Danny Williams names Stephen Harper as one politician who tried to impede the progress of his beloved province of Newfoundland and Labrador - and although he never asked for the fight with the federal government, he certainly relished it.
In an exit interview, the outgoing Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador did not rule out a run for federal office. That was one subject he tiptoed carefully around; the subject of his epic battles, however, he did not.
"If anybody stood in my way ... I was quite prepared and quite delighted to take them on," Mr. Williams told CTV's Power Play. "We fought some tough battles over the last seven years since I've been leader. You know I don't regret any of them and if Stephen Harper happened to be one of those, then so be it."
The full interview will be broadcast on CTV News Channel at 5 p.m. ET Thursday.
Mr. Williams surprised many in his province - and in the country - by announcing he is stepping down next week. He had served 10 years in politics and seven as Premier.
"We never went out looking for a fight but I can tell you the minute someone wronged my province, we were taking them on," he said. And take on Stephen Harper he did in a battle over equalization.
Mr. Williams accused the Prime Minister of reneging on a promise to honour a deal excluding offshore-resource revenues from the equalization formula. Then, during the 2008 federal election, he launched an "Anything But Conservative" campaign. Mr. Harper's team lost the three federal seats they held and were shut out of the province entirely.
"The ABC campaign was a consequence of the actions of the government at the time," the Premier said. "But ... this is not a day about being negative about Stephen Harper or anyone else. I feel good about where Newfoundland and Labrador is and we feel good about ourselves as a people."
True to his word, he wasn't negative about Paul Martin, either, who he also took on equalization issues. In fact, he famously refused to fly Canadian flags in provincial buildings and he walked out of a first minister's meeting.
"When commitments are made to my province, I honour a handshake, I honour someone's word, I honour people making commitments," he said. "When people try to renege on those commitments well then they are coming across my bow in the biggest part of the wave.
"So Paul Martin ... with all due respect, I got to tell you, Paul Martin did deliver at the end of the day. He did get the $2-billion cheque ... we had to battle for it."
Mr. Williams credited Mr. Martin, too, with having to do his job for the country and battle a bureaucracy in Ottawa "that's very often has been anti-Atlantic, anti-Newfoundland and Labrador."
The Premier said Mr. Martin ultimately kept his promise - "unlike others."
It's not clear, however, if Mr. Williams has fought his last political battle. He wouldn't directly answer a question about whether he will run for federal office.
Instead, he spoke about how he was never in provincial politics as a stepping stone to the federal scene. "I've had all kinds of people propose to me, ask me to go, ask me to consider it but that's not part of today's decision in any way whatsoever."
The Premier would not say what is next for him, except to humorously note he's not sure how much money he has left. He wants to look at his investments.
As for his accomplishments, Mr. Williams speaks passionately about the $6.2-billion deal to launch the long-delayed Lower Churchill power project, which he put together with Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and the Innu Nation.
"That's nation-building stuff," Mr. Williams told CTV. "That's provinces, that's regions coming together, that's a national project and a true partnership with our First Nations people.
"I have to tell you that was an exceptionally proud moment for me and I kind of thought, 'Danny, this is the time, this is the time to go.'"
And about his heart, which he travelled to Miami to have fixed this year: "It's broken a little bit today, to be quite honest with you, because of what I am going through."