that game, said that he calmly accepted Wells’ criticism. “Of course I am willing to accept reasonable dialogue, but I have no intention of intervening,” Brin said at the time.