Imagine this scenario.
You are leaving your place of residence and your next-door neighbour shouts directly to you, yelling, “You condone racism!”
How would you feel at that moment?
Let’s amplify that scenario and replace yourself with MHA James Dinn and substitute your neighbour with MHA Gerry Byrne.
Now, how do you think Dinn feels?
For Dinn, it must seem that Byrne’s comment was made publicly to get media coverage across the province to deflect the fact that, with 2.6 million salmon dying this past summer, Byrne was seen as having not handled the situation well.
Byrne’s deflection involved telling a “guilt by association” story that Byrne recounted from a year and a half ago.
Someone at a meeting (which Dinn attended) made what is being referred to as a racist remark.
Dinn did not make the statement, but Byrne tags Dinn with condoning racism because Dinn was in the room when the remark was made.
Byrne suggested that Dinn condoned a racist remark and Byrne styled himself as champion and saviour against racist comments.
Not wanting to apologize to Dinn, Byrne wraps himself in a Superman cape as he speaks in debate in the House.
When MHA Paul Lane rose in the House of Assembly to speak Wednesday morning (Nov. 13), he said words to the effect he had no idea what was going on inside the brain of Byrne. Me neither.
But with Byrne having denigrated Canadian actress Pam Anderson in the past, along with the late Sam Simon (of “The Simpsons” fame) — referring to the former as a “has-been” while stigmatizing her Hepatitis C disease as having been sexually transmitted and the latter as “a guy dying of cancer” — it’s hardly a stretch to imagine how Byrne thinks at times.
When news of the massive salmon die-off was being reported to government by Northern Harvest Sea Farms, all Byrne had to do was release a statement on behalf of government, or together with the company, hold a press conference.
With that not happening, as time progressed and the word got out of such a large fish mortality, all Byrne had to do then was apologize for the non-reporting by government, and we could have moved on.
With that, too, not happening, by the time the House of Assembly opened Byrne seemed to be in personal insult mode again.
Byrne seemed to inject poison into the House of Assembly solely to turn the attention away from himself.
What Byrne did — to borrow the first word of the CBC TV show “Schitt’s Creek” — was the Schitts.