Kathy Dunderdale is apparently off to Ottawa. According to voice of the cabinet minister:
There's no word on when the Premier will be flying to Ottawa, but according to the MHA for Mount Pearl South [Paul Lane], it will be soon. Representatives from the Premier's office have confirmed that Dunderdale has requested to meet with the feds sometime in the near future.
Meanwhile the Fisheries Minister says he's making a separate visit. Darin King says he'll be meeting with his federal counterpart to express concerns over the continued cuts in Newfoundland and Labrador. King says the fishing industry, search and rescue, and everything attached to the sea is of importance. He says the fight is not over.
She needs to work out some “fustrations”, maybe.
More likely, she is trying on the “Fighting Newfoundlander” suit to see if it fits. The fact she is trying it on – after explicitly rejecting it when she took over from Danny – is another symptom of the basic problem. If she had a plan, a set of priorities, an agenda, then she wouldn’t have the problems in the first place that are causing her frustrations.
Another Premier tried this once.
Nine years ago, Roger was fighting with the federal government over fish and the weather centre in Gander. The CBC story on the fish fight has a neat little quote in it:
"There's an attitude we have to deal with," he said. "They're starting to pay some attention."
He flew to Ottawa to express his rage.
All this anger is not so much about a perpetual problem with the federal government. It’s more a domestic political thing.
The fact that this is polling month also factors in there.
As does the likelihood the provincial government is about to introduce some legislation related to Muskrat Falls that will upset labour unions.
And if the Premier really is having absolutely no luck getting anywhere with the federal government on anything important to her, then the trip is basically an admission of the mess she and her administration are in.
What better pile of reasons could there be for a sudden trip to Ottawa?
The only problem is that the whole thing just stinks of desperation. And that sense of desperation is just heightened by the fact that some backbencher like Paul Lane leaked the story before Dunderdale’s office was ready. If Paul left out his customary string of LOLs, Kathy was just lucky.