Fam­ily time a key con­sid­er­a­tion for step­ping down

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL -

the jobs I’ve had has not made it pos­si­ble for me to be with them as much as I wanted to.”

Foote has been on leave from the fed­eral cabi­net since April, for largely un­spec­i­fied rea­sons. On Thurs­day at her re­tire­ment an­nounce­ment on Sig­nal Hill, Foote of­fered a bit more of an ex­pla­na­tion.

“The jobs that I’ve had have re­quired me to be on the road, and I’ve done that de­spite hav­ing can­cer twice, but I want to as­sure ev­ery­one that I con­tinue to be, as far as I know, can­cer­free,” she said.

“Twenty years ago I had my first bout of can­cer. The last was three years ago.”

Foote also talked about a ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion in her fam­ily for can­cer, and al­luded to fam­ily health is­sues.

Through­out her com­ments on Fri­day, she re­peat­edly em­pha­sized she wants to spend more time with her fam­ily.

“I want to be here on the ground with them, in the event that we find our­selves in a sit­u­a­tion where we need to be to­gether,” she said.

Foote was first elected to the pro­vin­cial House of Assem­bly in 1996, and was im­me­di­ately ap­pointed to cabi­net. Be­fore run­ning, she had worked as a jour­nal­ist, and later as director of com­mu­ni­ca­tions in the of­fice of pre­mier Clyde Wells.

Af­ter mak­ing the shift to fed­eral pol­i­tics in 2008, she quickly be­came one of the dom­i­nant fig­ures in the fed­eral Lib­eral cau­cus, no­tably serv­ing as cau­cus whip and deputy house leader. When the Lib­er­als were grap­pling with the sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions swirling around MPS Scott An­drews and Mas­simo Pacetti, Foote was tasked to in­ves­ti­gate and han­dle the sit­u­a­tion. When the Lib­er­als took gov­ern­ment in 2015, she was named min­is­ter of Public Ser­vices and Pro­cure­ment, a sprawl­ing depart­ment re­spon­si­ble for deal­ing with some of the gov­ern­ment’s most tan­gly files, in­clud­ing the Phoenix pay­roll prob­lem, and ship­build­ing and jet fighter pro­cure­ment.

In re­spond­ing to ques­tions from the me­dia, Foote down­played the ru­mour that she might be in line to be­come the province’s next lieu­tenant-gov­er­nor. “For me to have that dis­cus­sion with you would sug­gest that I’m in­ter­ested in the po­si­tion. I haven’t even gone there. We are do­ing what we need to do as a fam­ily.”

Foote said that in her years as a politi­cian, she was most proud of be­ing able to help in­di­vid­u­als.

“It is when you’re able to help in­di­vid­u­als who don’t know where to turn, and they re­ally need you to be there for them,” Foote said. “For me, that has al­ways been my big­gest ac­com­plish­ment.”

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