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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Let the Political Games Begin

With summer drawing to a close Ottawa’s elite are once again starting to drag their over stuffed bellies out from whatever rock they crawled under after the spring session.

Let the games begin!

First off the mark to play politics with the voters of Newfoundland and Labrador this season are two of our own, though few in the Province care to admit it. This week Liberal MP (and devout ultra-federalist) Todd Russell is facing off with Conservative Cabinet Minister John Eff… ah, sorry I mean Loyola Hearn.

It seems Liberal Todd is upset with Conservative Loyola because the Fisheries Minister hasn’t muddied his wing tips by paying a visit to Labrador after 18 months in office. Todd’s public ire was presented for the media wallow in this week after Loyola announced a small amount of funding for the area via video conference from Ottawa, rather than in person.

According to Todd, Loyola is neglecting the largest portion of the province by not even having the courtesy to show up and talk to the people there.

Russell seems to think this is news to the voters but I don’t think it comes as a shock to anyone that Hearn is neglecting Labrador. In fact it could easily be argued that he’s been neglecting the entire province since leaving the opposition benches for the government side of the House.

None the less Toddy boy raises a good point. Even if his concern has more to do with getting some press attention and less to do with fair treatment for Labrador, the fact remains, why would a provincial MP and cabinet minister not even bother to visit the “big land”?

Labrador is a place that has long been neglected by both the provincial and federal governments and one that’s provided untold resource riches to the Province and the entire Country.

Labrador is a place that has never asked for anything other than to have its most basic needs met, something most of us take for granted.

Could it be that since going to Ottawa Loyola has gotten so used to a pampered lifestyle the very thought of bouncing over the craters and mountain peaks that pass for a highway in Labrador is upsetting to his delicate constitution?

During an interveiw with CBC Russell noted, "They (the conservatives) promise all sorts of goodies at election time but deliver nothing after the election, and in that way I think they are very hypocritical and they've misled the people of Labrador”.

Strong words for someone representing the Liberal Party of Canada. A party renowned for making and breaking election promises like it was some sort of national pastime.

Russell’s observations about broken promises, though valid, come across more like political showmanship and pandering than anything else. Sort of like the pot and the kettle in a conversation over which is cleaner.

Loyola vollied back by saying he doesn’t want to plan a visit to Labrador until three major issues, including an announcement on the future of 5 Wing Goose Bay, have been resolved. He didn’t elaborate on what the other two issues might be.

For those not familiar with political doublespeak, let me translate the Minister’s statement for you. “The voters are ready to hang me over the Atlantic Accord and we’ve made a lot of promises to Labrador that we haven’t kept. If I show up there now I’ll be lucky to get away with just having my head handed to me on a pointy stick.”

Oddly enough Hearn went on to say he’s planning to visit Labrador this fall. A strange comment after having said he didn’t want to plan a trip to Labrador until three major issues were resolved.

Could this mean Hearn has finally accomplished something in Ottawa?

Could it mean that 5 Wing will finally get the military contingent and service role it deserves?

Could it mean Harper has finally cut a check for the millions promised to help fund improvements to the Trans Labrador Highway?

Could it be that Loyola has finally convinced Steve to dip into the public purse to help move the Lower Churchill project forward?

What could this talk of an actual visit to Labrador really mean?

Well, it could mean any of those things, or it might simply mean that Hearn, in a pathetic attempt to deflect attention from his total lack of success in Ottawa and his neglect at home, has once again put his size 8 squarely in his mouth and placed his sorry butt on the line one more time.

I know which one I’m betting on.


Anonymous said...

They're all a buch of sellouts. Conservative, Liberal it doesn't matter.

The only way to go is to vote for a NL only party. I'm voting for NL First the next time around.

To hell with Canada and its crooked political parties.

Anonymous said...

Russell is nothing but an opportunist. What better opportunity to pick up a few votes than going after an easy target like stupid Loyola?

Anonymous said...

September 05, 2007 4:50 PM

I would have to agree.And ,I would rather have my own Province and its own Party benefit from a wasted trip to Ottawa then say a mainstream party that just wants us to tow the line.