John Crosbie named new N.L. lieutenant governor
Published Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:02PM EST
OTTAWA - Former Tory cabinet minister John Crosbie has been named lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment Thursday, saying Crosbie's "dedication to public life shows his commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.''
Harper predicted the former Progressive Conservative politician "will serve his province well.''
After entering federal politics in 1976, the colourful and sometimes controversial Crosbie served the cabinets of Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney.
He was finance minister in Clark's minority government following the 1979 general election. His tough budget included tax increases -- "short-term pain for long-term gain,'' he called them.
But it was Clark's government that was short-term. Pierre Trudeau's Liberals tabled a non-confidence motion on Dec. 13, 1979 and defeated the government. The Tories lost the subsequent election.
Clark's government lasted just nine months less a day. Crosbie said it was "long enough to conceive, just not long enough to deliver.''
He was a popular but unilingual candidate at the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership convention, finishing third behind Mulroney and Clark.
His answer to criticism of his inability to speak French was that he didn't speak Chinese either.
He served in the justice, transport, trade and fisheries portfolios under Mulroney and his penchant for headline-grabbing, if not politically correct, commentary flourished.
In a heated moment during one parliamentary debate, he told Liberal MP Sheila Copps: "Just quieten down, baby.'' Copps later titled her autobiography "Nobody's Baby.''
At a 1990 fundraising dinner in Victoria, he said Copps made him think of the song lyrics, "Pass the Tequila, Sheila, and lay down and love me again.''
He quit federal politics in 1993.
An officer of the Order of Canada, Crosbie is now chancellor of Memorial University of Newfoundland and a lawyer for the Atlantic firm of Cox and Palmer.
He takes over the lieutenant-governor's job from Ed Roberts, who will leave the post Jan. 31, the day after Crosbie's 77th birthday.