Premier Williams leaves N.L. to undergo heart surgery, says province

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams has left the province for heart surgery later this week, but his office wouldn't say Monday whether it will be done in Canada or the United States.
Spokeswoman Elizabeth Matthews didn't disclose the details of the procedure or say exactly when or where it will occur.
"I can confirm that Premier Williams did leave the province this morning and will be undergoing heart surgery later this week," she said in an email.
The CBC reported that Williams would undergo the procedure in the U.S. but didn't cite a source.
Deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale is expected to release more details early Tuesday at a news conference.
Williams, 59, is a hockey buff who played in a recreational league until recently. He met reporters Friday after a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and looked relaxed and fit.
The father of four grown children has four grandchildren.
Williams, who enjoys by far the highest approval ratings of any Canadian premier, has tangled in recent months with Hydro-Quebec and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham.
He has spoken passionately against a planned $3.2-billion takeover by Hydro-Quebec of some NB Power assets - a move he fears could hamper his own plans to harness Lower Churchill hydroelectric power in Labrador.
Williams also spoke candidly last year in an interview about the stresses and frustrations of the job he has held since 2003.
The independently wealthy former lawyer and businessman openly mused about his occupational choice. Still, Williams has said repeatedly in recent months that he has every intention of running in the next provincial election slated for 2011.

Organizations: Hydro-Quebec, CBC, NB Power

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, United States, ST. JOHN'S Canada New Brunswick

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  • Fuzzy Bear
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Well it's official, his deputy premier just announced that he has gone to the US to have heart surgery that was not offered to him in his home province. Not sure what that means!! Fact is he has opted to go to the US instead of remaining in the Canadian Health Care system that starts in NS and ends in BC. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over about our wonderful system doesn't it.
    Wait I am warm and fuzzy anyways!!

  • Fuzzy Bear
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Firstly I must apologize for not wishing Premier Williams a safe and speedy recovery in my first posting. My sincere hope is that all goes well because he is one of the few politicians in this country that I respect. Thank you Big A for reminding me of this oversight.
    The only thing I take exception to in your posting is that this is Regional News just as it is stated. We should be thanking our local paper for printing an article about it. I can bet if they didn't we would be hearing about it from some other source and then people would complain how negligent and inefficient the ADN is. News is news folks, and you can never have to much information as long as it is accurate and not overly repetative.

  • Big A
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I can`t believe how much attention this is getting from the media. So what if he went of province & out of country to get treatment. No one from NL cares. All they care is that Danny is ok at gets himself back to work. More then what I can say for the Premier of this province.