I am writing this letter to express just how upset I am with comments made by Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy in the House of Assembly on Dec. 19 when he told Bay of Islands MHA Eddie Joyce that he didn't have a Grade 6 education and to sit down.
I was brought up to believe that if you worked hard and were honest, that was a good start in life. In my family there were eight of us and my parents were blue-collar workers but that never got in the way of making an honest living.
When I was 13, my mom got very sick and I was taken out of school to help look after my family. Over the next several years, Mom spent a lot of time in the hospital. At the time, my dad couldn't afford to pay for extra help and there was no help available from the government.
I had no other choice but to leave school and go to work to help out my parents. I worked hard for a living in order to make ends meet and at no time did I look for a handout from government to make it through life.
And then Minister Kennedy had the gall to stand up and suggest that because I didn't get my Grade 12 I am stupid? Minister Kennedy has to remember that just because you don't have your Grade 12 doesn't make you a stupid person.
Unlike him, there are many in this province who weren't fortunate enough to be able to get an education.
I didn't need anyone to do a day's work for me and I don't consider myself stupid. The comments he made were disrespectful to Eddie Joyce, to the people of the province and to me.
To see someone in government who is supposed to be a leader and be a representative for the people of the province act in such a way is disgusting, hurtful and just plain wrong. I don't need Jerome Kennedy to make a living for me. I may not have the toys he has but I have lived my life to the best of my ability, in the most honest way possible.
In his eyes I might not be smart, but in my eyes I am.
I think he should apologize, not only to Eddie Joyce, but to the people of the province and to me.