Lynn Verge

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Lynn Verge
Member of the Newfoundland House of Assembly
for Humber East
In office
Preceded by Tom Farrell
Succeeded by Bob Mercer
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
April 29, 1995 – 1996
Preceded by Len Simms
Succeeded by Loyola Sullivan
Personal details
Born c. 1951
Political party Progressive Conservative
Residence Montreal, Québec
Occupation Lawyer

Lynn Verge is a Canadian lawyer and politician from Newfoundland and Labrador. She represented the Corner Brook electoral district of Humber East in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly from 1979 to 1996. As of 2016, she serves as the executive director of Atwater Library and Computer Centre in Westmount, Quebec.[1]

In 1995, Verge became the first woman to lead a political party in the province when she succeeded Len Simms as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party; she was also the first woman to serve as the Leader of the Official Opposition.[2]


At the age of 28 she was elected to the House of Assembly in 1979. Following her win Verge was sworn in as Minister of Education in the cabinet of Brian Peckford, becoming one of the first two female cabinet ministers in Newfoundland and Labrador's history.[3] In 1985, Peckford appointed Verge Minister of Justice and Attorney General. She retained the portfolio when Tom Rideout became premier in March 1989 and was also appointed deputy premier.[4] The following month in the 1989 provincial election, the Liberal Party won a majority government, despite the PC Party winning the popular vote. Verge faced off against Liberal leader Clyde Wells in her district of Humber East, and despite him leading his party to victory Wells was defeated by Verge.[2][5]

Verge sought the leadership of her party in its 1995 leadership race. Her campaign was co-chaired by Kathy Dunderdale, who would later become the province's first female premier.[6] At the convention Verge was elected leader over Loyola Sullivan by a margin of three votes.[7] Her election as leader made Verge the first female leader of a political party in the province.[8] Wells was replaced as Liberal leader and premier by Brian Tobin, a former federal MP and cabinet minister, in 1996. Tobin called a provincial election to be held on February 22, 1996.[9][10] Tobin was a popular figure in the province and was able to win a large majority government.[11] The Progressive Conservatives had their worst election in 30 years, they won nine of the 48 seats in the legislature and 39% of the popular vote.[12] Verge was defeated in her own district and subsequently resigned as party leader.[13]


  1. ^ "Our Board, Capital Campaign Cabinet, Other Volunteers and Staff". Atwater Library and Computer Centre. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Newfoundland and Labrador Votes 2007: Humber East". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  3. ^ "Newfoundland gets first women cabinet members". The Calgary Herald. 4 July 1979. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Rideout shuffles, trims cabinet to get ready for election call". The Telegram. 28 March 1989. 
  5. ^ "Forty-First General Election 1989 - Report of the Chief Electoral Officer" (PDF). Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Letto, Doug (15 October 2011). "The massive obstacles facing Kathy Dunderdale". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tory leadership race a cliff-hangernewspaper=The Record". 1 May 1995. pp. B.3. 
  8. ^ "Wells' foe leads Nfld. Tories". Toronto Star. 30 April 1995. p. A.10. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Bailey, Ian (9 January 1996). "Brian Tobin off and running in bid to become Newfoundland premier". The Record. p. A.3. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Tobin borrows tactic from federal Liberals as he calls election". Toronto Star. 30 January 1996. p. A.18. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tobin goes home to huge majority Says province's future holds much promise". Toronto Star. 23 February 1996. p. A.3. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the General Election for the Forty-Third General Assembly February 22, 1996" (PDF). Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Tobin given mandate to boost province". The Record. 23 February 1995. pp. A.3. 

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