Letters to the Editor

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Holiday Break

The Purple Violet Press will be taking a break for the holidays and will return in the New Year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank readers for their interest and support in 2011, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with you in 2012. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Premier Alward on the fall Legislative session, shale gas and resolutions for 2012

Environment Minister Blaney on end of session & shale gas

MLA Kirk MacDonald on fall session & shale gas

Agriculture Minister Michael Olscamp on farming and shale gas

Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud on fall session in Legislature & shale gas

PC MLA Troy Lifford on end of Legislative session & shale gas

Glen Savoie MLA - Editorial: Glen who? Tory backbencher's behaviour totally inappropriate

Above, Saint John-Fundy MLA Glen Savoie. (Photo: NB Legislature website)

"Joe who?" is a phrase in the Canadian vernacular commonly attributed to former Tory Prime Minister John Diefenbaker when the name of a young backbencher in the party, Joe Clark, was mentioned for the first time in his presence. Clark, an ambitious rookie, was trying to make a name for himself to move up in the ranks, however, judging by Diefenbaker's reaction upon hearing his name, he wasn't very big in the outfit. Even when he did become important, we all know what a debacle Clark's turn in the PM's chair ended up being, and he had no sympathy from the media.

This morning we were upbraided while attempting to do our job in the fourth estate by another young backbencher who seemingly also suffers from delusions of grandeur. In fact, the MLA is so grand, we didn't even know his name. So we asked, and that's when the Her Majesty's representative for Saint John-Fundy, Glen Savoie, lashed out at us for being, "disrespectful and sticking cameras in people's faces," among other things. It was quite the display, lasting for the time it took for him to cross the street to the MLA car lot, come back and stomp up the steps to the side door of the Legislature. All the while bawling us out and ending by yelling something unintelligible about respect as he went into the building.

Besides being baffled at the reason for Savoie's tirade, all we could think of as we stood there was "Glen who?" after being told of his identity.We've never met Mr. Savoie, never interviewed him, never behaved disrespectfully towards him, nor have we stuck a camera in his face. Why he was being so rude we could not fathom. His boss, Premier Alward, takes the time to speak to us, as do many Honorable Ministers in the Cabinet. Does Mr. Savoie think himself as more important and deserving of respect than the Premier and Cabinet?

We always do our best to treat those who work in and around the Legislature with respect - as long as we are treated in kind. Obviously Mr. Savoie didn't want to speak to us, and that is his choice. But to behave as he did is conduct unbecoming of a representative of the people in Her Majesty's provincial government. We at this blog represent people with an interest in affairs of the House. To do that we must know who all representatives are in the House. To respond in a sneering manner when simply asked for a name is to sneer at the public in general. Is that how Mr. Savoie truly views the public, with contempt?

We also wonder if it had been a member of the mainstream media if Mr. Savoie would've reacted this way. Or would he have been more congenial with an established outlet? What Mr. Savoie, and those like him in our current government fail to realize at their own peril, is the new media is here in this province. We are on the ground, immediate and often without filter. Sooner or later they will have to deal with us. They can do so like him, in a snotty tone, and gain negative coverage. Or, they can treat us equal to other media in a decent way and we will judiciously deal with them in a respectful tone. Just because the new media is seen as having no oversight and therefore no control, doesn't mean we don't have it within ourselves. Work with us and we will work with you. Afterall, it's not about us, it's about the people. Joe Clark lost sight of that and suffered the wrath of the electorate in a humiliating defeat on the national stage after media reported gaffe after gaffe. If Mr. Savoie has any future political plans in this province, let's hope he remembers that instead of being known as Glen who. 


Rookie PC MLA Ryan Riordan on shale gas