10 February 2005

Does Bas need a job?

Word today that Bill Rowe, former Liberal Party leader, novelist, Rhodes scholar, cabinet minister, brown envelope slider supervisor and radio talk show host has apparently packed in his gig as Newfoundland and Labrador High Commissioner to the Evil Empire of Canada.

A free beer to anyone who can find any tangible, verifiable, credible evidence that Rowe accomplished anything at all during his brief tenure. His own overweaning self-adulation nor any superlative compliments from the guy who appointed him don't count. Nor will I accept that Bill picked up the Premier at the airport a few times, let Loyola sleep on his couch, or made coffee at federal-provincial meetings as proof of a job well done. Attending receptions is not proof, either; that's a perk or a pain depending on your perspective. Nope, I want to see a file finished or even significantly advanced.

I recall back in the dark ages when I served in government that someone in the bureaucracy tossed up this idea of having a permanent office in Ottawa. As a naive young fellow I thought it seemed like a good idea on the face of it. After a bit of consideration though, I realized that we taxpayers already have a raft of people who get paid to work with Government of Canada on our behalf, day in and day out.

One more body siphoning a salary and living expenses out of my pocket wouldn't help any.

I am still not convinced it has or will.

But there's a beer in it for anyone who can prove me wrong.