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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Famous and Infamous of Newfoundland and Labrador

Airports are the kind of place where you never know who you'll come across.

On my most recent foray into Canada I happened to eye two of my favorite political figures.

The most recent encounter happened on an Air Canada flight from Halifax to St. John's on Friday evening. I know, I know, you're probably wondering what the heck I'm doing flying with the dreaded Air Canada. Believe me, if I had another option I would have taken it but unfortunately I was connecting on a flight from Fredericton and West Jet (the friendly airline) doesn't serve that airport.

Anyway, I digress.

I had no sooner plunked my butt down in my seat when out of the corner of my eye I see the object of my disdain slip onto the aircraft (after everyone else had already boarded) and sit in the first seat in executive class.

After take off, as the refreshments were being doled out to the special people in the front of the plane and as I stewed in my seat, wanting to give this person my two cents worth, I was forced to laugh to myself instead. Probably a good thing as my comments might have gotten me bounced off the aircraft at 20,000 feet.

All I could think as I watched him accept a glass of wine from the attendent was, "At least the scandal hasn't ruined Mr. Dicks taste for the grape". That and the thought that if you or I had soaked the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars for art, wine we'd likely be in jail today, not flying first class and sipping more of the good stuff.

Anyway, Paul Dicks wasn't the only political encounter on this trip. The other happened here in St. John's airport while on the trip up to Fredericton. It was there that I spied our beloved Minister of Fisheries, Loyola Hearn sitting in the corner of the boarding area hiding behind a copy of the Globe and Mail.

It appeared to all the world as if he was a little nervous about being recognized. I'm not sure if that was because of his sell out of the province or because he didn't want everyone to know he gets his understanding of Newfoundland and Labrador issues from the pages of the Globe.

Speaking of the infamous Loyola, I see he's busy planning for a potential election whether it comes in the next few weeks or not.

This week the province announced that structures on the Newfoundland trailway were being closed due to safety issues. The annoucement came just this past week but by Saturday little Loyola was already proudly announcing 1.5 million in ACOA funding to fix the problem. Now that's fast work.

When was the last time any of us have seen the feds work that fast?

Too bad Loyola couldn't have moved that quickly to stand behind the province over the Atlantic Accord, equalization, 5 Wing Goose, ferry rates, custodial management or any number of other issues. Then again 1.5 million is pin money by comparison, or for someone like the previously mentioned Mr. Dicks, bottle deposit money.

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