Peckford, Alfred Brian
Alfred Brian Peckford, teacher, politician, premier of Newfoundland (b at Whitbourne, Nfld 27 Aug 1942). Peckford was first elected to the House of Assembly on 24 Mar 1972. In 1973 he was a special assistant to Frank Moores; in 1974 minister of municipal affairs and housing; and in 1976 minister of mines and energy. In 1977 he asserted Newfoundland's ownership of offshore petroleum resources and regulated the conditions for exploration by oil companies.
By 1978 exploration companies were using drilling permits from both the Newfoundland and federal governments. His aggressive championing of provincial rights gained widespread public support and enabled him to win his party's leadership in Mar 1979. In that year and in 1982 he won election by offering a future of prosperity based on the successful control and management of Newfoundland's resources.
His efforts to secure greater provincial control were marked by jurisdictional disputes with the federal government. In The Past in the Present (1983), Peckford presented his perspectives on the past mismanagement of natural resources and put forward suggestions for Newfoundland's social and economic direction. However, the prosperous future he promised did not materialize and the election of 1985 took place amid 21% unemployment. Following a stormy campaign, he was re-elected with a reduced majority.