Deputy premier mum about trip to Ottawa

Rob Antle
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Politics

Deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale is remaining mum about details of her trip to Ottawa earlier this week.

Dunderdale, who is also the minister of natural resources, was in the nation's capital Monday for meetings of federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers.

She did not appear in the traditional group photo of agriculture ministers, however.

Dunderdale left to go to another meeting before the photo shoot, according to Tracy Barron, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Department.

Kathy Dunderdale

Deputy premier Kathy Dunderdale is remaining mum about details of her trip to Ottawa earlier this week.

Dunderdale, who is also the minister of natural resources, was in the nation's capital Monday for meetings of federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers.

She did not appear in the traditional group photo of agriculture ministers, however.

Dunderdale left to go to another meeting before the photo shoot, according to Tracy Barron, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Department.

Dunderdale "took the opportunity to meet with a number of federal ministers who were available while she was there on issues pertaining to Newfoundland and Labrador and that is the extent of it. She is not commenting further."

Sources in Ottawa indicated that Dunderdale met with the federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and the province's representative in the Harper cabinet, Peter MacKay.

MacKay's communications director, Dan Dugas, confirmed that MacKay and Dunderdale discussed a variety of issues, including unemployment in central Newfoundland. The AbitibiBowater paper mill in Grand Falls-Windsor is expected to shutter within days, throwing hundreds out of work.

The deputy premier's quiet Ottawa visit - it was not announced by her department - comes in the midst of the latest federal-provincial flare-up.

Last month, Premier Danny Williams accused the Harper government of unilaterally changing equalization rules to deliver the "maximum shaft" to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Williams claims the move will shortchange the province by up to $1.6 billion over the next three years.

In recent weeks, the premier has called the move "sabotage" and accused the prime minister of having a "nasty, vindictive type of mentality."

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Natural Resources Department

Geographic location: Ottawa, Newfoundland and Labrador, Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • mercedes
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    To Anne-Marie from Ontario;
    Mr. Williams still draws his salary from public funds so it costs us just as much as if he spends it. If you want to comment on our politics learn something about it first. And while you are at it, research which 'charities' he gives our money to!

  • Anne Marie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    To: RandyfromNL - You can criticize Premier Williams all you like but EVERY PENNY of his salary goes to a charity trust. No other Premier or any past or present PM can say the same. Would you yourself work so hard for nothing for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. I doubt it.

  • JK
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Did you say owned by Transcontinental Media? They would not be associated with Harper in any way, would they? What else do they own? Do you know? Anyway, I am no big fan of Williams. He looks like another demogogue if you ask me. However, I think there are other things going on in this province other than Danny Willaims. And a politician off on a jaunt? That is BIG news? There is more to this than meets the eye. And someone stayed up all last night writing a Danny bashing editorial for this paper- all about how MUN is going to pot. Oh please, give me a break!?! I hope they do scrutinise our millionaire premier but not for these tempest in a tea pot reasons. It should not be all about personalities. Leave that to the tabloids and the TV news. Please.

  • Newfoundlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    To Randy

    Politicians often warrant criticism but this time the story doesn't raise anything other than her unwillingness to spill everything to the media. a politician had some meetings in Ottawa with other federal and provincial ministers. I thought that was what she was supposed to do.

    I know being in the public service people have to expect criticism but I never thought they would get criticized for going to a meeting !! IN Ottawa?? Again I would hope these are routine

  • Newfoundlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Two points

    1. About time!! while there are times I admire premier Williams battling ways (and times I don't), the province absolutely needs to engage the federal government more. All relations should NOT be through blasts in the media which often apppear to be Williams preferred tactic. I believe the NL government is finding that the blast away in the media first and ask questions later tactic is not serving them well with the feds-- Immensely popular at home but totally ineffective at getting results. I always expect a provincial government to speak out on issues related to the province but there is absolutely no harm in trying to have a little dialogue first



    2. To Boycot the House-- I don't know where you get the idea of abuse here-- It sounds as if she took the time to cram several meetings into a day. If she hasn't yet filed a report by Thursday morning well freaking excuse us . I never knew reporting back on an Ottawa trip was so urgent it had to be done within 48 hours.

    Oh ya and I do a fair bit of travel in my (private sector) job and I can tell you that there is nothing much fun about business travel. Its a lot of getting on planes at 5 a.m. and getting home after midnight, travelling to the same places over and over again. Although I am sure if I hit the mall one night to buy my wife a birthday present or something (since I had been on the road for 5 days) you would suddenly see my travel as some sort of glorified vacation shopping trip. Again I am PRIVATE SECTOR but the idea is the same-- there is some necessary travel-- its rarely much fun and if someone can kill an hour or two shopping because the next flight doesn't leave for hours , where is the harm? There are lots and lots of things to criticize politicians for-- travel can be one of them (ie a week long jaunt to Jamaica for some nebulous conference would be suspicious)-- But to criticize a day trip to Ottawa as abuse?? Sheesh

    OH and sense of a politicians travel? I was on a flight and sat with an MP from Saskatchewan-- He was facing arriving in Calgary after 10pm, taking a connecting flight and then having a 2.5 hour drive. Estimated time of arrival home was 3 a.m-- he took that flight so he could get in a full workday. I don't expect anyone to sympathyze with the guy-- MPS are well paid for their job but travel is hardly as fun or glamorous as some people seem to think-- Our flight was 2 hours late- he missed his connection and was faced with waiting 8 hours for the next one-- some fun eh??

  • Get Off
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I really think that the point here is not what she may or may not have done rather the entire situation. We have seen spending problems in the past, health care problems in the past, employment problems in the past, yet not one thing has really been done to address any of them by the current government. When an MHA makes a trip no matter what on our tax dollars, we the people have the right to know just what took place to see if our money was properly spent.

    So far we have not seen anything to justify additional trips. These people head off here and there eating meals that would feed a family of four for a week, yet nothing not one thing has been done to put a single person to work in this province. We see cuts, not expansion. Why do we permit these people to live high on the hog while at the sametime the people that worked long and hard to build a life are left hungry?

    Thats the reason these MHA's need to come clean and explain what they are doing and why. Any other employee would need to justify trips and expenses this is no different.

    And for Ann, we have heard this before. You can bet Danny has a way to cover his butt when it comes time to claim his wages to the feds. You honestly think that he takes a loss! You poor girl.

  • Funky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    JK, Transcontinental Media owns The Telegram. It's a Quebec based company.

    Also, the paper focuses on the Williams administration bcause...ummm, they are the government. There is no other administration in the province today. The media are usually most critical of the people with the power and handling the taxpayers dollars. This is a universal thing and it happens to every government.

  • Newfoundlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    To Get off it

    Well the justification would seem to be a meeting of all the agriculture ministers in the country. It appears she managed two other meetings as well .

    Now -- could she have done teleconferences or phone calls?-- Possibly, but they are rarely as productive. I wonder did the other 13 governments send their minister and see some value in doing so ? Would her absence have been seen as a snub to the group, particularly considering Premier Williams anti-everyone approach? I would think that an opportunity to mend fences with other governments would be very useful

    It seems you doubt the value generally of in-person meetings. You also seem to assume extravagence , (while frivolous claims may have happened-- I see no evidence of it in THIS STORY)-- Do you have any evidence of extravagent meals or events or is this just coming from a generalized distaste for politicians?

    Also whats an extravagent meal? If you are eating at an airport, prices can often be too high even if you have a club sandwhich. And I hope you don't expect the traveller to pick up those costs for things like food when they are required to travel

    I find myself in the very unusual position of defending a politician here . If someone knows she charged alcohol or fine dining or a trip to the Sens game to the taxpayers, I would be the first to criticize. But typically if there is a national ministers meeting, people attend. So unless someone is going to argue in favor of a no travel policy at all, I just don't see any issue here.

  • JK
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I would much prefer to read a story in the paper about an honest politician--now THAT would be newsworthy. But I am curious as to why the Telegram has set its sights on the Williams administration. Does anyone know who owns our esteemed newspaper? Care to dish? I would really like to know-hey, maybe a potential news story there!

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Hey Boycot, why don't you ask for a report stating the number of times the toilet is flushed in the Confederation building while you're at it. If you ask for a report for every conversation a government official has, they will spend all their time writing useless reports wasting even more time. Let them do their work. Unbelievable, some people are actually trying to get things done but as soon as they do, there is always someone right there to complain about it.

  • steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Maybe Danny doesn't know she went! Dunderdale is secretly plotting to over throw Danny... with the help of Harper and MacKay.LOL

  • randy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Maybe Dudderdale just heard there was a new resturant opening up in Ottawa,and just wanted to try it out at taxpayers expense.Don't we have a high priced representative,somewhere in ottawa.Seems like Danny Williams is the only person who knows where he is.but he gets his paycheck every week,for sitting on his arse,doing nothing.

  • Fred
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Just imagine Dannys Government not being open and transparent. Why am I not surprised? Everything Williams does is kept from us until the time is right that he thinks talking about it will make him look good.

  • Funky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Anne Marie...Randy wasn't talking about Danny and his paycheque. He was referring to the citizens representative in Ottawa and his paycheque.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Bones old buddy Im glad you missed me. No need for me to add anything lately. Most people are seeing the real Danny Williams fro the manipulator he is FINALLY. Miss you too Bones lol.

  • Boycot
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    If the tax payers paid for this trip then she better open her trap and give a report. Otherwise looks like yet another spending farce on personal shopping trips for MHA's on the tax payers dime yet again.

    When are these freaks going to understand that WE PAY them to wrok for US. Yes, they are OUR employees and WE can FIRE them for this abuse.

  • Jane
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Has the government heard of teleconferencing yet, even videoconferencing, if they need to see each other.

  • Richard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Well she might as well spend a day in a legislature somewhere...

  • Bones
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Where's Graham today? lol

  • mercedes
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    To Anne-Marie from Ontario;
    Mr. Williams still draws his salary from public funds so it costs us just as much as if he spends it. If you want to comment on our politics learn something about it first. And while you are at it, research which 'charities' he gives our money to!

  • Anne Marie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    To: RandyfromNL - You can criticize Premier Williams all you like but EVERY PENNY of his salary goes to a charity trust. No other Premier or any past or present PM can say the same. Would you yourself work so hard for nothing for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. I doubt it.

  • JK
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Did you say owned by Transcontinental Media? They would not be associated with Harper in any way, would they? What else do they own? Do you know? Anyway, I am no big fan of Williams. He looks like another demogogue if you ask me. However, I think there are other things going on in this province other than Danny Willaims. And a politician off on a jaunt? That is BIG news? There is more to this than meets the eye. And someone stayed up all last night writing a Danny bashing editorial for this paper- all about how MUN is going to pot. Oh please, give me a break!?! I hope they do scrutinise our millionaire premier but not for these tempest in a tea pot reasons. It should not be all about personalities. Leave that to the tabloids and the TV news. Please.

  • Newfoundlander
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    To Randy

    Politicians often warrant criticism but this time the story doesn't raise anything other than her unwillingness to spill everything to the media. a politician had some meetings in Ottawa with other federal and provincial ministers. I thought that was what she was supposed to do.

    I know being in the public service people have to expect criticism but I never thought they would get criticized for going to a meeting !! IN Ottawa?? Again I would hope these are routine

  • Newfoundlander
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Two points

    1. About time!! while there are times I admire premier Williams battling ways (and times I don't), the province absolutely needs to engage the federal government more. All relations should NOT be through blasts in the media which often apppear to be Williams preferred tactic. I believe the NL government is finding that the blast away in the media first and ask questions later tactic is not serving them well with the feds-- Immensely popular at home but totally ineffective at getting results. I always expect a provincial government to speak out on issues related to the province but there is absolutely no harm in trying to have a little dialogue first



    2. To Boycot the House-- I don't know where you get the idea of abuse here-- It sounds as if she took the time to cram several meetings into a day. If she hasn't yet filed a report by Thursday morning well freaking excuse us . I never knew reporting back on an Ottawa trip was so urgent it had to be done within 48 hours.

    Oh ya and I do a fair bit of travel in my (private sector) job and I can tell you that there is nothing much fun about business travel. Its a lot of getting on planes at 5 a.m. and getting home after midnight, travelling to the same places over and over again. Although I am sure if I hit the mall one night to buy my wife a birthday present or something (since I had been on the road for 5 days) you would suddenly see my travel as some sort of glorified vacation shopping trip. Again I am PRIVATE SECTOR but the idea is the same-- there is some necessary travel-- its rarely much fun and if someone can kill an hour or two shopping because the next flight doesn't leave for hours , where is the harm? There are lots and lots of things to criticize politicians for-- travel can be one of them (ie a week long jaunt to Jamaica for some nebulous conference would be suspicious)-- But to criticize a day trip to Ottawa as abuse?? Sheesh

    OH and sense of a politicians travel? I was on a flight and sat with an MP from Saskatchewan-- He was facing arriving in Calgary after 10pm, taking a connecting flight and then having a 2.5 hour drive. Estimated time of arrival home was 3 a.m-- he took that flight so he could get in a full workday. I don't expect anyone to sympathyze with the guy-- MPS are well paid for their job but travel is hardly as fun or glamorous as some people seem to think-- Our flight was 2 hours late- he missed his connection and was faced with waiting 8 hours for the next one-- some fun eh??

  • Get Off
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I really think that the point here is not what she may or may not have done rather the entire situation. We have seen spending problems in the past, health care problems in the past, employment problems in the past, yet not one thing has really been done to address any of them by the current government. When an MHA makes a trip no matter what on our tax dollars, we the people have the right to know just what took place to see if our money was properly spent.

    So far we have not seen anything to justify additional trips. These people head off here and there eating meals that would feed a family of four for a week, yet nothing not one thing has been done to put a single person to work in this province. We see cuts, not expansion. Why do we permit these people to live high on the hog while at the sametime the people that worked long and hard to build a life are left hungry?

    Thats the reason these MHA's need to come clean and explain what they are doing and why. Any other employee would need to justify trips and expenses this is no different.

    And for Ann, we have heard this before. You can bet Danny has a way to cover his butt when it comes time to claim his wages to the feds. You honestly think that he takes a loss! You poor girl.

  • Funky
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    JK, Transcontinental Media owns The Telegram. It's a Quebec based company.

    Also, the paper focuses on the Williams administration bcause...ummm, they are the government. There is no other administration in the province today. The media are usually most critical of the people with the power and handling the taxpayers dollars. This is a universal thing and it happens to every government.

  • Newfoundlander
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    To Get off it

    Well the justification would seem to be a meeting of all the agriculture ministers in the country. It appears she managed two other meetings as well .

    Now -- could she have done teleconferences or phone calls?-- Possibly, but they are rarely as productive. I wonder did the other 13 governments send their minister and see some value in doing so ? Would her absence have been seen as a snub to the group, particularly considering Premier Williams anti-everyone approach? I would think that an opportunity to mend fences with other governments would be very useful

    It seems you doubt the value generally of in-person meetings. You also seem to assume extravagence , (while frivolous claims may have happened-- I see no evidence of it in THIS STORY)-- Do you have any evidence of extravagent meals or events or is this just coming from a generalized distaste for politicians?

    Also whats an extravagent meal? If you are eating at an airport, prices can often be too high even if you have a club sandwhich. And I hope you don't expect the traveller to pick up those costs for things like food when they are required to travel

    I find myself in the very unusual position of defending a politician here . If someone knows she charged alcohol or fine dining or a trip to the Sens game to the taxpayers, I would be the first to criticize. But typically if there is a national ministers meeting, people attend. So unless someone is going to argue in favor of a no travel policy at all, I just don't see any issue here.

  • JK
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I would much prefer to read a story in the paper about an honest politician--now THAT would be newsworthy. But I am curious as to why the Telegram has set its sights on the Williams administration. Does anyone know who owns our esteemed newspaper? Care to dish? I would really like to know-hey, maybe a potential news story there!

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Hey Boycot, why don't you ask for a report stating the number of times the toilet is flushed in the Confederation building while you're at it. If you ask for a report for every conversation a government official has, they will spend all their time writing useless reports wasting even more time. Let them do their work. Unbelievable, some people are actually trying to get things done but as soon as they do, there is always someone right there to complain about it.

  • steve
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Maybe Danny doesn't know she went! Dunderdale is secretly plotting to over throw Danny... with the help of Harper and MacKay.LOL

  • randy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Maybe Dudderdale just heard there was a new resturant opening up in Ottawa,and just wanted to try it out at taxpayers expense.Don't we have a high priced representative,somewhere in ottawa.Seems like Danny Williams is the only person who knows where he is.but he gets his paycheck every week,for sitting on his arse,doing nothing.

  • Fred
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Just imagine Dannys Government not being open and transparent. Why am I not surprised? Everything Williams does is kept from us until the time is right that he thinks talking about it will make him look good.

  • Funky
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Anne Marie...Randy wasn't talking about Danny and his paycheque. He was referring to the citizens representative in Ottawa and his paycheque.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Bones old buddy Im glad you missed me. No need for me to add anything lately. Most people are seeing the real Danny Williams fro the manipulator he is FINALLY. Miss you too Bones lol.

  • Boycot
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    If the tax payers paid for this trip then she better open her trap and give a report. Otherwise looks like yet another spending farce on personal shopping trips for MHA's on the tax payers dime yet again.

    When are these freaks going to understand that WE PAY them to wrok for US. Yes, they are OUR employees and WE can FIRE them for this abuse.

  • Jane
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Has the government heard of teleconferencing yet, even videoconferencing, if they need to see each other.

  • Richard
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Well she might as well spend a day in a legislature somewhere...

  • Bones
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Where's Graham today? lol