‘I am not the enemy’

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As member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, I’m often asked whether I like my job. My first response is to say that what I do is not a job — it’s a life.

But yes, I enjoy what I do — fighting for Newfoundland and Labrador. Because it’s always a fight, within my caucus or against the government, an uphill battle to push our interests against those of other, larger provinces. The numbers are against us in most every way.

The fight is also against the Harper administration and its mission to change the face of Canada so that it’s no longer recognizable.

To date in 2014, I’ve spoken in the Commons on veterans, the seal hunt, the need for a national inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women, the Unfair Elections Act,

offshore health and safety, Marine Atlantic, the fishery, Canada Post, and the sunken carrier Manolis L.

I’ve also published two mailouts to my constituents — one on retirement security, the other on Canada Post. The latter drew the ire of Tom Badcock of St. John’s, who wrote a letter to the editor (“Ryan Cleary is tilting at the wrong windmill,” March 15 edition).

Mr. Badcock has a problem with home mail delivery, describing it as a “make-work project.”

He’s entitled to his opinion, just as each of the more than 2,100 people in my riding who signed a “Save Canada Post petition” are entitled to their opinion.

As of this week, my office has received 59 responses to our Canada Post mailout, with only four supportive of the cuts to the federal Crown corporation.

One woman wrote, “You try navigating through the ice and snow or even wind and rain while using a cane or a wheelchair! Honour your sick and elderly!”

Wrote another, “Thank you Ryan for asking how we, the people, feel. We all need to stand together and stand up to Harper for Canada Post.”

In his letter, Mr. Badcock also thanks me for caring more for “delivery people” than veterans. My response is that fires are burning all around us, Mr. Badcock — I have stood in the House of Commons for veterans just as I have stood to defend our treasured mail services, urban and rural.

I am not the enemy, Mr. Badcock. His name is Harper.

Ryan Cleary

MP St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

Organizations: Canada Post, Marine Atlantic, House of Commons

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Prescient
    March 23, 2014 - 15:04

    Mr. Cleary, you – and many other Newfoundland politicians of all stripes – abuse the term “fight”. “The Fighting Newfoundlander” as immortalized in books and statues refers to soldiers who risked life and limb in violent battles. Real battles with bullets, bombs and death. When politicians say they “fight for us” they are trying to expropriate this term and heroic image to raise their own stature. Enough already! Let’s stop falling for this. Sure, as an MP your job is to represent your constituents, take stands on various issues, vote on laws, etc. But please do not call this “fighting for us”. Really, you are just doing your non-violent, well paid, and very safe job. It is about as different from Beaumont Hamel (and Kandahar) as you can get.

  • Morris
    March 22, 2014 - 20:33

    Mr. Cleary, for several years you have portrayed your self as the fighting Newfoundlander or "fighting for Newfoundland and Labrador", ad nauseam! In your reply to Mr. Badcock you use the words "fight" and "fighting" to describe your actions in Ottawa and added the new imagery of " the fires burning all around us" ! Enough with the military metaphors, please. Have you moved from the politics of adversaries to the politics of enemies? Is Fascism next? I think you reply to Mr. Badcock is quite disrespectful. You should have thanked him for his military service, addressed his concern regarding pension clawback in detail and agreed to disagree re postal cuts rather than your self serving pronouncements. Your statement that " what I do is not a job---its a life " is insulting to all other occupations. Finally Mr. Cleary the enemy at your gate may be your frustration with the NDP socialist ideologies of the last century, and the fact that party discipline rules supreme.

  • Frank Murray
    March 22, 2014 - 18:08

    I think Mr. Badcock is right on in his assessment. Yes Ryan, you have spoken on a few issues, but what have you actually accomplished, nothing. All you do is bring up the spectre of the bogeyman, Stephen Harper, like he is the antichrist. The NDP are irrelevant. Thomas Mulcair, or as he likes to be referred to as (Tom), has tried to ride the coattails of the late Jack Layton, but the population has realized that he is just a frustrated Liberal with no home. I get your letter every so often and I use it to light my fireplace. Mind you it is not even good for that as it is composed of recycled material, just like the NDP manifesto.

    • Joe
      March 23, 2014 - 09:00

      A true supporter of Comrade Steve. Steve does things like telling private companies what they can and can`t do. Steve destroys science libraries just like someone else did by burning books. In future you and your buddy Loser Tom should stick to the issues and not name calling.

  • John Goodcock
    March 22, 2014 - 11:59

    Badcock argues with his scrambled eggs at the breakfast table. He's the kind of person whose day is not complete unless he's argued with somebody. The more he squawks, the less each squawk means.

  • Mr. Cleary I am going to nominate you to attempt to change the way the Ottawa government treats the province of NL.
    March 22, 2014 - 11:57

    Mr. Cleary said "I enjoy what I do — fighting for Newfoundland and Labrador. Because it’s always a fight, within my caucus or against the government, an uphill battle to push our interests against those of other, larger provinces. The numbers are against us in most every way". YES MR. CLEARY you are absolutely correct in what you have said about how Ottawa and Canada work. But if our Seven Federal Members, since 1949 hadn't been Yes Men and Women to Ottawa with regards to the giveaway of our natural resources for the benefit of creating vibrant economies and population bases in Central Canada, both the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada would be sporting different faces today. YES if those Seven Federal Members had stood up against Ottawa just has the province of Quebec has, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador would have had the best economy in the whole of Canada. We had enough natural resources and the perfect location to make it happen. It is too bad that our politicians weren't dedicated to taking care of their electorate the way they were dedicated to taking care of themselves. I guess they learned early on that if they towed the line for OTTAWA everything would be much easier for them economically. Don't forget Ottawa controls a large toolbox filled with plum positions of director-ships, ambassador-ships, senator-ships, then there are the lucrative Contracts that are given out by Ottawa for the obedient boys and girls who tow the line for them. The way the government of Ottawa operates is a CULTURE of Corruption. I am sorry I wish I didn't have to say those things but it is the truth!!!!

  • T. sleeveen
    March 22, 2014 - 10:53

    You lost me with your over the top "Harper" Comments and his Changing the face of Canada so it is no longer recognizable. Such diatribes and ridiculous comments do nothing to add to public discourse. You are typical of left wing politicians,. If people don't agree with you , you attack them. Hopefully, you will be gone next election, as your election was a fluke. Jack is gone, the NDP is a mess and its unlikely you will get your "entitled " pension.

  • Rick brown
    March 22, 2014 - 09:08

    Well said Ryan ,keep up the fight As a constituent I am both pleased and proud to have a passionate Newfoundlander like you representing me and my fellow newfounders.Well Done

  • GINN
    March 22, 2014 - 08:35

    The "sick & elderly" in rural or small town Canada ( & Newfoundland Labrador) do not now or rarely ever had home delivery. Visions of highly paid union jobs being lost in the future is the NDP target, they may lose votes. Ever since direct deposit arrived pension cheques etc have arrived on time. The majority of our citizens have no knowledge of mail carriers (who are these people?). The local mail boxes attended to by local non-union neighbours are the only post office known in our mostly rural province. No big issue about letter carriers there. Let's talk about something important. Chicken Little Cleary is losing his focus I believe.

  • Colin Burke
    March 22, 2014 - 08:17

    When I was first a newspaper reporter, public comments by sitting MPs were either news or paid advertising. In a case like this, I think Cal Holloway would have told Mr. Cleary, "If you want to brag, buy an ad." Not that not being an enemy is much for one of our own elected representatives to brag about.