Funds spread around: minister

Dave Bartlett
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Shawn Skinner— File photo

The Tory incumbent in St. John’s Centre, and minister of natural resources, says he takes “strong exception” to comments by a Liberal candidate made earlier this week.

Shawn Skinner said Danny Dumaresque’s comments at a St. John’s Board of Trade debate Tuesday evening do nothing except unnecessarily pit rural and urban Newfoundlanders and Labradorians against one another.

“I’m not going to try to get myself elected in St. John’s Centre by beating up on the people of Twillingate or the Isles of Notre Dame,” Skinner told The Telegram Thursday.

“I’m going to do it on my record.”

He said Dumaresque — who’s running in the Isles of Notre Dame — should do the same.

“The people of St. John’s pay their fair share, the same as everybody else in the province does, and they expect to be treated equally,” Skinner said.

When Dumaresque was asked at the debate about the Liberal position on a new financial arrangement St. John’s has asked the province for, he said “there are a hell of a lot more priorities outside the overpass that need to be addressed before we start forking more money over to the City of St. John’s.”

But Skinner said provincial money has been spread around the province to both rural and urban areas.

He also noted the City of St. John’s provides services to the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador such as the Janeway and Health Sciences hospitals and Memorial University.

He said people from all over the province come to the capital for those services, and so they should.

“We have numerous provincial needs that are being addressed through the City of St. John’s,” Skinner said.

When asked if he was surprised by Dumaresque’s comments Skinner said no.

“Nothing that Mr. Dumaresque would say would surprise me,” he said. “Mr. (Kevin) Aylward the (Liberal) leader tried to blow it off (during the televised leaders debate) by saying that it was the heat of the campaign.

“Look. They’re going to say what they have to say to get themselves elected and that’s what got us into the mess we were in when we took over in 2003,” Skinner continued. “That’s the kind of politics we don’t need here.”

Skinner was asked what he would say to people from rural parts of the province who may agree with Dumaresque’s insinuation that the townies get it all.

He blamed politicians for that sentiment, saying some want to drive a wedge between urban and rural people for their own political gain.

Organizations: Tory, Board of Trade, Health Sciences

Geographic location: Notre Dame, Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Corey
    October 01, 2011 - 20:49

    Sigh...leave it to Danny "Mr. Quebec" Dumaresque to turn this into a "Baymen vs Townie" debate again. This is still what people "beyond the overpass" still have to hang on to?? How long before Mr. Dumaresque proposes that they build a FENCE so that they can seperate the "Baymen" from the "Townies", is that the next step? Typical of the Liberals to always try & create a divide between St. John's & everyone "outside the overpass". That's not what this is supposed to be about. Everyone agrees that we all need to work together or various issues, but obviously Mr. "Beyond The Overpass" & the rest of his "Baymen buddies" don't CARE about working with anyone, but rather would play by their own rules obviously. Why doesn't the Liberal party re-name themselves as the "Liberal-Rural-Baymen" Party because they usually feed of those who don't like us "Townies". How 'bout we just boil it down to this: "Townies" will vote for the PCs, while the "Baymen" will vote Liberal, is THAT how Mr. Dumaresque & the rest of his friends "outside the overpass" want to play it? The whole "Outside The Overpass" rubbish is OLD, & tired, just like the Liberal policies. But the crowd "Outside The Overpass" will CONTINUE to think this way because it's probably the ONLY thing you have left to hang on "Outside The Overpass" because it's probably the only you have to do in your spare time while living "Outside The Overpass", is that correct? "Outside The Overpass"..."Townies vs Baymen"...gee whiz, Cut The Crap already people!!

  • W McLean
    September 30, 2011 - 10:48

    I am pretty sure that the City of St. John's, capitalized in that manner, does not provided any of those health or post-secondary education services to the rest of the province. If it did, it might explain why St. John's City Council generally meets as many times, or more, in the course of the year, than the House of Assembly has during the PC era. Pretty bad when a city council, with smaller budget and responsibilities, out-sits the House of Assembly that Skinner and ilk are members of.

  • ranter
    September 30, 2011 - 09:01

    Ask the minister about how urban students get seats in med school over rural students. Lots of students out there to expose that as well.

  • ran
    September 30, 2011 - 08:48

    There is not doubt your a townie with that attitude. What do you think the system is now buddy? it's two tier now - one for town and one for rural! Guess Danny was right on that comment. More should be put into other areas to meet the needs of people. Why should we have to drive to St. john's? Corner brook and Gander has space for you to drive out to get your check up? I doubt you would put up with that! The only whiners I know are townies. if they had to put up with half what rural had to, you'd be crying.

  • Derrick
    September 30, 2011 - 08:35

    Mr. are toast! Ms. Rogers will win your seat. I wonder if your daughter will still be working in Tourism with the Province on a contract when you are kicked out? Funny how she got in there without a competition.

  • Brett
    September 30, 2011 - 08:24

    RANTER: You should come to St. John's for appointments because that's where most people live. That location provides the best site for access for most residents of the province, it also has the facilities to support people who have to come in. FURTHERMORE: The tax money collected from the other areas is not enough to build and support the buildings/equipment and staff. A patient is a patient. Seems if you want different rules for rural vs. townies for reimbursement or priority on lists for visits/cancellation you're asking for two tier health care? Really? Really? (I'm for it, I hate waiting in line, but I doubt anyone else out there does). Get a grip. Ranter or Whiner? Whatever it is I don't think you're actually looking at the issue clearly.

  • Ranter
    September 30, 2011 - 07:48

    Mr Skinner - answer this for the public and rural communities: Your comment "He said people from all over the province come to the capital for those services, and so they should." Why should we have to come to St. John's for everything. it's so bad now for health, you have to come to St. John's to get an aspirin. Appointments get cancelled with no respect for rural residents and the costs or time to get to the city.maybe you can start a reimbursement program for all rural residents that have to come to the city for healthcare - another rural divide. it appears you could use a trip outside the overpass and get acquainted to the needs of rural residents that you feel are obliged to come to St. John's at all costs to their pocket and health. Now we know where you stand! Explain that.