Letters to the Editor

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Moncton Free Press - Alward Creates Welfare Queen

by Roy MacMullin
The Moncton Free Press

Margaret –Anne Blaney is a Palinesque figure according to some critics.  But she did win her job as MLA with real votes.   

Now she’s leaving that job.  Problem is, the job was in Fredericton and her family is in Rothesay.

So what’s a boss to do?  Should he create a job that he recently eliminated to reduce costs, and break his own rule on a hiring freeze intended to get rid of 1500 other less fortunate employees?  It appears the Premier Alward values his friend above the political firestorm that this appointment may cause.

Will Margaret-Anne add value to Efficiency NB?   If we look at her past performance as minister of the environment, she introduced politically based decision making.  Her departure from that file was welcomed by many.

People are smarter than politicians realize, having a collective intelligence that overcomes political spin.  Life is getting more and more expensive with no raises in salary, yet if you’re well connected, you go to the head of the trough.  A would-be comedian told me today that the only gas he could afford was a fart.   

Margaret’s new job provides roughly $170,000 a year, perhaps with a 10 year contract, if past history is a guide. 

It could be argued that by increasing government costs by $1.7 million for a non-existent job, to be performed by a person who is perhaps not competent, he is creating the biggest welfare queen in New Brunswick.  That’s a pejorative term to describe someone who is abusing the public dole.

Sorry for the sexist stereotype.  We don’t call a man in the same position a “welfare king”, do we?  Men get political welfare too, more frequently than women.

Personally, I wouldn’t have objected if the Premier had named Blaney as the pilot of the Province’s plane.  At least then, the Premier would have had an interesting way to know if she was competent for the job. 
When we looked for relief from Shawn Graham’s reign of error in 2010, many voted for “the farmer”, portrayed as a man of common sense.  To live in New Brunswick is to be eternally disappointed.   

From Shawn the Terrible to a Premier who listens at times but fails to understand. Which is worse?  2014 seems to be so far away.

Roy MacMullin is a writer on energy topics and the energy advocate for the Green Party of New Brunswick.  He is a co-founder of Greater Moncton Post Carbon, a director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Richelieu Club.   He believes that we need to examine the present mode of operation of our society, given the constraints of population on the finite resources of this planet.   Associated blog  http://roymacmullin.wordpress.com