From B.C. to N.S.

Barb Sweet
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Province left out of federal Liberal letter to supporters

Liberal MP Gerry Byrne — File photo

Liberal MP Gerry Byrne apologized Wednesday on behalf of his party for an electronic letter that supporters received from Leader Bob Rae with a coast-to-coast reference ending at Peggy’s Cove, N.S.

One Newfoundland Liberal supporter wrote on the party’s website she is appalled that Newfoundland and Labrador is wiped off the party’s map in the missive, especially considering the number of federal Liberal supporters here. Longtime Humber St. Barbe-Baie Verte MP Byrne is one of four federal Liberal MPs from the province.


The letter was sent to supporters and first-time donors who gave money to the party and helped the party start 1,004,750 conversations in its Million Conversations Campaign.

“Twelve days ago I asked you to imagine this moment. I asked you to imagine that, as daylight peeked out over Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, and began its journey across the country all the way to Tofino, British Columbia, we would be able to start a million conversations with Canadians in 2012,” reads the letter.

“You don’t need to imagine anymore. I asked you for a holiday miracle and you made it happen. … And this is how we will get competitive with the Conservatives, identify voters, fundraise millions more each year, and grow the Liberal movement.”

The party’s error is inexcusable, Byrne said.

“The frustration and sense of lack of inclusion others have said is not only echoed by me but doubled,” he said Wednesday when contacted about Rae’s electronic letter obtained by The Telegram from a Liberal supporter.

“I share the point of view it was that language using Peggy’s Cove as a starting point is not acceptable. It does not reflect the views of Bob Rae.”

Byrne said the letters are just rolling out and he expects to get  complaints.

He said the mistake will be corrected and Rae was made aware of the error Wednesday. Byrne said he’s comfortable that Rae didn’t write the letter and likely didn’t review it either, as it’s one among thousands of correspondence sent out with his name on it.

But Byrne said that is no excuse for the party’s mistake.

Byrne said he’s among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who don’t like being left out of coast -to- coast references.

He said such geographical ignorance doesn’t reflect the values of the Liberal Party of Canada.

“We’re very much a part of this country in fact,” Byrne said.

“What matters to me is measures have to be taken to ensure it never happens again … You’ll get no excuses out of me. You’ll only get a sincere apology on behalf of all of us and an assurance that this won’t be allowed to happen again. Whether it was an administrative matter inside the office or as a result of a web management company that we may have contracted, whatever the cause, that’s not material.”

Rae was in Winnipeg for a news conference with Wheat Board directors and farmers Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

Organizations: Conservatives, The Telegram, Liberal Party of Canada Wheat Board

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Tofino British Columbia Winnipeg

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Recent comments

  • jeffer
    December 16, 2011 - 06:06

    well, they succeeded in starting a "million conversations"......not good ones, mind you, but probably a million of them.

  • Fred from Brigus
    December 16, 2011 - 04:45

    Geographical Political ignorance. Welcome to The Bob and Jerrry Show. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. See ya in Peggys Cove NL.

    December 15, 2011 - 14:04

    my fellow newfoundlanders have no one else to blame but themselves for it. the last federal election they elected 3rd party liberals to ottawa including byrne and simns and now they get a slap in the face from bob rae. well folks it may be christmas, but you got just what you deserve and voted for, so suck it up. MERRY CHRISTMAS !

  • speedy
    December 15, 2011 - 14:00

    Jeremiah, I like your comment and I believe it describes Bob Rae to a T.

  • LArry
    December 15, 2011 - 13:26

    What do we expect from a person who was an NDP MP; NDP Premier and a want to be Leader of the Liberals....Seems he skipped classes on Geography of Canada....He may not have written the letter but he SIGNED the letter...take responsibility Bob RAE...Heaven help this country IF he is ever elected Prime Minister....

  • Deloris
    December 15, 2011 - 13:08

    Joey brought us in, get Danny to lead us out. 49% of us didn't want it , and a lot of the Canadian population don't want us anyway.

  • Max
    December 15, 2011 - 13:01

    Why is Mr. Byrne apologizing for the party ? Bob Ray sent out the letter, let him apologize. Newfoundlanders shouldn't be too upset even if they noticed the slight, as this is about what you'd expect from the Federal Liberals, Newfoundland has never existed to this party nor the Federal PCs for that matter.. The only time we get any recognition at all, is if someone in either of the parties needs to obtain some National Political notoriety by throwing an insult our way, or if our Provincial government should try to obtain fairness for Newfoundlanders from the Federal Political system.

  • BillR
    December 15, 2011 - 11:26

    I've only one thing to say... "Main Lander!"

    • Kevin
      December 15, 2011 - 23:41

      Most of NL is the "main land".

  • Political watcher
    December 15, 2011 - 11:09

    That, Mr. Byrne, is why the Liberals are where they are today. This would not have happened under Mr. Martin's or Mr. Cretian's watch. They took time to review what was ever put out containing their signature. At this point in time such an eror under the signature of a National Political Party is totally unforgiveable and inexcusable.

  • Harvey
    December 15, 2011 - 10:53

    No wonder we got problems with Ottawa...some of these idiots don't know we're here. Liberals wont be getting my vote and all others that I can convince to vote otherwise or not vote at all.

  • John Smith
    December 15, 2011 - 10:50

    I am no fan of Harper, or the ultra right wing Alberta based Conservative government. However, I think the province would have been far better served had we elected all conservative MPs last time around. Then again, if Penashawe is any example, I guess it just doesn't matter.

  • Rockin Ron
    December 15, 2011 - 10:16

    Arseholes in the Liberal Party Office. Then again, Harper doesn't even send fundraising letters to Newfoundland and Labrador. Look at the Conservative Candidates who ran here in the last election. All of their money came from ridings in Alberta. Fabian Manning didn't even have to raise any money for his return ticket to the Senate.

  • Dave
    December 15, 2011 - 10:14

    There will be the same reaction from Telegram readers the next time they see a reference to "the island" or "St. John's to Corner Brook", right?

  • Not Stupid
    December 15, 2011 - 09:58

    And the stupid Newfoundlander's will still vote Liberal. Serves us right. Letters with peoples signature or name on them not being seen by those persons. Come on Mr. Byrne. You are as bad as him.

  • John
    December 15, 2011 - 09:32

    Mr. Bryne will not "make excuses." If his boss (Mr. Rae) thinks that Canada ends at Peggys Cove, that's really bad. Nova Scotia actually ends at Cape Breton, and being farther East, gets to see the sun first in NS. He said he won't make excuses but then in the same breath, that's what he did. Mr. Rae doesn't proof his correspondance!!! I'd bet if this was an election mail-out, he or someone he has the utmost faith in, would read them. After all, that isn't the way to get votes.

  • Joe Woodford
    December 15, 2011 - 08:43

    About 10 years ago, I worked for a company who had an opinionated and idiotic Atlantc Manager. We were meeting in Halifax and some "higher ups" from head office were there too. "M" spoke of Canada and our success in business, finishng with "it [Canada ] begins here [Halifax ]". I corrected him. Note I am no longer with that company. Newfoundland and Labrador still is included in Canada, and no Canadian had a right to speak otherwise. Thta Manager is also not with that company.

  • Jeremiah
    December 15, 2011 - 08:07

    If it is just ignorance, that is not so bag. We can fix ignorance. Stupidity is something else, you can't fix stupid!

    • John
      December 15, 2011 - 13:25

      And the sad thing about this is that if a federal election were held again tomorrow, there are thousands of NLers who will continue to support Gerry Byrne, Judy Foote, Scott Simms and Scott Andrews regardless of what they say and do.

  • Eli
    December 15, 2011 - 08:04

    Bob Rae, a paracite turn-coat. What more would one expect.

  • Don
    December 15, 2011 - 07:48

    And the Liberals want us to elect them and Bob Rae to lead this country ?????? How can the Liberals govern Canada when they don't know where Canada begins in the east.

  • roy
    December 15, 2011 - 07:47

    Doesn;t Mr. Byrne know yet that canada stops at Nova Scotia, except when votes are needed. I guess its time for Nl to vote anything but Liberal. Just imagine Mr Rae doesn;t read messages sent out to his supporters. Our search and rescue is moving to NS where canada ends. Beauracrates either PC, NDP or Lib. decide what takes place and when so if they believe canada ends in NS and can hold their positions what else can we expect. Our search and rescue goes to NS because no one knows we are out here in the Atlantic.

  • Saucy Face
    December 15, 2011 - 07:34

    Well, Rae only said what most Canadians think.

  • Hugo
    December 15, 2011 - 07:34

    As most Newfoundlanders are given to say...'what's all the fuss about, the poor fella's has lost his compass'..giv'em a big kiss for us...and a map of Canada.

  • Ford Elms
    December 15, 2011 - 07:26

    Oh, but it's the West that's excluded and "wants in", or so our Conservative Western masters keep telling us. Yes, Canada is a country where the richest provinces get to proclaim themselves "left out" of the Canadian political and economic framework, while what has historically been the poorest province in Canada doesn't even get a mention in Federal Liberal, and I'm sure Conservative, statements. This is not exactly the first time since 1949 that Canadians have described this country as extending from Nova Scotia to BC. Why should we be surprised? It took them 50 years to figure out how to pronounce our name.

    • Thomas Griffiths
      December 15, 2011 - 11:09

      The liberals fail to mention that NF is a part of Canada yet you somehow turn that around to be a Conservative problem. Stupid is the only word i can come up with when i think of someone who marks an X for any liberal in this country knowing what we all know about the crimnal liberals in Canada.

  • Chantal
    December 15, 2011 - 07:19

    And no doubt Yukoners, as the westernmost part of Canada, are just as upset that they too are left out.

  • Jeb
    December 15, 2011 - 06:52

    The CBC is famous for referring to just about anything in it's news cast from coast to coast, BC to NS....

    • Bob
      December 15, 2011 - 13:22

      Is it any wonder? Nobody at CBC in Newfoundland refers us to anything but "the island". The word Newfoundland is nowhere to be found in their vocabularies It prompts me to immediately switch channels or stations.

  • Chris LeDrew
    December 15, 2011 - 06:27

    Gerry...and thats why the Liberals were the wrong choice and your party got wiped out