August is polling month for Corporate Research Associates.
In the first 15 days of the month, the provincial government announcement machinery has been running in overdrive. Realistically, though, there have only been 10 working days if you pluck out weekends and Regatta Day,when the provincial government head office in St. John’s shuts down.
In that time, the provincial government has made 35 funding announcements: more than two a day.
The big winner: the Burin peninsula with 12 announcements.
The bigger winner of all that attention, though, was Grand Bank. Not only did the district grab eight of those 12 announcements but the good people also felt the grace of a string of personal visits by municipal affairs minister Fairity O’Brien. Justice minister @King_Darin – as the district MHA calls himself on Twitter – tagged along with Fairity for the walk-abouts.
Fairity also dropped fire trucks on a few other communities in the province while some of his colleagues dropped more than three quarters of million dollars in each of Ferryland and Cape St. Francis and a half million in roadwork on the folks in Wabana.
The largest source of all the cash, though, was the provincial health department. Health minister Susan Sullivan announced money for chronic and acute care on the Burin Peninsula, in Corner Brook, Stephenville, and St. George’s.
Beyond the fact the ruling provincial Conservatives seem to be up to their old poll-goosing tricks, the way they’ve been distributing the announcements in the first half of August is fascinating. They basically blitzed Grand Bank and the rest of the Burin Peninsula in a way that suggests the Tories are worried about losing both districts with in 2015 or in any other by-elections that might be coming up soon.
As for health care, that is perpetually a big issue with voters. There’d be no surprise in any government of any stripe making tons of health care announcements. What makes these announcements curious is that they are focused in Corner Brook and in Stephenville and Port au Port. Two of those districts are currently represented by politicians who won’t be running again: Tom Marshall in Humber East and Joan Shea in St. George’s-Stephenville East.
Wonder what the rest of the month will look like.