21 October 2009

Oram and Williams tell radically different versions of departure story

Even in Paul Oram’s political death, he and Danny Williams can’t get on the same page.

Asked about Oram’s resignation, Danny Williams told reporters that when it comes to an individual’s health and family, he doesn’t even try and convince someone to stay. “I just accept it,” said Williams.

But that’s not what Paul says.  As the Gander Beacon put it:

Mr. Oram said the premier asked whether he would consider staying on as an MHA, but he said he felt if he was going to walk away from one aspect of his work, he would prefer to fully remove himself from politics.

"I just felt that if I needed to regain control of my life, I had to walk away from politics altogether."

That’s not the first time that Oram and Williams have been at odds.

On the same day in early September – before Oram’s surprise resignation - Williams said the decision on  cutting lab and x-ray services was made months earlier, long before Oram became minister. 

Williams told a scrum that Lewisporte MHA Wade Verge knew of the cuts some time before July 9, 2009. Williams indicated Verge had the information from both Williams’ chief of staff and from Ross Wiseman when the latter was still health minister. 

Oram told the House of Assembly  - at almost the same time Williams was talking to reporters at another location - that he made the decision after meeting with concerned citizens in Lewisporte in mid-August. 

None of the dates match up since letters released by Oram in early September were part of the pre-budget process.  They were dated in February 2009.

But now even Danny Williams can’t get it straight.

According to the Northern Pen, the Beacon’s sister newspaper, a campaigning Danny Williams said something completely different from his earlier versions:

"Paul Oram had proceeded on the basis of recommendations made to him by the health authority," stated Premier Williams.

Not only did Oram now supposedly make a decisions Williams earlier attributed to someone else but the health authorities actually didn’t make the recommendations.  They were simply asked for options to save money, money that – as it turned out – they actually never had to save anyway.

No wonder some people don’t trust some politicians.