Roger Grimes

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Roger Grimes
Roger Grimes cropped.jpg
8th Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
February 13, 2001 – November 6, 2003
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Governor Arthur Maxwell House
Edward Moxon Roberts
Preceded by Beaton Tulk
Succeeded by Danny Williams
Leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador
In office
February 3, 2001 – May 30, 2005
Preceded by Beaton Tulk
Succeeded by Gerry Reid
Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly for Exploits
In office
April 20, 1989 – May 30, 2005
Preceded by Hugh Twomey
Succeeded by Clayton Forsey
Personal details
Born (1950-05-02) May 2, 1950 (age 66)
Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador[1]
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Lewis
Alma mater Memorial University, B.S., B.Ed., M.Ed.[1]

Roger D. Grimes (born May 2, 1950) is a Canadian politician from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Grimes was born and raised in the central Newfoundland town of Grand Falls-Windsor.

Grimes is a former leader of the province's Liberal Party and was its eighth Premier from February 2001 until November 2003.

A teacher by profession, Grimes was elected president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association in 1985, a position he held for two years.


In 1989, Grimes was elected to the House of Assembly representing Exploits district.[2]

Grimes entered the cabinet of Premier Clyde Wells in 1991 as Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, followed by service as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation[citation needed]. Under Premier Brian Tobin, Grimes was by now a senior Minister and served in the portfolios of Education, Mines and Energy, and Health and Community Servies[citation needed]. [3]

2001 NL Liberal Leadership Convention[edit]

Grimes won the 2001 Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador Leadership to become Party Leader, defeating John Efford by 14 votes in a fierce and divisive contest in Mount Pearl[citation needed]. Efford and fellow leadership contestant Paul Dicks subsequently left provincial politics saying they could not work under the leadership of Grimes[citation needed].

Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]

Grimes was sworn in as Premier on February 13, 2001.[2] The same year he became Premier, the name of the province was officially changed to Newfoundland and Labrador[citation needed].

In 2002, Grimes called for a review of the Act of Union by which the province had become a part of Canada and on July 2, 2003, the findings of the Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in Canada were released[citation needed]. It noted the following stressors in the relationship between the province and Canada:

  • The huge impact on the province by the destruction of the cod stocks.
  • Hydroelectricity resources in Labrador have primarily benefited Quebec.
  • Chronically high unemployment; the highest in Canada.
  • Lowest per-capita income in Canada.
  • The highest tax rates in the country.
  • The most out-migration of any province in Canada.

The report called for:

  • more collaborative federalism;
  • an action team to deal with the fishery in waters surrounding Newfoundland;
  • collaboration between Canada, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador on the development of the Gull Island hydro site on the lower part of the Churchill River;
  • revision of the Atlantic Accord, negotiated by the provincial and federal governments in the 1980s, to ensure that offshore oil and gas royalties primarily benefit the province (this recommendation was one of the earliest priorities of Grimes' successor, Danny Williams);
  • immediate and realistic negotiations on joint management of the fishery.

Also in 2003, the federal government declared a moratorium[4] on the last remaining cod fishery in Atlantic Canada in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Newfoundland and Labrador was again the most directly affected province[citation needed]. As Grimes was dealing with this issue, and others facing the province, time was soon running out on his tenure[citation needed].

Despite his attempts to strike an image as a fresh government[citation needed], Grimes and his Liberals were defeated in the October 2003 provincial election by the Progressive Conservatives under Danny Williams, bringing an end to 14 years of Liberal rule in Newfoundland and Labrador.


On May 30, 2005, Grimes resigned the seat he had held in the legislature for 16 years and stepped down as the leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.[2] He is quoted[citation needed] as saying that the time was right for him to retire from provincial politics. Gerry Reid became interim leader[citation needed] after Grimes announced his retirement.

In March 2011, the provincial Liberals held their first fundraiser of the year[citation needed]. The event was a roast of Grimes, called “Grimes and Punishment” and was held in St. John’s.[5][6]

Recently, Grimes had been critical of the Lower Churchill Project and fellow liberal Premier Dwight Ball.[7] In June 2016, he was banned from the Capital Hyundai Arena after he made negative comments about the former Chair of Nalcor's Board of Directors, Ken Marshall (who is involved in a scandal regarding payments from the provincial government). Marshall's brother, Steve Marshall, is the owner of the rink and made the decision following Grimes's comments.[8]