When newly anointed Premier Cathy Dunderdale circled the wagons and threw the PC Party Machine in this province into cahoots with their federal cousins in the Spring 2011, the public was a little gobsmacked!
It was time for a new relationship with Ottawa she exclaimed. The confrontational approach of the past was in the past. She had waited weeks for a congratulatory call from the Prime Minister after Jerome Kennedy bailed on seeking the party's top job.
The PC caucus took their marching orders, doing what they could to try and deliver some federal ridings to Harper. They needed to earn some credibility.
Instead, the locals failed to deliver Avalon or St. John's South. It was nearly a washout. However, Labrador produced a new lacky, another quisling to do the Prime Minister's anti-Newfoundland biding.
I half expected Prime Minister Harper to be prepared to offer Premier Dunderdale an olive branch over the closure of the St. John’s
Marine Rescue Co-ordination Sub-centre. That her support of him meant
something, that she could call in this million dollar favor.
At the time I felt that partisan politics aside, she was the
leader of the province and as such is offering a diplomatic and
co-coordinated approach to convincing the federal government that this
closure is the wrong decision. It is not wrong because jobs are being
cut, it is wrong because marine safety and response is of paramount
importance to those that ply our coasts in the fishery, the oil industry
and other marine activities.
Last June she said she would not backing down on the issue, even if it threw the loan guarantee on the Lower Churchill into question. She than waited as Nova Scotia NDP Premier Darrell Dexter obtained an
audience with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss
issues of importance to Nova Scotia. The Premier of Canada's far east outpost showed how little pull she had stating that she was having difficulty arranging
some ear time with the PM to discuss the Feds decision to close the
search and rescue sub-base in St. John's.
A year later, the center is closed. A week after the closure, radio calls for medical help from ships needing to speak with a doctor
while in Newfoundland and Labrador waters were being routed to CIRM, a
free service in Rome where operators had no idea where our tiny little island was located.
Ottawa claims it was an "interim solution" that has already been addressed.
Where are all of those Harparites tonight? I hope they have their English/Italian dictionary handy if they are aboard a ship and need medical help.
What a farce this has all become and we keep taking it!