Eg­mont MP serves no­tice to govern­ment

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Bobby Mor­ris­sey isn’t about to con­cede the lime­light to Prince Ed­ward Is­land’s three other Lib­eral MPs – griz­zled par­lia­men­tary veter­ans when com­pared to the rookie fed­eral mem­ber from Eg­mont.

In his maiden speech last month, Mr. Mor­ris­sey told the House of Com­mons he in­tends to pur­sue re­forms to the em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance sys­tem, plus other cam­paign prom­ises made by the Lib­er­als and Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau dur­ing the fed­eral elec­tion cam­paign.

He didn’t hes­i­tate about putting his govern­ment on no­tice dur­ing that speech or in pub­lic com­ments af­ter­wards. While P.E.I.’s three vet­eran MPs have all been re­warded for their loy­alty to party and prov­ince by Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Mor­ris­sey will have to carve out a niche on his own.

In his re­sponse to the speech from the throne, Mr. Mor­ris­sey vowed to work for bet­ter child­care ben­e­fits but quickly moved to EI re­forms – a topic of long­time per­sonal in­ter­est.

Be­cause of pres­sure from Mr. Mor­ris­sey and other Lib­eral MPs in At­lantic Canada, EI made a rare ap­pear­ance in the speech from the throne. It was a speech marked by brevity and to earn a men­tion was an ac­com­plish­ment in it­self.

Mr. Mor­ris­sey said the speech rec­og­nizes that in parts of the coun­try – es­pe­cially At­lantic Canada - sea­sonal in­dus­tries take cen­tre stage. Tak­ing his cue from the throne speech, Mr. Mor­ris­sey told the Com­mons that sea­sonal economies re­quire a very ded­i­cated, highly skilled and mo­ti­vated work­force to al­low those in­dus­tries to thrive.

It’s a frus­trat­ing is­sue. Some fed­eral bu­reau­crats can’t seem to un­der­stand prob­lems af­fect­ing sea­sonal in­dus­tries and still sup­port un­fair rule changes made by the pre­vi­ous govern­ment. The Eg­mont MP said changes were promised and changes will be made.

Re­gional pre­miers, MPs and pro­vin­cial MLAs have made the same ar­gu­ments for sev­eral years but have yet to over­come the mind­set in Ottawa that At­lantic Cana­di­ans pre­fer col­lect­ing EI over look­ing for a job. Dis­torted EI stats are also be­ing used to keep tem­po­rary for­eign work­ers from this re­gion.

If bu­reau­crats want to de­bate Mr. Mor­ris­sey, good luck to them. He’s made a ca­reer on the is­sue and can eas­ily re­but Ottawa’s sim­plis­tic and er­ro­neous ar­gu­ments.

The up­com­ing 2016 fish pro­cess­ing sea­son needs im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion. Mr. Mor­ris­sey warns that trou­ble is in­evitable with­out re­forms. The sta­tus quo will have a neg­a­tive eco­nomic im­pact un­less more tem­po­rary for­eign work­ers are al­lowed back to staff seafood plants.

The Eg­mont MP said he didn’t get elected to de­fend Stephen Harper’s Con­ser­va­tive poli­cies which were roundly at­tacked by the Lib­er­als and soundly re­jected by vot­ers.

It’s a warn­ing that bu­reau­crats and mem­bers of his own govern­ment had bet­ter heed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.