Kennedy tendered his resignation, from the House of Assembly and from Cabinet,
yesterday. We should thank him for his
services and wish him well.
years of public service and four senior Cabinet positions. Still, Mr. Kennedy has little to show for his
hiatus from the practice of law.
departure ranked second, Wednesday, on the CBC 6 O’clock News to a bed bug
infestation, was a most unkind cut; one Dunderdale’s new PR man could never have
CBC, too, barely thought the announcement news. Mr. Kennedy’s preference to
leave politics was the talk of garden parties in his District, this past
summer. His early return, from the
Premier’s China junket, spoke to a none-too-private disagreement with her. An earlier dust-up in Caucus, following his
irreverent comments on the sanctity (or otherwise) of the Tory Blue Book, did
little to endear him to his colleagues.
All are tired
of his missteps, though they feign unity in the face of an uninspiring boss and
a tired Administration.
are suffering fatigue from the public backlash of budget flip-flops, poor
communications, an unyielding arrogance, a secrecy exemplified by Bill 29 and
an Alice in Wonderland style of thinking.
As this Government enters mid-term, the Dunderdale Government has
neither imagination nor energy; it is a spent force.
Kennedy’s desire to leave Government was a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’. His former colleagues will shed no tears; his
pit-bull demeanor having done little to enhance his or their public image. At
first, he was protected by Danny but Dunderdale seems to have had the same
empathy for sooks, as she displays for everyone else.
said that Mr. Kennedy came to the Williams’ Government having had some distinguishing
moments in the practice of law. Much was
expected of him in a Cabinet that never earned a reputation for being over-qualified.
in the Dunderdale Cabinet, it was thought he might punch above his weight,
along with his lawyer colleague, Tom Marshall.
Though the Premier thought them the best of the lot, and endowed them
with the senior Portfolios, their inability to manage demanding issues,
especially Muskrat Falls, deficit spending and the fall-out from over-spending repair,
disappointed even their most ardent partisans.
listening to clients and giving them legal counsel failed to translate into a willingness
to give the public its right to demand respect, communication, leadership and
articulation of their worst fears, all of which represent the best trademarks
of political life. Kennedy might have been expected to compensate for an ill-prepared
Premier, help her devise strategy and bring much needed wisdom to key public
policies. But, he showed little interest
in the minutiae that underpins both the art and the science of Government. Then, too, like his insecure boss he had little
patience for detractors.
the most expensive and potentially injurious megaproject, in the history of the
Province, is being fed from the public trough, as those responsible for paying
the bill are ignorant of its purpose and its final cost.
problem of the Dunderdale Administration is not just about the Premier.
Kennedy’s own shortcomings have helped define the most incompetent Government
UNCLE GNARLEY: THE MINISTER OF FINANCE IN HIS OWN WORDS
decision to depart now leaves one with a sense of bafflement and incredulity.
He has abandoned his cabinet colleagues at a time when the Government’s
satisfaction rating is at its lowest. The
timing of his resignation, not just from Cabinet but from the House of
Assembly, too, risks further embarrassing the Premier in a legally required by-election.
his ties completely, Kennedy confirmed that the sweetness and light, which
characterized their appearance in front of the media, was just for the cameras.
is more to this story than a Minister bored.
Government is immersed in an unwise, hugely expensive and risk laden Muskrat
Falls Project. It was prematurely
sanctioned. It appears ready to go off
the rails any day. Financing for the
Project is not secured, neither is the Federal Loan Guarantee; serious law
suits threaten. Emera is a reluctant
partner, too, and its price for participating is extremely high. The NS UARB
has upped the ante even further, to a level one lawyer described as “extortionist”.
dollars has already been spent, another billion committed and a million or more
is added each day the sun sets. The
Minister’s resignation has all the hallmarks of one leaving a sinking ship.
has no one in Cabinet who possesses either knowledge of the issues or the
intellectual depth to get up to speed on a matter very complex. Which of them will fence with Ed Martin after
only forty eight hours on the file? The
only person a new Finance Minister can trust, his Deputy, is as divorced from the subject
as the night janitor. It is a worrisome affair.
months ago, Tom Marshall asked to be moved out of Finance; not having possessed
the character and decisiveness demanded by that portfolio. The Premier can
hardly force the man to go back.
mess that Jerome Kennedy leaves, even if it is partly his own creation.
to the people of the Province, to have helped clean it up before leaving.
Having abandoned what he helped begin, if he is wrong on Muskrat Falls, he has only a lifetime of enmity to which to look forward.