Murphy leaving his fares behind

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Tonight is MHA-elect George Murphy’s last night in a taxi for the forseeable future. — Photo by Steve Bartlett/The Telegram

As he taxis towards the launch of his new career in the House of Assembly, George Murphy is about to shut the meter in his cab off for the last time.

St. John’s best-known taxi driver, who has gained a provincewide following for his accurate gas price predictions, will pick up his last fare later tonight or early Sunday morning.

“For at least four years, anyway,” Murphy says with a laugh.

The amiable cabbie won the St. John’s East seat in Tuesday’s provincial election, a New Democratic upset over Tory incumbent Ed Buckingham.

It was third time lucky for Murphy. He ran for the Liberals in the same district back in 2003, and for the NDP in the Conception Bay East-Bell Island byelection last December.

“I’m starting to get back to the ground (from the high of being elected),” he said Thursday.

His victory may have surprised some, but it wasn’t a shock to Murphy and his campaign team.

“About seven or eight days before the ballot, we came to the realization that we think we had (Buckingham) cornered, and we think that we have the numbers to beat him then.”

Murphy says everything happened fairly quickly because an Aug. 17 car accident had delayed him from getting out of the campaign gate.

“I went at it as hard as I could and endured the pain. There were a couple of little barriers we had to overcome, but we prevailed in the end.”

And while the win means he won’t be driving cab in the forseeable future, Murphy may still keep predicting gas prices, as long as there is no rule prohibiting an MHA from doing so.

“All of the resources I’ve been using so far have been free resources,” he notes.

“They haven’t cost the taxpayer, and it’s not costing anybody anything by me digging up free information.”

Given his understanding of gas pricing, Murphy hopes to tackle the issue of fuel taxation in the House. Currently, HST is charged after federal and provincial gas taxes — a tax on top of a tax.

“You expect your government to treat you fair under proper taxation rules, and you would expect to be paying taxes, but not to be paying taxes on top of taxes,” he says.

“Yes, we’re going to have a tangle with government before we get that one straightened out.”

Murphy says he’s always been a bit of an advocate, so he doesn’t expect being an elected politician will change his life dramatically.

“Other than just dealing with people one-on-one,” he said.

“It’s going to be an honour, a real honour, to possibly change history in some cases, and to do something positive for people.”

NDP leader Lorraine Michael says it’s going to be wonderful to have Murphy as part of her caucus.

She says he brings an understanding of trying to make life affordable for people and, through his gas pricing predicitions, he has shown an ability to do analysis.

“George is very knowledgable, but more than that — and I think more important than that — I think George is a very caring individual,” she said.

“He really cares about people and I think he’s going to show his constituents how true that is in the way he responds to them.”

 

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Twitter: bartlett_steve

Organizations: NDP

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Recent comments

  • PFFT
    October 18, 2011 - 22:57

    Cares for the people? Some people who know him would actually argue about that one with the above poster. He's made a good name for himself but some behind the scenes know what he can really be. And he doesn't make gas price predictions. Anyone can find out the same information but instead people are lazy and prefer to sit back and have him give them the information. He's admitted that if he were not allowed to give away this information while in office he'd tell everyone else how to do it. In other words..it's not some wonderful ability. Get off your arses and look this stuff up yourselves. He's holding back telling everyone else how to do it unless necessary because it's something he can use for PR. If Mr. Murphy would like to be a real stand up guy he'd just tell everyone how to do it themselves anyhow. Regardless of whether he's allowed to make public "predictions" or not. Otherwise it's just a PR stunt. That being said, I'm sure he will handle the other arseholes in the house well.

  • Mike Desjardins
    October 17, 2011 - 20:33

    Glad to say I was one of the many people who voted for him!!

  • isedabye
    October 16, 2011 - 22:28

    still hard to believe that the voters in georges district had the guts and fortitude and actually used their brains when they voted...his ability to make complex issues understandable to even the dim witted should help greatly in dealing with 99% of his fellow MHA's...a motley group of crude, lewd and self serving individuals(besides George and Lorraine)....only in nfld is even the media afraid of the extended arms of these louts that will go to any extreme to get what THEY want.

  • mary
    October 16, 2011 - 07:56

    Congratulations George!! If all politicans were FOR THE PEOPLE as you are, everyone would be treated fairly. Good luck in the house whenever they'll open the doors and let you in! We are hopeing it won't be too long.

  • longd
    October 15, 2011 - 21:33

    Hey George, sit and watch and watch and learn. It won't be long before you will be rising from your seat to question the P. C. party on some of their idiotic decisions. God's speed to you and the other members of the NDP opposition!

  • longd
    October 15, 2011 - 21:32

    Hey George, sit and watch and watch and learn. It won't be long before you will be rising from your seat to question the P. C. party on some of their idiotic decisions. Gods speed to you and the other members of the NDP opposition!

  • Mike Keough
    October 15, 2011 - 12:41

    Congrats George! You deserve the chance, so work hard like I know you will.

  • Too Funny
    October 15, 2011 - 12:31

    ' his accurate gas price predictions ' ?? Geez, you make it sound like he has some uncanny knack to do something no one else can. All he's doing is using the same pricing method as the PUB but just announcing it before they do.

    • PFFT
      October 18, 2011 - 23:01

      So very true. He rode on the shoulders of websites he took information from..somehow became popular for it, won an election and everyone praises it as a miracle. Bottom line is..he took information someone else put forth, became popular for it and won. I'm NDP and even I can see how it happened. Not that I don't think he'll do a good job. I just don't like how it came to pass.

  • Deane
    October 15, 2011 - 10:35

    “George is very knowledgable, but more than that — and I think more important than that — I think George is a very caring individual,” she said. “He really cares about people and I think he’s going to show his constituents how true that is in the way he responds to them.” These statements are very true about George as I know him personally for a long time.