On Friday, Jan. 24, Kathy Dunderdale stepped down as the first female premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
I first met Ms. Dunderdale when I was a regional vice-president with the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. Kathy Dunderdale became president of the PC Women’s Association, then went on to become president of the party and later became a member of the government. She held several cabinet posts and went on to become premier after Danny Williams stepped down.
While I had a lot of respect for her and wish her all the best, I cannot forgive her for some of the damage that has been done to this province under her watch.
She made the statement in her resignation speech this province is better off today than when we started. While I agree that is true to some degree, it was not because of better government, but because of windfall profits from our offshore oil, which was started before this government took power.
Just prior to the last election, this paper published a letter from me where I had a list of 15 things this government had done to hurt their citizens, a letter saying that I would not be voting PC. Since the last election there have been several huge things implemented by this government that has done great damage to this province.
• Shutting down 70-plus Employment Assistance Service Offices, mostly in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. These offices did exactly as the name stated, helping people find worthwhile employment.
• Passing Bill 29, putting in place legislation to stop the general public from finding out what this government was doing.
• Building Muskrat Falls, a project that we don’t need and we are being forced to pay for without our permission. I will elaborate on this later in another letter.
• Taking part in a trade deal with European Union countries. These are the people who are plundering our fishery resources on the tail and the nose of the Grand Banks, with no regard for conservation. They will not allow us to sell seal products inside their countries and apparently the premier did not even discuss these issues. They are very important to Newfoundland and Labrador, but not important to this government. This government has gloated about the wonderful deal and will not even tell us what is in it, while bragging about the money they were able to get from Ottawa. There may be $280 million (30 pieces of silver) for fisheries infrastructure, but this was a bribe from Stephen Harper to this government for signing, in my opinion, a very bad contract and, again in my opinion, a deal with the devil.
There is a lot more, but that’s enough for now.
How can you expect the voters to have respect for this government when they are doing these things constantly?
I spent some time as a captain of a fishing vessel. I could not operate it on my own, and I had to have a crew. A captain and the crew have a responsibility to make sure that the vessel operates properly and gets to its destination and back safely.
While the captain is in charge and makes the ultimate decision, the crew has the responsibility to advise the captain if they think he or she is not making the right decision.
While Captain Kathy is getting the blame for the PC ship running aground, most of her crew stood by and watched it happen.
In my humble opinion, they all should go down with the ship.
(Ret) Capt. Wilfred Bartlett writes from
Green Bay South. His email address is