Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Week the Government Left Town

Perhaps it's an audition for another CBC series, this one based in St. John's rather than Tatamagouche.

Orwellian News has been trying to keep track of the list of MIA Ministers. Here's what we have so far:

1) In response to the controversy surrounding the chief electoral officer, DW merely sent a statement to CBC News, stating that he has no intention of asking Reynolds to resign. The statement says DW respects Reynolds's non-investigation.

2) While the crisis at St. John's hospitals became worse with the resignation of an another anesthesiologist, Health Minister Wiseman was in Clarenville, giving a luncheon speech to the local Chamber of Commerce.

3) According to the Tely, Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale was not available for an interview Thursday to discuss the news that AbitibiBowater had given notice that it will file an arbitration claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement. In an e-mailed statement, she said, "The fact that a notice of intent has been filed does not establish the merits of a challenge. NAFTA falls under the responsibility of the Government of Canada. The province will let the established process unfold and we have no further comment at this time."

4) While the situation in Grand Falls-Windsor worsened this past week, Dangovt was, even VOCM was forced to admit, saying little. According to the Tely, not only was Dunderdale unavailable for an interview, but DW was saying nothing about the crisis.

5) Meanwhile, according to CBC, Minister Skinner's response to the crisis in Grand Falls-Windsor is to send letters: Rick Fudge, the president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union local that represents the woodcutters, "has requested meetings with Shawn Skinner, the innovation, trade and rural development minister and the head of a task force that is supposed to come up with a plan to help the region, but has only received written responses. "I know government might be busy, but this is very important. We are the direct people that are impacted. We are what that task force was set up for. We need to know what the plan is," he said.
While Skinner could do no more than send letters to the workers and get a spokesperson to send a statement to CBC, he was more than happy to do an interview with the Tely on an upcoming trade conference:

So where was all the action this past week? Aside from a generous schedule of luncheons and feel-good press releases, there was a media blitz, complete with news conference, on the New Highway Signage System, which featured two cabinet ministers, Clyde Jackman and Kevin O’Brien, along with representatives of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador and Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.

Good to know that they have their priorities straight.

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