If you read my blog, you know I am sometimes critical of the Times & Transcript for its bias in reporting political issues as well of its lack of balanced reporting on economic issues. I further maintain that a newspaper has the right to write trash if readers have an alternative but that somebody needs to provide the community with a good, unbiased and comprehensive look at the news. So in one newspaper markets, I think that the newspaper has a duty to try and play this balanced role.
While many of you disagree with that premise, that’s ok, we can agree to disagree. But if you read the ‘We Say’ in the Times & Transcript today you will have to agree with me on the bias. Only a complete partisan would say that commentary is an unbaised and balanced look at a very important issue facing New Brunswick – that being Federal/Provincial relations.
The We Say calles the Prime Minister ‘disingenuous and hypocritical’. It continues “His government and some of its MPs have been toying with the province, playing petty political games and standing in the way of perfectly acceptable and legitimate goals rather than acting as the benevolent uncle that it purports to be.” Further, it states “And the dirty trick the prime minister and his government played with the province in the Point Lepreau refurbishment negotiations was so far beyond the pale and in such bad faith it is a wonder there is any trust at all in Ottawa.”
Now, I am not presenting just one side – this is the commentary (embellished with more examples). I don’t claim to be overly connected to politics in New Brunswick but I have talked with a number of people in both the provincial and federal governments and the truth is that there is blame to go around. After watching the arrogant posture taken by the province on several files, I am inclined to side with the Feds on this one.
The Premier purposely and thoughtfully embarrassed the Prime Minister during the last election campaign. Everyone knows it. It was national news.
The Premier and his ministers have a duty to play the diplomatist role when it comes to the Feds. That is tradition. That is history. These guys have taken an adversarial and even arrogant stance against the Feds since day one. Who cares if they are in different parties? The Premier and his ministers have an obligation to the residents of New Brunswick to ensure that relations with the Feds are as good as they can be – and listen up We Say – it’s not the other way around. The Liberals or Conservatives or NDP could form a national government without even one seat from New Brunswick. We are becoming more and more trivial in terms of our voting power. There are suburbs of Toronto that elect more MPs than New Brunswick.
It’s our job, the province, to engage the Feds in a healthy and beneficial relationship.
But that’s just my opinion. And We Say has theirs. But when the editor of the one-newspaper town that is Moncton acts like the Premier’s personal propagandist is not in anyone’s best interest. Certainly not the province’s.
On this issue, We Say should at the very least be challenging both sides to reach a compromise and try and work together.