This week our Premier landed himself in some hot water - with some folks. During a press conference he assailed the Mayor of Marystown for assinine comments, and stated that he - the Mayor that is, didn't count. In fact, he essentially accused him of grandstanding over the federal naval ship building contracts. Perhaps the wording "doesn't count" was unfortunate. Perhaps it was said out of frustration.
The Mayor of Marystown is no innocent player afterall. To be specific - he's a bit of a political opportunist. At one point in his career he vied for the PC nomination in his riding and lost. He then ran for the liberal nomination and won. He then ran in the provincial election and lost. That about sums it up.
As a Mayor, and speaking as a former one myself, you don't attack the provincial government unless all avenues have been exhausted and you are certain the provincial side is not looking after your best interests. I for one, and probably atleast 85 percent of Newfoundlanders would have a hard time believing that Premier Danny Williams would do anything to harm the progress, financially or otherwise, of Newfoundland. The man has built himself the most envied political reputation, in recent political history atleast, as one who looks after the people of Newfoundland. Ask a Newfoundlander about Danny Williams and they will tell you: "the only Premier that's ever stood up for Newfoundland". Don't believe me? Try it.
He has taken on the major oil companies, the federal government, the Quebec government, and most recently it looks as though Vale may be next. The bottom line is he has the dollars to back up his talk, and he uses that for the benefit of the people of Newfoundland - to the best of his ability. He is only human, and makes mistakes from time to time, but not at the deliberate cost to his people - unlike so many politicians we have seen across this country. Given all his commitment toward the people and the province is it any wonder he would take great offence to the comments made by the Mayor?
Essentially, this liberal biased Mayor tried to embarrass the Premier for political gain. Pure and simple. It's no coincidence that the liberal party are all rushing to the Mayor's defence. It gives them a wedge issue to portray the Premier as arrogant and detached from the ordinary people. However, and under closer scrutiny, the questions should really be headed in the direction of the Mayor and not the Premier. Why would a Mayor on the short list for a life saving multi-billion dollar contract come out publicly, and the press is as public as you can get, and essentially question the Premier's integrity. Afterall, to say the provincial government needs to do something to help Marystown implies that it is doing nothing. In other words, the provincial government doesn't care enough to help create massive employment and substantial economic growth to the area. From my knowledge of Mr. William's, and for that matter his government, I would say that nothing could be further from the truth. Another question to the Mayor might be: "What do you expect the Premier to do when the military contract is a federal matter and soley under federal jurisdiction?" Clearly, this Mayor is not acting out of the best interests of his citizens, unless he sees publicly embarrassing the Premier as oil to grease the federal wheels.
Bottom line, as a Mayor you are supposed to act in a bipartisan fashion. Your focus is meant to build concensus, and not to be the agent of dissension. How does it serve the purpose of your citizenry to try and gain "sound bites" for your own apparent publicity? Sure the Premier could have chosen his words better, but very few people in Newfoundland question his loyalty to them. That is the highest compliment any politician can have. Perhaps the Mayor needs to learn that lesson. Perhaps the media should be asking the Mayor how his attacks on the provincial government, and it's leader, help the cause of Marystown?
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)