Mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers weigh in on Colin Hol­loway

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - BY ADAM RANDELL THE CEN­TRAL VOICE Adam.randell@the­cen­tralvoice.ca

It was a tough week for the Lib­eral MHA for Terra Nova, Colin Hol­loway.

A day af­ter the com­mis­sioner of leg­isla­tive stan­dards, Bruce Caulk, ruled on Hol­loway’s al­le­ga­tions of work­place ha­rass­ment by MHAs Ed­die Joyce and Dale Kirby — clear­ing them of any wrong­do­ing — Hol­loway and Jus­tice Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons got into a ver­bal spat.

Par­sons told CBC’s St. John’s Morn­ing Show, “I know that Mr. Hol­loway, by his own ad­mis­sion, has said he has is­sues with mul­ti­ple peo­ple so, one would ques­tion, if you have so many is­sues, are you sure you want to be a part of that?” sug­gest­ing Hol­loway should con­sider just leav­ing the party.

Hol­loway, how­ever, re­sponded by ac­cus­ing Par­sons of giv­ing him the cold shoul­der treat­ment and re­fus­ing to speak with him on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions.

He also says he’s not go­ing any­where.

“I’m still a per­son who re­sponds to my con­stituents in a very timely man­ner, I work very hard on the is­sues brought to my at­ten­tion,” Hol­loway told the Cen­tral Voice, Aug. 30. “Peo­ple can speak to that them­selves, whether they find I’m ef­fec­tive MHA, and they’ll de­cide next year when there’s an elec­tion.”

There is some con­cern, how­ever, among mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers in the dis­trict about whether or not Hol­loway can be ef­fec­tive as a MHA, es­pe­cially in light of the com­ments made by Par­sons.

Clarenville Mayor Frazer Rus­sell and East­port Mayor Genevieve Squire both com­mended Hol­loway as a hard-work­ing MHA.

“We al­ways found (him) to be very help­ful,” Squire told The Cen­tral Voice ear­lier this week.

She says he proved that in the months fol­low­ing his ha­rass­ment claims against Kirby and Joyce.

“About a week (be­fore the re­ports) he at­tended a meet­ing with East­port, hear­ing our is­sues and con­cerns, even though he’s been through such a dif­fi­cult time,” Squire says.

Mean­while, Rus­sell told The Cen­tral Voice, “He has cer­tainly been read­ily avail­able at all times and has ad­dressed our con­cerns and re­quests.”

Hav­ing said that, Rus­sell says he does have con­cerns, es­pe­cially af­ter Par­son’s com­ments in the CBC in­ter­view Aug. 29, giv­ing the im­pres­sion that Hol­loway is get­ting the cold shoul­der from some mem­bers of the party.

“Given the cur­rent po­si­tion he (Hol­loway) finds him­self in with his po­lit­i­cal party, and lis­ten­ing to re­cent com­ments by Min­is­ter Par­sons, I have to ad­mit I have some valid and great con­cerns about how ef­fec­tive he can be in his time with the re­main­ing term,” Rus­sell says.

The mayor says he will be meet­ing with Hol­loway soon to dis­cuss these con­cerns.

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see what hap­pens,” he says, adding that, for now, Hol­loway has his sup­port, but as mayor he has to keep his town’s best in­ter­est in mind.

If the Lib­eral Party con­tin­ues to give Hol­loway the cold shoul­der treat­ment, Rus­sell says he can’t guar­an­tee he will con­tinue to sup­port the MHA.

“The op­er­a­tion of a town de­pends on hav­ing an MHA read­ily avail­able and work­ing on your con­cerns, and cer­tainly one that has some po­lit­i­cal clout.”

Squires says she is con­fi­dent Hol­loway can still rep­re­sent the dis­trict of Terra Nova.

Re­gard­less of how things played out this week, she says she hopes the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment can still work col­lec­tively to move New­found­land and Labrador for­ward.

“I’m hop­ing things can get back to an even keel af­ter this,” she says. “We have some good peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing us, so you think they would be able to find a way to move on and move past this.

“We need peo­ple work­ing to­gether, not against each other in or­der to work to­wards the bet­ter­ment of the province.”

Over in St. Bren­dan’s, Mayor Veron­ica Broom­field is blunt, though she noted she speaks for her­self on this mat­ter and not town coun­cil.

She says she can’t sup­port Hol­loway.

In 2016 Broom­field, who was the mayor at that time, had a text mes­sage spat with the MHA over ferry ser­vices for the Bon­av­ista Bay is­land.

Broom­field was fight­ing for the re­in­state­ment of a ferry trip that had been re­moved from the sched­ule. Dur­ing the ex­change, Hol­loway re­minded Broom­field that she didn’t vote for him dur­ing the pro­vin­cial elec­tion. He would later apol­o­gize for his re­marks.

Broom­field main­tains not hav­ing their MHA’s sup­port for re­in­stat­ing the ferry trip caused St. Bren­dan’s to lose the bat­tle. She said it was a move that af­fects ev­ery res­i­dent of the is­land to this day.

And for that, she said, “I have no con­fi­dence in him as an MHA.”

Broom­field says she has sym­pa­thy for any­one who faces ha­rass­ment, but still can’t sup­port Hol­loway.

“He’s con­cerned about his ha­rass­ment, but did he stop to think of how he ha­rassed me and how he left me out to hang for 22 days be­fore is­su­ing an apol­ogy?” she told The Cen­tral Voice.

Ac­cord­ing to Broom­field there has been no pro­duc­tive dia­logue be­tween the mayor and MHA since, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions are han­dled through other mu­nic­i­pal chan­nels.

“I’ve had many ups and downs with politi­cians over the last 17 years and I had the fights with our MHAs,” she says. “But at the end of the day it was about business, noth­ing was ever per­sonal; Colin Hol­loway made it per­sonal.

“So, if he’s ex­pect­ing me to be on his side, I’m sorry, but what goes around comes around.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

East­port mayor Genevieve Squire (right) with Terra Nova MHA Collin Hol­loway.

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