"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where is the Responsible Government League when you need them?

Over in New Brumsick, Abel Leblanc's one-finger salute took the spotlight off what should have been the NB political story of the week, the resignation of yet another of Shawn Graham's cabinet ministers. And no, not for the reason you might be thinking of. As the official release up-fesses:

Premier Shawn Graham has accepted the resignation from cabinet of Memramcook-Lakeville-Dieppe MLA Bernard LeBlanc as minister of justice and consumer affairs in accordance with the principle of ministerial responsibility.

Social Development Minister and Attorney General Kelly Lamrock has been appointed acting minister of justice and consumer affairs.

When LeBlanc was serving in his earlier capacity as minister of local government, an e-mail that contained personal information was sent in his name from his office.

While officials confirmed that LeBlanc was not aware of the e-mail, Graham said that he, LeBlanc, has chosen to resign because ministers are ultimately responsible for their offices under the principle of ministerial accountability.

"Bernard LeBlanc is a strong member of our team and is clearly a very honourable man," said Graham. "It is with great regret that I accept his resignation from cabinet, but he will continue to be a key member of our government."
And if you think you've seen this movie before, you're almost right.

First, there was The Invitation, back in the summer of 2008:

During the session with reporters, Williams also accused MUNFA president-elect Ross Klein, one of the most vocal critics of the government's involvement, of a double standard.

"Professor Klein actually wrote me last year a two-page letter concerned about the fact that he had not been given enough funding for a venture that he went on with the university," said Williams."

It was for my information, but by the same token, why would he bother to write me, as premier, if he doesn't want us to be interfering with academic autonomy? It doesn't add up."
And then, earlier this year, came the sequel, The Snotty Letter:
Premier Danny Williams tore a strip off the senior administration at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Thursday, one day after he received what he called a “snotty” letter from the college officials, expressing their concerns about not receiving full autonomy over the school’s operations.


“(When) I get the leadership of that college reluctantly agreeing to go along for the ride, I have a big problem with that,” said Williams. “That, to me, is not showing leadership and also is an indication from Holly Pike that perhaps she’s not prepared to sit or attend on that (senior executive) committee at Memorial University. If that’s the case and she’s not prepared to do that, she should get out of the way.”
Curiously, Premier Williams has not asked for, nor received, the resignation of the minister involved, even though, if you ask the Office of the Chief Information Commissioner, a person's name is sacrosanct, and, to conform to the law, even has to be expunged, at great expense and trouble, from documents requested under Access to Information legislation, even when the documents in question are already in the public domain.

Some day, who knows, maybe responsible government — and something that would actually be out of place in Kafka or Orwell — will come to Dannystan like it has to New Brumsick.

Some day, some day.



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