30 April 2010

With friends like that…

Around these parts, the former Ambassador to Disneyland on the Rideau, the successor to the Premier’s Personal Envoy to Hy’s has been know as Our Man in a Blue Line Cab.

That goes back to an old comment by a former minister who said that whenever he visited Ottawa, the provincial representative – Dr. John Fitzgerald – would come to the airport and pick him up and show him around to his various meetings.


A name is born.

What started out as a humorous jab turns out to have some disquieting  accuracy in it.  During at least one year on the job, the good doctor took a few cab rides back and forth from the office and his home, 72 such rides if the Opposition has its numbers correct, and then expensed them to the taxpayers:

Mr. Speaker, we requested travel claims for the former Ottawa representative through FOI and we were charged significant fees; however, we did pay for his 2007 travel claims to get a glimpse of his activities. As outlined in the documents, the former Ambassador charged the people of this Province seventy-two taxi trips from his private residence to work. There is nothing in his employment contact that permits such claims and no other public servant is permitted to claim travel to and from work each day.

Now while that is bad enough, Our Man didn’t exactly get what one would call a truly ringing endorsement from the Old Man.  Opposition House leader Kelvin parsons calls Fitzgerald Dr. Feelgood, going back to the  whole cabinet minister driver thing but here’s how the Premier replied to one question:

I had conversations in Ottawa whereby people in Ottawa on the ground spoke extremely – very, very highly of Dr. FitzGerald, who is referred to as Dr. Feelgood by the Opposition. I refer to him as Dr. Sealgood because of all the fantastic work he has done with regard to promoting the sealing industry in Ottawa.

Dr. Sealgood?

Holy crap, what a lame-assed remark.

Poor old Fitzie deserves way better than that, especially if, as the Premier claims, the fellow was doing more than hanging out in the gallery at the House of Commons, being ignored at the Prime Minister’s Office or when he wasn’t scarfing down the canapés at this reception or that.

After all that time in Ottawa and the best thing Danny could do is connect Fitz to the whole seals are better than billions in trade nonsense last year?

There’ll be no Latin words and phrases on facebook from this corner.

No references to Machiavelli.

Because if that’s the very best that the Premier can come up with to defend his loyal advisor, then all you can say is gotterdammerung.