‘We’re going to miss her’
Accolades flow for Foote as she decides to put politics aside for family
Anyone who knows politics at any level understands the demands, Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews said Friday.
Matthews was talking with The Southern Gazette about Bonavista-Burin-Trinity MP Judy Foote’s announcement on Thursday she ending her political career.
“We’re going to miss her. We’re really going to miss Judy. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.
Matthews called Foote a sincere person who was in tune with what was happening in the towns in her district.
He said she dealt with people with respect, dignity and grace. In his experience, Matthews said she was never too busy to have a chat on the phone or drop by the town hall if she was in the area.
A call to Foote’s office would always be returned with a response by the end of the day, he said.
“It’s a sad day, not only for Grand Bank but for all the district,” Matthews said.
“Judy has been a very hard working member of the federal government. She had a lot of authority within the federal government. Judy worked very, very hard, not only for her district but for her province and country.”
Most recently, Foote has been influential in the project to redevelop Grand Bank’s downtown and waterfront area.
“She wanted to see something done with the redevelopment of our community and she put her heart and soul into that particular project,” Matthews said.
Other politics in the province also chimed in with comments about Foote’s decision, two in particular with close ties to her.
Burin-Grand Bank MHA Carol Anne Haley and Placentia West-Bellevue MHA Mark Browne both worked in Foote’s constituency office during her time in federal politics and could be considered protégés.
In a statement Thursday, Haley said Foote should be proud of the work she has done in her political career.
“I have known Judy for many years and consider her to be a very close friend,” Haley said.
“It was largely because of her support and guidance that I made the decision to offer myself for public office. As her special assistant for nearly eight years, I have witnessed first hand the drive and passion she has for the job and the people she was elected to represent. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model or mentor.”
Browne also said he had learned many lessons from Foote.
“Our province has had the great fortune of having the experience and integrity of Judy Foote in both provincial and federal governments for well over two decades,” he said in a statement.
“She has always kept the people’s interests at heart and without a doubt has been our strongest representative in Ottawa in history.”
Premier Dwight Ball also offered a statement reflecting on Foote’s contributions.
“(Foote) has been a champion for our province and we thank her for her tireless dedication to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.