As a journalist I couldn't openly cheer for Joan Cleary in the last provincial election. But I was queitly cheering, for several reasons.
1.I had met her and her family a couple of times while covering the Isthmus for The Packet. She was a prominent nurse and, after I left the area, became mayor of Come By Chance. Her husband is a doctor in Arnold's Cove. And I ended up winning a couple of awards for a photo I took of her son after a mountain bike race. It is, to this day, I think the best photo I've ever taken. Alas, I can't find it right now, or I'd put it up on the site.
The family loved the picture after it ran in the paper and wanted a copy, which I gladly gave them. They were also thrilled with the awards attention that it got. So basically, nice and smart people. The kind you wouldn't mind seeing serve in government.
2. The other reason wasn't so much cheering for Cleary as against Percy Barrett, the incumbant Liberal MHA. I've had plenty of dealings with Barrett over the years. We're polite to each other, in that way journalists and politicians are (which means you say nice things to each other, but when the other is not around you likely mutter what a son of a bitch he is). The Packet has hammered Barrett over the years, justifiably. He was always a politician of dubious usefulness and an even more dubious cabinet minister. I think for awhile the people of Sunnyside had put a bounty on his head.
As far as I can tell, as a Member of the Opposition, his sole job in the House of Assembly is to yip like a little dog anytime a Tory cabinet minister stands up to speak. When people bitch about the level of decorum in the HOA, Barrett should be their poster child for everything that is wrong.
So yeah, I wouldn't have shed a tear if Barrett had lost. Alas, this is the Bellvue riding. The fact that Cleary only lost by 100 votes is a victory of sorts. There are ridings in this province still, where you could run a dog and it would win as long as it had the button of the right political party attached to its collar. Bellvue is one of those ridings.
Still, the news that she is now the head of the Bull Arm corporation makes me a little queezy. Yes, she's a heck of a smart person. Yes, she has experience dealing with Bull Arm before. And yes, as mayor of Come By Chance she is leader of one of the communities most directly impacted by the lack of activity at the site and that should be an important voice on the board.
But you can't honestly tell me she's the best qualified person for the job. You can't seriously tell me that there isn't someone out there with a ton of connections with the oil and construction industry. Because there has to be. And they would be better in this position. But Cleary is a good and loyal Tory. She nearly beat Barrett. She may well take another crack at him in the next election. Thus, she is rewarded.
I'm sure the Liberals are carping about this, but they were just as bad. Wasn't Art Reid the chairmen of the board at some point? Some prominent Liberal was. So apparently that's all that board is for now - patronage appointments. Shouldn't be surprising, but it is disappointing. You always hope that a new government won't engage in this crap. This isn't the first patronage job Williams has issued up. It certainly won't be the last. Perhaps that hope was higher with Premier Danny Williams since he didn't owe many favours to people. It's a silly, naive dream, I guess. Much like something other than a Liberal winning in Bellvue.
Dare to dream, though...
Last 5 on iPod
1. Foreign Affair - Tom Waits (Foreign Affair)
2. Sweet revenge - Sean Panting (Pop Disaster)
3. Haiti - The Arcade Fire (Funeral)
4. Easy Plateau - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals (Cold Roses)
5. The one I love - David Grey (Life In Slow Motion)