So much for our man in Ot­tawa

The Compass - - OPINION - Edi­tor’s note: the fol­low­ing let­ter also ap­peared in the July 5, 2012 print edi­tion of The Telegram

What­ever happened to the man called Peter Pe­nashue who lived and spoke up on just about ev­ery hap­pen­ing of note in our prov­ince? The man who, just a short time ago, had some back­bone, the man who had strong opin­ions on many as­pects of our so­ci­ety and was quick to voice the.

The man who showed much prom­ise of lead­er­ship. What happened to him? How so, you might ask? What do you mean? What happened to him? How has he changed? Here’s how. Since he was elected, here’s a par­tial list of some of the initiatives of his gov­ern­ment which have, and will con­tinue to have, far- reach­ing and dras­tic con­se­quences for New­found­land and Labrador: the clos­ing of the Ma­rine Res­cue Sub-Cen­tre, changes to the Old Age Se­cu­rity Act, re­duc­tions in Parks Canada ser­vices, re­moval of the Cana­dian Coast Guard ship Harp from St. An­thony, re­duced coast guard ser­vices, the Veter­ans Af­fairs of­fice in Corner Brook closed, for­mer prom­ises of a Goose Bay air base now off the books, six DFO of­fices to close in the prov­ince — need I go on?

His re­ac­tion to th­ese and other is­sues of im­por­tance to us? “We’re con­sol­i­dat­ing some of those ser­vices within the new pro­grams we have.” (The Telegram, June 5)

With all due re­spect, that at­ti­tude is laugh­able. Ab­so­lutely worth­less. Pe­nashue doesn’t seem to un­der­stand that our taxes are pay­ing him big bucks to rep­re­sent us.

He got elected and went to Ot­tawa and in the process did a com­plete about-face. He has be­come Mr. Mouth­piece for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment (why do I think of Fabian Man­ning?). It seems that the huge salary he re­ceives, plus the pres­tige of of­fice, have com­pletely elim­i­nated any sem­blance of in­di­vid­u­al­ity he for­merly had. Our rep­re­sen­ta­tive? Hog­wash! There’s al­ways the pos­si­bil­ity that if Pe­nashue doesn’t get re-elected then that odi­ous old pa­tron­age sys­tem will be uti­lized by the Harper gov­ern­ment to see to it that he is be suit­ably re­warded for ser­vices ren­dered. (Of course, I’m sure this thought never en­ters his mind.) Af­ter all, he’s too busy trav­el­ling back and forth to the prov­ince to an­nounce a few pen­nies for this or that.

Ge­orge Martin writes from Clarenville

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