18 January 2006

Channeling Mackenzie King

Connie candidate Loyola Hearn is still pushing himself as the guy in the party that will sort out fisheries problems.

Of course, we must ignore the fact that someone can't even edit a brochure here, since Hearn's people think he is talking about the Grank Bank. (see below).

As a sign of Hearn's strong commitment to custodial management, a big issue locally even if it is a legal crock, comes the following from one of his campaign brochures:

Stand Up for Our Fisheries
A Conservative government will protect the fisheries following 12 years of Liberal neglect. We will also give the coastal provinces - – particularly Newfoundland and Labrador -– an increased role in the management of the fisheries. If necessary, we will not hesitate to take Custodial Management over the nose and tail of the Grank [sic] Banks and Flemish Cap. [Emphasis added]

Two things to notice:

1. At no point does this brochure say anything about joint management of the fishery between the province and Ottawa. It says a Connie government will give "an increased role". That role is undefined.

2. Custodial management was something the Connies pledged to move on immediately back at the policy conference in March. Others have trumpeted this as a sign of Hearn's influence. He's even got a radio spot in which a well-known local fisheries chronic praises Hearn.

Well, here it is guys. Loyola is channeling Mackenzie King, he of "conscription if necessary but not necessarily conscription" fame.

The new policy (the umpteenth watering down of the Connie platform on this point in the campaign) is to take action...if necessary. The whole point of Hearn's time in Ottawa has been to claim that it was long since past being necessary.

Loyola's resolution in the House of Commons on custodial was obviously just a gigantic political stunt, a hollow sham of an exercise. That called on the government to take "immediate action", no ifs ands or buts about it.

Find background here and here.