N.L. 'embassy' sits idle

Rob Antle
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Taxpayers still on the hook; province defends effectiveness of office

In a swanky office tower a half-dozen blocks from Parliament Hill, a pile of days-old newspapers is propped next to the door of Suite 1604.

On this sunny Monday, no one is answering the door at Newfoundland and Labrador's office in Ottawa.

Premier Danny Williams has stressed the importance of having a provincial representative in the nation's capital.

But today the job is vacant, the government has no timetable to staff it, and taxpayers are still on the hook for ongoing expenses.

According to government financial documents, the Office of the Provincial Representative in Ottawa cost Newfoundland and Labrador taxpayers $360,000 last year. - Photo by Rob Antle/The Telegram

Ottawa -

In a swanky office tower a half-dozen blocks from Parliament Hill, a pile of days-old newspapers is propped next to the door of Suite 1604.

On this sunny Monday, no one is answering the door at Newfoundland and Labrador's office in Ottawa.

Premier Danny Williams has stressed the importance of having a provincial representative in the nation's capital.

But today the job is vacant, the government has no timetable to staff it, and taxpayers are still on the hook for ongoing expenses.

Nearly six years ago, Newfoundland and Labrador first sent its own emissary to the nation's capital, to act as the province's eyes and ears and give it a voice in the corridors of power.

But for long stretches, the office has not been occupied.

The first provincial representative - lawyer, former MHA and current open-line radio host Bill Rowe - took the job in 2004. He lasted seven months before stepping down, citing family reasons.

The ambassadorship then sat dormant for more than a year before the Williams administration tapped Memorial University historian John FitzGerald for the job.

FitzGerald accepted a four-year contract as provincial representative in May 2006. But he left the job this January, more than three months before his contract was set to expire, to take up a position in the bureaucracy back in St. John's.

And FitzGerald did not spend all of his time in Ottawa during the latter portion of his tenure.

According to a Telegram analysis of his travel claims, he spent just half of his last 413 days as ambassador in the nation's capital.

FitzGerald - who had family members seriously ill back in Newfoundland last year - declined comment.

Operating the province's Ottawa office cost taxpayers $360,000 last year, according to government financial documents.

Nearly $378,000 has been budgeted to run the quasi-embassy this year.

As of a year ago, the ambassador's job paid a base salary of nearly $140,000 a year. That has since been bumped to $148,000.

According to the premier's office, taxpayers are paying $93,500 a year to rent the Metcalfe Street office space. The lease runs until July 2013.

The province continues to employ a $54,000-a-year support staffer in the Ottawa office.

The premier declined interview requests.

But in the past, he has stressed the importance of having a strong advocate present in Ottawa.

"In addition to our members of Parliament, a dedicated effort by the Office of the Provincial Representative ensures that we are exercising every opportunity to ensure our province's voice is heard loud and clear in Ottawa," Williams said in a 2006 statement announcing FitzGerald's appointment.

"This includes meeting with and building relationships with federal officials and other stakeholders."

The premier said at the time it is "clearly important" that Newfoundland and Labrador has a presence in Ottawa "to ensure issues specific to our province are being actively promoted on the ground."

Andrea Nolan, a spokeswoman for the premier, reiterated those sentiments Tuesday.

"The Ottawa office plays an important role for government," she said in an e-mailed statement. "There are several other provincial representatives from other jurisdictions in Ottawa and we felt it was equally important to have a representative from N.L."

Nolan said FitzGerald "played a key role behind the scenes" in advocating for the province, developing relationships with key officials in ministerial offices and various embassies.

"Ottawa is a complex place to do business, so having a voice up there on behalf of the provincial government proves very worthwhile," she noted.

But while at one stage there were nine provincial or territorial representatives in the nation's capital, that number has dwindled in recent years.

Recently, both New Brunswick and Manitoba shuttered their offices as a cost-cutting measure.

Newfoundland and Labrador rents space in a building that is home to a number of consuls, such as Norway, Slovenia, and the European Union delegation.

The province's office is tucked away in a 16th floor corner just down the hall from the Lithuanian embassy.

Nolan said the ambassador's work is currently being done by the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs.

"It is important to have the right individual filling the role of the provincial representative, so we will take the necessary time to find that person," she noted.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Office of the Provincial Representative, European Union, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs

Geographic location: Ottawa, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's Metcalfe Street New Brunswick Manitoba Norway Slovenia

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Recent comments

  • robroy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I was watching the house yesterday. Along with this waste of money how much more had DANNY WILLIAMS, yes I single out him, wasted?:The 15 millon for dial up for the province, Which I would bet his close friends or even family MAY have got a huge bundle from. I say MAY because you never know Law suits and all. The Williams government have wasted more money than anyone could ever imagine . He should be ashamed. Not getting up in the house and being a drama king

  • Wayne P
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    To Stop the Racket - While I agree that this money is a waste and the whole post should be scrapped, who do you propose as a replacement for Williams, and can you see past your own agenda enough to truthfully say if you think they could do a better job? There is NO OPPOSITION. That's why Williams will once again rule this province.

  • Mr. Juanabee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Couldn't they at least cancel the newspaper subscription?

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I am not surprised the office is not used. Danny Boy has ruined NL's good name across Canada and even into the USA.

    A politician is only as good as his/her word and Danny's can't be trusted. Sooner or later he attacks everyone friend and foe alike...

    We are supposed to learn some class as we become successful. Danny Boy has no class and NL will pay the price.

    Bill

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    What a waste of money, better if this money was used for the kids school lunch program.

  • Blair
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Our representative in Ottawa has a very important job. We must be very careful in making the decision as to who it will be.

    I don't think it will be a patronage appointment, after all Mr. Rowe is a well known Liberal.

    Sure it looks bad now, but when the appointment is made, the advocate will be able to hit the ground running and will not have to wait to find office space in a very busy Ottawa setting or interview for a staffer.

    I only ask when this position is staffed, that it is a person who has the interest of Newfoundland at heart as much as Premier Williams.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Brian old man. It seems that 11 of the 12 comments here so far disagree with your Danny worship. That to me is far from a 90% approval. Get real Brian. Danny is an arrogant self centred ego maniac that thrives on the aboslute power an attention we continue to give him. Im no fan of the NDP by any stretch but to see the way Williams attacked and belittled Lorraine yesterday in the House was enough to make you puke. She asked a question and his response called her remarks the sermon on the mount and said she had a holier than though attitude. Well we all know Danny is the second coming so that takes care of the sermon on the mount and he is holier than anyone, the supreme being. Dont believe me? Just ask Danny he will be happy to tell you how wonderfull he is. Thank God that those of us not in this imaginary 90% have brains enough to think for ourselves and not only do and say what Danny says we should do or say. Most if not all of the Danny worshipers follow like a bunch of sheep not knowing where they are going or why but as long as Danny is leading them they ask no questions and obey commands. Sad when you think about it.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Its an important job and the cost is worth it. Lets get someone back up there as soon as possible so the admin support staffer and rent expenses are not wasted. My view is that as long as the right person for the job is in Ottawa and doing it well (makeing connections, ensuring NL interests, etc), $360,000 is a small price to pay for this exposure and inclusion. I don't think Danny or anyone else commented on this story because its a non-issue and some reporter wanted to make it one. Try again...go find some more peanuts in the budget to squabble over on slow newsday....next story please!!!

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Will May 1, 2010 , find Joe Browne as the new occupant of suite 1604 ?

  • Lee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I would sure love to be that supoort staffer in the so-called Ottawa office for doing very little at $54,000.00 annually.
    This person must be laughing all the way to the bank.
    It's not an office; it's office space, because it seems to be seldom used
    $93,500.00, ohhh my, how many people could use a portion of that to help out with their rent, and ease some of their worry. It is OUR money!
    What a waste; another very frustrating situation to have to tolerate for us common NL citizens.
    But politicians still come up with their
    abrupt snappy answers and reasons, feeling we are, once again, gullible enough to believe it.

  • grant
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Since the goverment scams pensioners with clawbacks, and any other way to keep them on the poverty line to help pay for this, why not pay a gentleman pensioner to fold the papers, dump the trash can when its full, shake about 20 thousand hands. change them every year or two. dont laugh, look whats there now.

  • Lena
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Danny,
    How can you attack others for misspending of taxpayer dollars which you allow this waste. What purpose does it serve only your own profile? Those wasted dollars could be spent in health care in Newfoundland or on other programs to help those that have little. Don't speak out of both sides of your mouth in attacking others when it comes to been more accountable with taxpayer dollars.

  • giggity
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    this is actually disheartening to hear that the so called needed position is left sitting empty, with office space and a support person idling away.
    $350000 can be used for a lot of purposes back here in NL, lots of projects or compaigns it could be put towards.
    heck, even help pay for a couple extra nurses & docs
    what a scam/shame/waste.
    I'll take the job if they need someone to...

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Dream on Nasty Nate and all the other names you go under, with a 90% approval rating, the best premier in Canada and Newfoundland's history ain't going to be shown any door in your lifetime. Premier Williams alone will decide when he leaves, not you silly whiners.

  • Paula
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Nice room for Ambassador Sullivan!

    Mr. Crosby, Art May, Eric Dunn, George Baker and scores of other learned persons have tried to show the Federal Government of Canada how to build on NL's most precious fishery resources and the Federal Government has failed our Province in this regard. Why? Could it have been the high cost of the 10-42 system of EI, could it have been the pressure from Foreign Nations who wanted more of our resource or was it something else? Not much talk of fish these days....she's gone by's she's gone!

  • Margaret
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Polly, You are more than likely right.

  • CB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    If any of you have been outside of the province since Danny got elected as premier, you'd know he is well respected all across Canada. It is very ignorant to state otherwise. Having said that, it does not mean he has acted in the best interest of all NLers. He is a politician after all, not a saint as so many of you believe him to be.

  • PIerre Neary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    These types of decisions by the Premier is why we are running a deficit. The Premier is just waiting now to see which one of his friends he can reward this plum patronage position to. Thanks to ABC we already have a representitive at the cabinet table who treats NL with nothing but distain and couldn't care less if he ever set foot here. Minister MacKay will do what he can to keep NL down.

  • mercedes
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    After the abc campaign, with no conservatives elected from NL, Ottawa must be an unfriendly place for NLers' right now. Certainly Mr. Harper is not about to reach out the hand of welcome to an appointee of the premier. We reap what we sow.

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    An offensive waste of taxpayers money at a time when the Province is again back into debt.

  • Robert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    A fool and money are soon parted.

    As complete strangers pass by you have to wonder what they think.

    I don't think there is any doubt that the Premier rules over his fellow elected representatives. But here is a case where some simple delegating responsibility would work in his favour.

  • Joey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Give me the job. I want a cooshy do nothing position where I can sleep the morning away at my desk then eat my lunch down by the Rideau Canal.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    The lease runs until July 2013 hopefully that means that will also be the end of the Williams Dictatorship in this province. The sooner the better.

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Wonder what the $54,000-a-year staffer does. His/her duties apparently don't include taking in the paper. Works from home, maybe?

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Brain I really wish people would get the numbers right. 90% support is a dream if you were to take the daily poll numbers on the CBC website when Danny has his tantrums. Maybe more like 60% against Danny and 40% still walking around with blinders on. My fear is we have nothing to replace these fools with when an election is called. Not one is worthy of our support, yet we are forced to elect one. Maybe we should have laws in place that if a set number of the people fail to vote, then a caretaker committee will run things till we vote again and get it right. Obtaining power due to complacency is not the answer, and we are paying for it dearly. At least the majority of people are beginning to see the error they made during the last election. That's a step in the right direction for a change.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Robert, you hit that one right...a Fool and his Money are Soon Parted.

    But here's a political adjustment to that axiom:

    A Fool and Someone Else's Money are Immediately Parted.

  • Sounding
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Pathetic waste.
    Can't we put a mannequin to sit at a desk with fiddle music playing in the background to at least make it look lively?

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Aren't these the same people who condemmed Danny for having a representative up there in the first place? Now that he is saving several hundred thousand in the reps. salary you still complain. Contracts are contracts you all say such as the Quebec deal with our power. If that is the case than the rental space is also a contract or is it? You can's have it both ways, can you? Will I guess you can depending if you are a liberal or NDP fighting Danny!!!!

  • John Smith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Wow, every Liberal supporter in the province must have got the order from yvonne to post on this today. I knew even before I read the story that all the poor ol' liberals would be on bashing the premier. great job Nate, and Graham and the rest of you guys, thank God most of us know you are all complete idiots. Quebec has an office in Ottawa, to help further thier agenda, It's a very good idea that we have one as well. Nate to say that the Premier is at 40% in the polls is an outright, blatant lie. However that's what the liberal trolls do, they post lies over and over in a vain attempt that something, anything might stick. Good luck losers, you'll need it. By the way, I hope you guys keep posting, it's always good to come on the tely forum and read the latest liberal rants...LMAO. Oh, and Ms. Michael is a grandstanding fool.

  • Redneck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    CB, are you on crack? No, really. Do you really know what the people in Alberta think of your dear ole Dan? He is worse then Ralph every was in the eye's of Albertans. At least with stumble along Kline we could laugh it off due to his public drunkenness, Dan is just an a$$. Give it up.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Boy, do I feel stupid!! I thought we ELECTED people and PAID them a great salary, just so they could go to Ottawa and represent us.
    But.... Premier Danny Williams has stressed the importance of having a provincial representative in the nation's capital. ??
    I guess we should just recall those elected people and save all that money! Thanks for clearing this up for me premier

  • Dennis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    1st, Danny IS the best premier we ever had, but the ABC campaign was 2nd dumbest move a nl premier has made ( Joey,your still number one).
    It got us all excited, made us feel like we were standing up to bully tactics. Put on the bumper stickers and join facebook groups.
    And what good did it do? No representation in Ottawa.Even more devestating is no Newfoundlanders in cabinet where ideas are born and deals fostered. We can rent every available office space near parlement hill and still won't be able to catch the P.m's attention. They haven't any political capital to spend.
    Hopefully during the next federal election the premier won't go out of his way to insult whomever it is that's likely to reside At 24 sussex drive. Then we might have a Newfoundlander in the circle of power as millions are spent trying to keep Quebec happy!

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Lena Sutton, Danny doesn't ''allow this waste'', he is the proximate cause of it.

  • Bones
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Graham, old man, I'd like to remind you that haters like you and the 11 out of 12 comments you reference have little choice when it comes to a place to write your uninformed, unsubstantiated, unquantifiable gibberish. People have grown tired of trying to explain what a dictator is to people who obviously do not, and won't ever know, despite a perfectly documented and widely available explanation. Tell us, o great one, why should we believe you and not the polls conducted by Angus Reid, an internationally renowned global polling and public opinion superpower? Are they wrong and Danny isn't popular, just like you say he isn't? Idiocy reigns supreme at the telegram dot com, hahaha. I look forward to rubbing your collective noses in the next election result too, you and all your buddies like racket, 20%, polly, taxpayer, nate, and if I missed anyone, I apologetically, but laughingly, offer you the middle finger, lol, you will be so sick of seeing my 'i-told-ya-so's', you might just give up the internet for new years, lol. Go on now, post some idiocy under the article about Chief Johnston's appointment. Was that a result of Danny's ego and dictatorial style too, or did a deserving, qualified, heavily experienced individual get the appointment? C'mon guys, is he Danny's buddy or not? What about Dr. Jewer? Give us some insightful ridiculousness about that one too will ya? Tackle a real issue, boys, lol, not an empty office that can't fight back, lol.

  • well ya know
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    mercedes jones from st. johns, nl writes: After the abc campaign, with no conservatives elected from NL, Ottawa must be an unfriendly place for NLers' right now. Certainly Mr. Harper is not about to reach out the hand of welcome to an appointee of the premier. We reap what we sow.

    ===================================================

    Ottawa was NEVER a friendly place for NLers'

  • Florence
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Brian from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador writes: Premier Williams alone will decide when he leaves, not you silly whiners.
    My ! That makes your hero sound a little Hitlerish, doesn't it ?

  • member of the 20%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    My money is on Little Man Dan appointing Gen. Rick Hillier to the post. Dan likes being seen with public personalities. It feeds his ego.
    Does anyone else find it striking strange, that when the House is closed, Tory wags like Bert and The Wetter are silent? Could they be members???

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Keep spending that cash Danny. Your good at paying the wrong people for the wrong positions and empty spaces, at least cancel the stupid newspaper subscription that is being wasted. Just think what that extra $350.000+ could do for the poor in this province you spoke of yesterday in your abusive rant. Or better still a good portion of the CT Scanner for Lab West, or a down payment on another air ambulance.

    Time For Danny to be shown the door.

  • robroy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I was watching the house yesterday. Along with this waste of money how much more had DANNY WILLIAMS, yes I single out him, wasted?:The 15 millon for dial up for the province, Which I would bet his close friends or even family MAY have got a huge bundle from. I say MAY because you never know Law suits and all. The Williams government have wasted more money than anyone could ever imagine . He should be ashamed. Not getting up in the house and being a drama king

  • Wayne P
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    To Stop the Racket - While I agree that this money is a waste and the whole post should be scrapped, who do you propose as a replacement for Williams, and can you see past your own agenda enough to truthfully say if you think they could do a better job? There is NO OPPOSITION. That's why Williams will once again rule this province.

  • Mr. Juanabee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Couldn't they at least cancel the newspaper subscription?

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I am not surprised the office is not used. Danny Boy has ruined NL's good name across Canada and even into the USA.

    A politician is only as good as his/her word and Danny's can't be trusted. Sooner or later he attacks everyone friend and foe alike...

    We are supposed to learn some class as we become successful. Danny Boy has no class and NL will pay the price.

    Bill

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    What a waste of money, better if this money was used for the kids school lunch program.

  • Blair
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Our representative in Ottawa has a very important job. We must be very careful in making the decision as to who it will be.

    I don't think it will be a patronage appointment, after all Mr. Rowe is a well known Liberal.

    Sure it looks bad now, but when the appointment is made, the advocate will be able to hit the ground running and will not have to wait to find office space in a very busy Ottawa setting or interview for a staffer.

    I only ask when this position is staffed, that it is a person who has the interest of Newfoundland at heart as much as Premier Williams.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Brian old man. It seems that 11 of the 12 comments here so far disagree with your Danny worship. That to me is far from a 90% approval. Get real Brian. Danny is an arrogant self centred ego maniac that thrives on the aboslute power an attention we continue to give him. Im no fan of the NDP by any stretch but to see the way Williams attacked and belittled Lorraine yesterday in the House was enough to make you puke. She asked a question and his response called her remarks the sermon on the mount and said she had a holier than though attitude. Well we all know Danny is the second coming so that takes care of the sermon on the mount and he is holier than anyone, the supreme being. Dont believe me? Just ask Danny he will be happy to tell you how wonderfull he is. Thank God that those of us not in this imaginary 90% have brains enough to think for ourselves and not only do and say what Danny says we should do or say. Most if not all of the Danny worshipers follow like a bunch of sheep not knowing where they are going or why but as long as Danny is leading them they ask no questions and obey commands. Sad when you think about it.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Its an important job and the cost is worth it. Lets get someone back up there as soon as possible so the admin support staffer and rent expenses are not wasted. My view is that as long as the right person for the job is in Ottawa and doing it well (makeing connections, ensuring NL interests, etc), $360,000 is a small price to pay for this exposure and inclusion. I don't think Danny or anyone else commented on this story because its a non-issue and some reporter wanted to make it one. Try again...go find some more peanuts in the budget to squabble over on slow newsday....next story please!!!

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Will May 1, 2010 , find Joe Browne as the new occupant of suite 1604 ?

  • Lee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I would sure love to be that supoort staffer in the so-called Ottawa office for doing very little at $54,000.00 annually.
    This person must be laughing all the way to the bank.
    It's not an office; it's office space, because it seems to be seldom used
    $93,500.00, ohhh my, how many people could use a portion of that to help out with their rent, and ease some of their worry. It is OUR money!
    What a waste; another very frustrating situation to have to tolerate for us common NL citizens.
    But politicians still come up with their
    abrupt snappy answers and reasons, feeling we are, once again, gullible enough to believe it.

  • grant
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Since the goverment scams pensioners with clawbacks, and any other way to keep them on the poverty line to help pay for this, why not pay a gentleman pensioner to fold the papers, dump the trash can when its full, shake about 20 thousand hands. change them every year or two. dont laugh, look whats there now.

  • Lena
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Danny,
    How can you attack others for misspending of taxpayer dollars which you allow this waste. What purpose does it serve only your own profile? Those wasted dollars could be spent in health care in Newfoundland or on other programs to help those that have little. Don't speak out of both sides of your mouth in attacking others when it comes to been more accountable with taxpayer dollars.

  • giggity
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    this is actually disheartening to hear that the so called needed position is left sitting empty, with office space and a support person idling away.
    $350000 can be used for a lot of purposes back here in NL, lots of projects or compaigns it could be put towards.
    heck, even help pay for a couple extra nurses & docs
    what a scam/shame/waste.
    I'll take the job if they need someone to...

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Dream on Nasty Nate and all the other names you go under, with a 90% approval rating, the best premier in Canada and Newfoundland's history ain't going to be shown any door in your lifetime. Premier Williams alone will decide when he leaves, not you silly whiners.

  • Paula
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Nice room for Ambassador Sullivan!

    Mr. Crosby, Art May, Eric Dunn, George Baker and scores of other learned persons have tried to show the Federal Government of Canada how to build on NL's most precious fishery resources and the Federal Government has failed our Province in this regard. Why? Could it have been the high cost of the 10-42 system of EI, could it have been the pressure from Foreign Nations who wanted more of our resource or was it something else? Not much talk of fish these days....she's gone by's she's gone!

  • Margaret
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Polly, You are more than likely right.

  • CB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    If any of you have been outside of the province since Danny got elected as premier, you'd know he is well respected all across Canada. It is very ignorant to state otherwise. Having said that, it does not mean he has acted in the best interest of all NLers. He is a politician after all, not a saint as so many of you believe him to be.

  • PIerre Neary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    These types of decisions by the Premier is why we are running a deficit. The Premier is just waiting now to see which one of his friends he can reward this plum patronage position to. Thanks to ABC we already have a representitive at the cabinet table who treats NL with nothing but distain and couldn't care less if he ever set foot here. Minister MacKay will do what he can to keep NL down.

  • mercedes
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    After the abc campaign, with no conservatives elected from NL, Ottawa must be an unfriendly place for NLers' right now. Certainly Mr. Harper is not about to reach out the hand of welcome to an appointee of the premier. We reap what we sow.

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    An offensive waste of taxpayers money at a time when the Province is again back into debt.

  • Robert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    A fool and money are soon parted.

    As complete strangers pass by you have to wonder what they think.

    I don't think there is any doubt that the Premier rules over his fellow elected representatives. But here is a case where some simple delegating responsibility would work in his favour.

  • Joey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Give me the job. I want a cooshy do nothing position where I can sleep the morning away at my desk then eat my lunch down by the Rideau Canal.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    The lease runs until July 2013 hopefully that means that will also be the end of the Williams Dictatorship in this province. The sooner the better.

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Wonder what the $54,000-a-year staffer does. His/her duties apparently don't include taking in the paper. Works from home, maybe?

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Brain I really wish people would get the numbers right. 90% support is a dream if you were to take the daily poll numbers on the CBC website when Danny has his tantrums. Maybe more like 60% against Danny and 40% still walking around with blinders on. My fear is we have nothing to replace these fools with when an election is called. Not one is worthy of our support, yet we are forced to elect one. Maybe we should have laws in place that if a set number of the people fail to vote, then a caretaker committee will run things till we vote again and get it right. Obtaining power due to complacency is not the answer, and we are paying for it dearly. At least the majority of people are beginning to see the error they made during the last election. That's a step in the right direction for a change.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Robert, you hit that one right...a Fool and his Money are Soon Parted.

    But here's a political adjustment to that axiom:

    A Fool and Someone Else's Money are Immediately Parted.

  • Sounding
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Pathetic waste.
    Can't we put a mannequin to sit at a desk with fiddle music playing in the background to at least make it look lively?

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Aren't these the same people who condemmed Danny for having a representative up there in the first place? Now that he is saving several hundred thousand in the reps. salary you still complain. Contracts are contracts you all say such as the Quebec deal with our power. If that is the case than the rental space is also a contract or is it? You can's have it both ways, can you? Will I guess you can depending if you are a liberal or NDP fighting Danny!!!!

  • John Smith
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Wow, every Liberal supporter in the province must have got the order from yvonne to post on this today. I knew even before I read the story that all the poor ol' liberals would be on bashing the premier. great job Nate, and Graham and the rest of you guys, thank God most of us know you are all complete idiots. Quebec has an office in Ottawa, to help further thier agenda, It's a very good idea that we have one as well. Nate to say that the Premier is at 40% in the polls is an outright, blatant lie. However that's what the liberal trolls do, they post lies over and over in a vain attempt that something, anything might stick. Good luck losers, you'll need it. By the way, I hope you guys keep posting, it's always good to come on the tely forum and read the latest liberal rants...LMAO. Oh, and Ms. Michael is a grandstanding fool.

  • Redneck
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    CB, are you on crack? No, really. Do you really know what the people in Alberta think of your dear ole Dan? He is worse then Ralph every was in the eye's of Albertans. At least with stumble along Kline we could laugh it off due to his public drunkenness, Dan is just an a$$. Give it up.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Boy, do I feel stupid!! I thought we ELECTED people and PAID them a great salary, just so they could go to Ottawa and represent us.
    But.... Premier Danny Williams has stressed the importance of having a provincial representative in the nation's capital. ??
    I guess we should just recall those elected people and save all that money! Thanks for clearing this up for me premier

  • Dennis
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    1st, Danny IS the best premier we ever had, but the ABC campaign was 2nd dumbest move a nl premier has made ( Joey,your still number one).
    It got us all excited, made us feel like we were standing up to bully tactics. Put on the bumper stickers and join facebook groups.
    And what good did it do? No representation in Ottawa.Even more devestating is no Newfoundlanders in cabinet where ideas are born and deals fostered. We can rent every available office space near parlement hill and still won't be able to catch the P.m's attention. They haven't any political capital to spend.
    Hopefully during the next federal election the premier won't go out of his way to insult whomever it is that's likely to reside At 24 sussex drive. Then we might have a Newfoundlander in the circle of power as millions are spent trying to keep Quebec happy!

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Lena Sutton, Danny doesn't ''allow this waste'', he is the proximate cause of it.

  • Bones
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Graham, old man, I'd like to remind you that haters like you and the 11 out of 12 comments you reference have little choice when it comes to a place to write your uninformed, unsubstantiated, unquantifiable gibberish. People have grown tired of trying to explain what a dictator is to people who obviously do not, and won't ever know, despite a perfectly documented and widely available explanation. Tell us, o great one, why should we believe you and not the polls conducted by Angus Reid, an internationally renowned global polling and public opinion superpower? Are they wrong and Danny isn't popular, just like you say he isn't? Idiocy reigns supreme at the telegram dot com, hahaha. I look forward to rubbing your collective noses in the next election result too, you and all your buddies like racket, 20%, polly, taxpayer, nate, and if I missed anyone, I apologetically, but laughingly, offer you the middle finger, lol, you will be so sick of seeing my 'i-told-ya-so's', you might just give up the internet for new years, lol. Go on now, post some idiocy under the article about Chief Johnston's appointment. Was that a result of Danny's ego and dictatorial style too, or did a deserving, qualified, heavily experienced individual get the appointment? C'mon guys, is he Danny's buddy or not? What about Dr. Jewer? Give us some insightful ridiculousness about that one too will ya? Tackle a real issue, boys, lol, not an empty office that can't fight back, lol.

  • well ya know
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    mercedes jones from st. johns, nl writes: After the abc campaign, with no conservatives elected from NL, Ottawa must be an unfriendly place for NLers' right now. Certainly Mr. Harper is not about to reach out the hand of welcome to an appointee of the premier. We reap what we sow.

    ===================================================

    Ottawa was NEVER a friendly place for NLers'

  • Florence
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Brian from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador writes: Premier Williams alone will decide when he leaves, not you silly whiners.
    My ! That makes your hero sound a little Hitlerish, doesn't it ?

  • member of the 20%
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    My money is on Little Man Dan appointing Gen. Rick Hillier to the post. Dan likes being seen with public personalities. It feeds his ego.
    Does anyone else find it striking strange, that when the House is closed, Tory wags like Bert and The Wetter are silent? Could they be members???

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Keep spending that cash Danny. Your good at paying the wrong people for the wrong positions and empty spaces, at least cancel the stupid newspaper subscription that is being wasted. Just think what that extra $350.000+ could do for the poor in this province you spoke of yesterday in your abusive rant. Or better still a good portion of the CT Scanner for Lab West, or a down payment on another air ambulance.

    Time For Danny to be shown the door.