Lynn Verge would be the best choice

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There have been many names tossed around as perspective candidates for the lieutenant-governor’s position when John Crosbie retires at the end of his current term.

There is a general consensus that it should be a woman, finally.

There is a political precedent that it will be a Conservative, definitely.

Here is my reason why it should be Lynn Verge, unquestionably.

It began in 1979 with the help Lynn Verge gave to me and my friends when we were fighting to be hired as female labourers at the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill, then Bowater’s.

I want to share that experience so that her dedication to the equality of women can serve as justification for her consideration.

Searching for work

I was attending university and there seemed to be a significant difference between my girl friends and my male friends when we registered for school in the fall after a summer job.

My male counterparts always seemed to have the upper hand financially.

In Corner Brook, the largest employer was the pulp and paper mill.

That meant a significant number of young men could afford a good secondhand car, a better-than-average stereo and a big downpayment on their tuition.

All I could seem to do was a bike, a radio and some spending money.

Sure, the boys had to be available for ’round-the-clock shift work, to constantly fill bottomless pits of log grinders or roll 1,500 pounds of paper off conveyor belts, but I was not convinced that only men could do the job.

Two things changed my life forever: I met with management and I met with Lynn Verge.

She worked directly with us, advising us after every meeting or confrontation.

There were arguments, there was posturing, there was discouragement.

She lent the advice and the credibility, all without any financial compensation or personal gain. There were no guarantees. It was uncharted territory.  

She was unwavering.

Behind the scenes

Moreover, there was no public acknowledgement as she had not yet thrown herself into the political foray for which she was later known.  

Lynn Verge had done so for no other reason than to help advance the rights of women in Corner Brook and in Newfoundland.

Mind you, I gained considerably.

Three of my friends and I were hired as the first female labourers at the mill.  

Besides better pay, I gained confidence and knowledge and a skill set that would serve me well for my entire life.  

Further, I can imagine ours was not the only untold story; selflessness and dedication does not happen in isolation.

To that end, I would encourage anyone who needs a nudge in making up their minds for who would be best female Conservative for the job — it should be Lynn Verge.  

Please send this or any other letter of endorsement to the very male prime minister to help him decide.

Here’s the address:

PMO

80 Wellington St.

Ottawa, Ont.

K1A 0A2

pm@pm.gc.ca

Dr. Linda Goodyear writes from St. John’s.

Organizations: Bowater

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • PETER
    January 31, 2013 - 12:12

    Do away with that stupid position, it is only symbolic anyway and really has no power. We can't afford to fund the disabilities group, government is cutting back on everything, so get rid of this now. The millions saved, and the fortune in selling government house and surrounding grounds that no one can use could go to great causes. Get rid of it now.

  • Doug Smith
    January 31, 2013 - 09:56

    The only correct and sensible thing one can say about the parasitic political positions of Lieutenant Governor and Governor General is to abolish them. These positions cost the tax payers millions each year and we get nothing in return. In 2002 the cost of maintaining the Office of Governor General was around $35 million. Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson receives a government pension of more than $120,000. These positions along with positions in the Senate are based on who you know and your political connections. Ripping off the ordinary Canadian tax payer needs to stop now. Lynn Verge, for Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Goodyear where is your compassion for the average tax payer? Doug Smith, GFW

  • Disagree Entirely
    January 31, 2013 - 07:51

    Dr. Goodyear's endorsement is based upon the benefits Verge extended to her. There are examples of Lynn Verge and the Peckford government causing pain and hardship on Newfoundlanders as well. As Minister of education, she made my Mother's job obsolete, laid her off, and then created a contract position which was awarded to one of Verge's campaign workers. The other glaring omission on the part of Dr. Goodyear is that Lynn Verge is no longer resident in Newfoundland, choosing instead to live in Quebec.

  • Eli
    January 30, 2013 - 12:29

    You mean the same Lynn verge who as a Peckford cabinet minister wouldn't consent to an interview unless she was given the questions in advance? No thanks. JAY has a valid point in my book.

  • Jay
    January 30, 2013 - 09:48

    The best choice for the provincial government would be to refuse to participate in this charade any longer. We should take the lead and tell the Federal Government that we are not interested in having a Lieutenant-Governor. This "ceremonial" position is anti-democratic and anti-Canadian. How the Federal Government can shut down something like Search and Rescue operations, and still fund this farce is outrageous. It is pure patronage at its most vulgar. If we're courageous enough to do this, maybe other provinces will follow. Eventually we might get rid of the Governor-General as well.