O’Regan shows up late to budget consultation session

James McLeod
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What would happen if you held a government budget consultation and nobody came?

Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
(From left) Carla Watson, Admiralty House Museum manager, Lysa Ivey, Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce administrator, and Elizabeth Jones, owner of Serenity Nursing and Home Care Services, spoke with MP Seamus O’Regan during a pre-budget consultation held at Admiralty House in Mount Pearl Monday.

That’s what happened Monday morning at Admiralty House in Mount Pearl, where Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan was scheduled to do a pre-budget consultation session.

When media arrived, they were only greeted by empty chairs and local Liberal MHA Paul Lane.

Even O’Regan didn’t show up until about half an hour after the event was supposed to start.

He quickly ditched the table at the head of the room, draped with a Mount Pearl-Paradise Chamber of Commerce tablecloth, and started moving the chairs into a rough circle.

When things finally got underway, in addition to O’Regan and Lane, there was a Liberal staffer.

“If we don’t get a huge turnout now, we’ll hold another one,” O’Regan said, to nobody in particular.

“I just found out (about this) 15 minutes ago,” said Elizabeth Jones, the one bona fide constituent who showed up to the meeting.

Jones said her son saw reporters posting on Twitter about the consultations, so she decided to pop by.

Once things got underway, the informal chat lasted about an hour, with O’Regan holding a free-form conversation about all things government.

Jones started off by talking to O’Regan about home care issues, but the conversation ended up ranging far and wide, about everything from bureaucratic frustration and Service Canada to summer employment for students.

In addition to Jones, Carla Watson, the Admiralty House museum director, and Lysa Ivey from the Mount Pearl-Paradise Chamber of Commerce joined in.

The Chamber of Commerce has its offices in Admiralty House, so Ivey was in the building anyway.

Ivey talked about her son and how he wants to work in video game design, and those kinds of high-tech industries.

“I wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a chat with him,” O’Regan said.

“We’ll follow up with you.”

After the conversation wrapped up, O’Regan acknowledged his office hadn’t really promoted the session very well, but he said Monday’s session was “one of many consultations” and that future meetings will be better advertised.

Within hours, he posted on Twitter to say there will be another budget consultation session Saturday from 4-6 p.m. at the Delta Hotel.

As for why O’Regan didn’t show up on time for his own meeting?

“We had a few other commitments that we had to clear up before we got here,” he told reporters.



Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Admiralty House, Mount Pearl-Paradise Chamber of Commerce, Service Canada Delta Hotel.As

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Denise
    February 02, 2016 - 17:57

    Why r Federal MP's running Provincial budget consultations? The Liberals heard what the people had to say during the Election and they were ready to Govern..... Please present your plan, you direction, and now...not 15 months down the road when the situation gets worst

  • Trudy
    February 02, 2016 - 15:12

    I quickly and easily found O'Regan's contact info. here, including e-mail and constituency office address, etc. - no big deal rl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members/Seamus-ORegan(88299)

    • Greg
      February 03, 2016 - 08:46

      No telephone or fax number or email address for his St. John's office there. Read more closely.

    • Em
      February 03, 2016 - 21:47

      @Greg - seriously? Exactly how much contact information do you need? He's not the only NL MP without a local fax or constituency phone number published. (No really, what exactly does one need to fax locally to their MP? It's 2016.)

  • darby
    February 02, 2016 - 13:52

    I'm with Paul on this one.

  • Kevin White
    February 02, 2016 - 13:18

    He's a public servant now. Even if he has his personal challenges he should remember the public that elected him has challengs as well. Challenges with the government system he is supposed help them get through for some service. It's not a free ride.

  • Me
    February 02, 2016 - 09:23

    Leave the poor guy alone. He was a half hour late. Big deal. I don't know if it is set up, but he should set up something online. Pick a topic and let people make comments. Not everybody can get to a meeting (Monday morning?????) or can talk in public. Or maybe he doesn't want to go online because of too many complaints???

    • Paul
      February 02, 2016 - 09:55

      He was elected to represent the people. I don't care if he doesn't like complaints. Suck it up..And who the devil shows up a 1/2 hour late for their own meeting with the people they're supposed to represent? Hope it gets better than this.

  • Masterwatch
    February 02, 2016 - 08:44

    He's in now so why bother with constituents?

  • Betty
    February 02, 2016 - 07:16

    It has been three months since his election. Has he opened his constituency office yet? If he has he has not promoted it so seniors can co tact him for help.

    • Em
      February 03, 2016 - 21:38

      In the time you took to post to complain about lack of promotion... Directly from the parliament website: Local constituency office: 689 Topsail Road (Main Office) 2nd Floor St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1E 2E3 Parliament Hill: Telephone: 613-992-0927 Fax: 613-995-7858 Email: Seamus.ORegan@parl.gc.ca