Some questions for the candidates

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With the entry of multi-millionaire businessman Frank Coleman  joining multi-millionaire businessman Bill Barry in the race to become PC party leader and premier there appears to be two areas of concerns regarding these contenders that the voters need made public.

The PC government and PC party or the two candidates should have no difficulty releasing the required information as the recent throne speech made clear, “We believe much more information should be disclosed to the public even before it was requested.”

That being the case, the voters of the province have the right to know, what government grants, loans, subsidies, loan guaranties, fishing quotas, paving contracts, or monopolies; in short, any and all dealings that Bill Barry and Frank Coleman or their respective companies had or have with the provincial government.

The other area of concern for voters would be whether the children of these two men were educated in the provincial education system and do they, Mr. Barry and Mr. Coleman, support the provincial education system as it now stands.

These are powerful men as seen in the fact that no MHAs past or present were willing to challenge them for the premiership. We, the voters need to know all we can about these, would be premiers.


Doug Smith

Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • Lenin
    March 29, 2014 - 18:06

    What a nonsensical diatribe from comrade Smith . What manifesto have you been reading from? I guess you would like if the private life was dead. I for one don't care where these guys sent their kids to school, that is their prerogative. Sounds like you are jealous of their success, a common Newfie trait. I guess you would like to you would like to take their wealth and distribute it amongst the working class. I was thinking that your Liberal slip was showing but it is obvious that you are reading from Lorraine's manifesto.

  • Lenin
    March 29, 2014 - 18:06

    What a nonsensical diatribe from comrade Smith . What manifesto have you been reading from? I guess you would like if the private life was dead. I for one don't care where these guys sent their kids to school, that is their prerogative. Sounds like you are jealous of their success, a common Newfie trait. I guess you would like to you would like to take their wealth and distribute it amongst the working class. I was thinking that your Liberal slip was showing but it is obvious that you are reading from Lorraine's manifesto.

  • SayWhat
    March 28, 2014 - 19:51

    The second last paragraph is an outrage and you have no idea of what goes on in this province. Yes its a known fact the anointed one and Mr.Barry did have children educated in a private Catholic school out on the west coast. However I believe that school only went as far as grade 9. And as for the public education system as it now stands. To say its a shambles is an understatement.

  • Frank M
    March 28, 2014 - 18:23

    Poor Doug, a frustrated Liberal grasping at straws. He is obviously scared to death that his puppet Dwight may not ascend to the throne.

  • It is NOT a Democracy that we are living under!
    March 27, 2014 - 11:23

    When an ex-Premier of this province comes out in support of a candidate the way Mr. the chosen one has been supported and that ex-Premier has a legacy ongoing that he probably needs to be nursed, namely Muskrat Falls , where every Newfoundlander and Labradorian is on the hook, without consent, as the mortgagor to pay off that monstrosity of a mortgage over the next 57 years, well then I am going to be very, very careful and very selective over who I vote for. Also I do not like Bill 29 that was enacted by the present government to skew matters and keep us in the dark on the goings-on in the PC Government over the past number of years surrounding their dealings. Before that government we were kept in the dark forever by former governments even without having a vehicle like Secrecy Bill 29 present to assist in cover-ups. I ask myself what else is percolating in that Government that we will be responsible for paying off without being the beneficiary of in the benefits column? If Government isn't transparent and accountable how can we ever, as ordinary citizens and the electorate of this province, without an insight into government decipher what is going on and amount to anything more in the economic department and augmented population demographic, than we have amounted to over the past 65 years? By the way I would like an accounting of what happened to all the coveted natural resources that have been developed in this province over the past 65 years and shipped out in the raw state so that other provinces could grow vibrant economies and population bases. Did any of our politicians become filthy rich from that type of give-aways and governance? I know there are many rich former politicians from here , I often wonder where they got their wealth!

  • Doug Smith
    March 27, 2014 - 10:09

    Tom, the reason why it is important that the voting public know where the children of these two “would be” premiers were educated is very simple. If the children were not educated in our public system how sure can we be that Mr. Coleman or Mr. Barry are going to support our education system as is? They may have a hidden agenda for education. We, the citizens need to know where they stand on such an important issue. Knowing where their children were educated tells us a lot about how they view the present education system. I hope this clears up your confusion. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Colin Burke
    March 27, 2014 - 09:50

    Mr. Smith, you are right to be very wary of political leaders who might want to bring back the denominational education system Newfoundland used to have and I believe it is prudent to suspect that Mr. Coleman is only being cagey about his intentions. I both studied and taught in that old system, and I am inclined to conclude that the Catholic hierarchy involved in it believed that not only their religion but also their economy should be hierarchical, with families like the Colemans and Barrys at the top and most of the rest of us employed by these. That attitude suited our political hierarchs just fine, and therefore I never heard throughout the whole of my school career a word of the great papal encyclical Rerum Novarum which contradicted that attitude. As long as pupils felt they were serving the true God in serving wealth more proximately, the bishops and the politicians got along well, but our businessmen-politicians learned eventually that no one can serve two masters, so the government-Church compromise, which really did gravely compromise religion was then doomed: government did not want religion to succeed on its own terms, so it pretty much made sure that religion now is not taught much at all in Newfoundland. What was really wrong with the old system, I am therefore implying, was government's having had any hand at all in education. If government controls the education of its citizens, how are the citizens to control their government? What is the good of being able to read from a free press about what government is doing when the government is what teaches us from our earliest years how to think about what we read?

  • Doug Smith
    March 27, 2014 - 09:48

    Scott R, I’m glad you agree with me, however, your statement that Mr. Barry and Mr. Coleman are not powerful men is I believe very wrong. Just think, how many men can enter a contest to be the next premier and as I have said before, all past and present MHAs run from the contest? Do they, the MHAs or other concerned citizens believe these two men know more about politics and care more about what is good for the people of the province? Of course they don’t. Mr. Barry and Mr. Coleman are unchallenged because of their millions. That’s why they are powerful men. Mr. Ball I understand also has some serious money. So, unfortunately Scott you are like the rest of us voters, we will just have to pick which rich man to vote for come election day. That’s why I would like to know more about these people. They seem like ghosts that just popped into politics with the message , I have millions what more do you need to know. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Tom
    March 26, 2014 - 17:51

    All aspiring politicians should be required to declare any dealings with Govt. However,where their children were educated here in NL or elsewhere is a private matter and decision by the family. Any "public" declaration is pure nonsense

  • Scott R
    March 26, 2014 - 17:23

    Mr Doug Smith, I have to agree with you on this one. But as for the two of THEM being powerful men, I'm sorry but I don't agree. We the voters has the right to vote in our next premier, No matter how much money they may have or may not. But I can tell you this, I know both of those men, They will never live long enough for me to vote for either one of them, Same goes for Dwight Ball.

  • Doug Smith
    March 26, 2014 - 12:09

    Observer, Mr. Barry and Mr. Coleman are running to be the premier of the province. Everyone in the province needs to know as much about these two wealthy men as possible. I currently only know they are rich. How on earth can you vote for someone if you only know what their political operatives want you to know? The people of Newfoundland are not serfs obeying commands from the nobility. We need to be informed so we can make informed decisions. I can’t believe you are promoting ignorance. In a recent article, Mr. Coleman was said to be a known supporter of denominational education and when asked would he bring that system back and reverse the amalgamation of the province’s school boards into one, he responded. “I can’t make a comment about that. It’s something I’m not as familiar with. In due time I’ll get in, get behind the facts, understand it a little better.” So, Observer, you can see the danger this man may pose to our current education system. He hasn’t ruled out going back to the bad old days of denominational education. Knowing where his children were educated would tell us a lot about his real views on our education system. As regard Mr. Coleman and Mr. Barry’s dealings with the provincial government I can only surmise Mr. Coleman made a lot of money with paving contracts. So, that being the case I would like to know how much of the tax payers money went into Mr. Coleman’s pocket. Why would he be hesitant in letting us know. He’s a businessman, he simply made a business deal with the province. The tax payers would just like to know how much of our money he got. What is wrong with that? Oh, Observer, get a backbone and sign your real name. Doug Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

  • Chantal
    March 26, 2014 - 11:24

    Cool down. Where exactly is Mr. Smith dictating where someone goes to school? The question remains however, would a politician who eschews the public system be willing or capable of ensuring its wellbeing?

  • Observer
    March 26, 2014 - 10:33

    Unbelievable that someone would have the gall to dictate to ANYONE where or how their children should go to school! These men have every right to educate their children whatever way they choose, to send them to Timbucktoo for school if they like. It's none of your business. Mr. Smith, you are the ultimate nosey, busy body, need -to-know-everyone's-business Newfoundlander . Next you'll demand to know the most intimate details of their every day lives. I mean! Where does it stop?