Minister’s letter reveals government’s desperation

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In a letter to The Telegram (Sept. 14) Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall wrote that he felt “compelled as a member of the Progressive Conservative caucus” to comment on certain points made in an earlier Telegram column.

Well, Mr. Marshall, with all due respect to you, sir, I feel compelled to make a few comments on your letter.  

To begin with, you speak, of course, as a member of government and many of your comments almost naturally carry very little weight since you have a very large axe to grind — your very existence, as it were, is at stake. What other choice do you have?

You say Premier Kathy Dunderdale has great “insight, intelligence, and commitment to the principles and values for which she stood.” You are correct in this respect. I believe the premier has enormous leadership potential and means well; as you point out, she has spearheaded much laudable legislation. However, it seems that right from Day 1 she has been caught up in a series of events over which she has not been able to exercise much control, and the result is a government whose image is at rock bottom with the electorate.

Muskrat myth

You write, “the Premier has secured a safe, reliable and renewable energy generation source for this province.” Ah, but, Mr. Marshall, you have omitted one key ingredient: at what price? You don’t mention this because it’s too frightening to even think about — no wonder you leave it out. This is one of the Achilles heels of your government — on par with Bill 29 — and you know it, Mr. Marshall. This issue has generated intense public debate, but government has chosen to ride roughshod over all reasonable dialogue. God help us all if our worst fears come true.

“We are 100 per cent behind this smart and courageous leader. … We share her vision … need her leadership…”

May I make two observations on this point, Mr. Minister. First of all, what you are saying could be classified as “self-praise” and, as an old adage goes, “self-praise is no recommendation.” Patting yourselves on your own backs carries no weight with anyone. I believe it’s wishful thinking on your part to think otherwise. Secondly, the very words and thoughts convey a feeling of insecurity; a picture of a government which realizes the mess it’s in and is clamouring to find solutions.

In conclusion, Mr. Marshall, if your government was doing such a fantastic job at governing as you purport it to be, there would be no reason for you to write this letter to the editor, would there? Remember, actions speak much louder than words and, that being so, it appears that the writing is on the wall.

Sorry, Mr. Minister.

George Martin


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Recent comments

  • marilyn
    September 27, 2013 - 20:09

    At the age of 66 we were taught self praise is no praise. If you are doing great in any field the people will praise you.. if not you have to pat yourself on the back .what does that tell you ? Again self praise is no praise . I guess we were old school when opinions meant a lot to us .

  • John Smith
    September 27, 2013 - 11:49

    Mr. Marshall is not running in the next election, and so has nothing to gain from speking his mind. He is a friend and collegue of Ms. Dunderdale, and spoke his mind, as a person of his intellect, and character has always, and will always do. Muskrat Falls will cost us a lot of money, about what we spend on health care over a two year period, for a project that will last for 50 years. George, if it comes down to partisan politics, I think you give Mr. Marshall a run for his money.

  • roy
    September 27, 2013 - 08:43

    Mr. Marshall as a senior minister should take most of the blame for the problems of the PC govt. He was Minister of finance and as such put us in the mess we now find ourselves in. He now finds himself having to defend his mistakes, and they were big ones,. The premier is the leader of the govt but she depends on her staff and they did nothing to help or so it appears. By coming to her defence they are coming to their own defence for doing nothing.

  • Mary
    September 27, 2013 - 08:07

    Well said Mr. Martin! You have conveyed the sentiments of alot of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as indicated by recent polls. The Dunderdale government has mislead the people of this province with Bill 29 and by forcing the Muskrat deal on us. This deal will cause undue hardship especially on seniors on fixed incomes who will not be able to afford their escalating power bills.