‘Stand up for the working man’

Labrador City native seeks NDP nomination

Ty Dunham ty.dunham@tc.tc
Published on September 1, 2015

NDP candidate Frank Dwyer wants the opportunity to be the unflinching voice for Labrador in the upcoming run for MHA for Labrador West.

©Ty Dunham

Frank Dwyer says he’s the right voice for Labrador West – outspoken and unflinching without apology.

He also contends his candid nature mixed with being a working man makes him the ideal NDP candidate to run for MHA in the fall.

Born and raised in Labrador West for 43 years, Dwyer has seen it all with the good times and the bad. After living in Newfoundland for three years, he learned just what’s missing back home.
Dwyer said the communities are 25 years behind, and it’s going to take someone with a loud enough voice to bring any change.

“I’m not there with my own agenda; I’m there for the people of Labrador West. I’m there to say what needs to be said, ask what needs to be ask, and demands the answers that have for so long been avoided.”

Dwyer admits his political experience is next to none, but sees that as a possible advantage.

“As a politicking person, I’ve made friends from all end of the spectrum and anyone that knows me knows I speak the truth. If something needs to be said it needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

Dwyer said he stands alone, detaching himself from any realm of influence other than the communities of Labrador West.

“I have no fear of repercussion from my employer of political affiliates. Anyone that knows me knows over the 43 years I spent in Labrador West knows I’m a genuine person. Once I’m committed as a friend or ally, my back’s to the wall,” he said.

Dwyer said he choose to align himself with the NDP because it’s what he’s known since childhood.

“I say NDP and NDP only for one reason — it’s a tribute to my dad. My dad was a strong NDP and it goes right back to the days of solidarity,” he said.

“That’s all I knew in my house when I was a kid. I figured what a great way to tribute his name.”

I’m not there with my own agenda; I’m there for the people of Labrador West. Frank Dwyer

While some candidates argue policy and point fingers at other parties, Dwyer said he just wants to keep it simple.

“I’m a working man, and that’s the way my dad was. You’ve got to stand up for the working man,” he said. “I worked very hard for a living and everything I have I’ve earned same for Labrador West workers.”

Three years ago, Dwyer was forced to move away from Labrador West with his family due to lack of medical services available to treat his son. He admitted not being on the ground during the campaign might hurt his chances as he relies on social media, but hoped voters would remember why he left.

“I was voted most likely to grow old and die in Labrador West. I never wanted to leave. The day we decided to leave was one of the hardest days of my life; three years later I still reel from it,” he said.
Dwyer said he’s itching to get home to Labrador West and give back to his community.
“People say I’m crazy to miss the -50 C weather. I don’t miss that. It’s the people I miss. I know they’re going through hard times right now and they’ve been failed by politicians in the past,” Dwyer said.
“I’m not a politician – I’m Frank Dwyer. I’m the same guy I was when I left. I’ve learned a lot and my eyes have been opened. There’s a lot to be done.”

Dwyer chided politicians who use Labrador West as a stepping stone to bigger political aspirations and using their position to push for seats in the House of Assembly.

“I don’t see Labrador West as a seat. It was a doormat for the PCs for the past eight years, and now we want to go from a doormat to a seat? No, these are people and these people have names and lives,” he said.
“The people who live there work hard and make good wages but they sacrifice a lot for it. It’s time for government to recognize that it’s time to give back to Labrador West. It’s time someone stands up for Labrador West.”

Dwyer promised to remain true to himself and to the people he would serve, if elected.
“Sometimes (elected politicians) forget they’re put in the position by the people, and they come up with their own agenda. I don’t have an agenda, except to be the voice for the common man. Because that’s what I am,” he said.
Dwyer is running against United Steelworkers safety rep Fabian Benoit and former Wabush Mayor Ron Barron.