01/09/2012 08:15 EST | Updated 03/10/2012 05:12 EST

New Senator sought return to political life

The province's newest Senator says he was looking to get back into politics when he got the call from Prime Minister Stephen Harper about a week ago.

Norm Doyle was among seven new Senate appointments announced late Friday afternoon.

The long-time Conservative politician says that after nearly three years of retirement, he was starting to feel like a fish out of water.

So when Harper's call came, it wasn't exactly a surprise.

"I had indicated to him, of course, I was interested in going back to work again," Doyle told CBC News on Saturday. "And he gave me a call back about a week ago and said there was a Senate opening and wondered if I might be interested in doing that."

Doyle jumped at the chance.

Years of service

Doyle was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly in 1979.

He served as a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister in several portfolios, before retiring from provincial politics in 1993.

He entered the federal realm in 1997, winning the riding of St. John's East. He served as national caucus chair for both the PCs and the new Conservative Party before he left Ottawa in 2008.

Doyle won eight straight provincial and federal elections, never suffering a defeat. He spent a quarter-century as a legislator in St. John's and Ottawa.

Accord controversy

His time in Ottawa was not without controversy, however. Doyle was among the Conservative MPs who flayed the Liberals over a perceived broken promise in the Atlantic Accord negotiations that spanned much of 2004.

At one point during that drama, Doyle told the House of Commons that Liberal cabinet minister John Efford "today is being called the Benedict Arnold of Newfoundland and Labrador."

But a few years later, Doyle and his fellow Newfoundland Conservatives found themselves on the other side of the House of Commons, and the other side of the issue.

In 2007, Harper — now prime minster — balked at keeping his own campaign promise on the treatment of resource revenues under equalization rules. Doyle and his fellow Conservatives sided with the government, and then-premier Danny Williams accused them of betraying the province.

At the time, Doyle said there was no point in lodging a protest vote against the decision, as the federal budget was going to pass anyway.

He announced that he would not seek re-election whenever the next federal election was called.

'Fish out of water'

Doyle says he's been spending much of his time with his grandchildren since retiring in 2008.

But he had begun to miss the political life.

"I would imagine the correct term would be, you get a little bit hooked on the adrenaline. You know, you do feel like a fish out of water when you've spent that long in it."

The Senate is scheduled to resume sitting on Jan. 31.