Eddie the Entertainer
By: Ryan Young
I seem to talk about communication problems quite a bit on this blog, and just when you think that it can’t get any worse, the Liberal’s had the bright idea to set Eddie Joyce loose on the media to defend the government’s snow clearing performance this year. While Transportation and Works Minister, Al Hawkins, is away on vacation, Joyce was appointed “acting minister” in his absence. Eddie assures us all that absolutely nothing has changed in the government’s snow clearing policy and that the level of service is the same as it always was. In the last week, he has managed to blame everything from bald tires to bad weather forecasts as reasons why people are upset about snow clearing in the province. Despite repeated videos and pictures from across the province showing otherwise, Joyce maintains that everything is business as usual on our highways.
An expert on all things, Eddie says that in his 20+ years in government, not a thing has changed with snow clearing. The only thing that has changed is that operators are no longer being paid to sit in depots on clear nights. He has dismissed concerns by NAPE President Jerry Earle and Independent MHA, Paul Lane, and emails that have been provided by T&W staff showing abysmal equipment availability rates and trigger points.
Joyce says that availability rates are misleading and that the 10cm trigger point is incorrect, despite department emails from last week that specifically refer to that number. Eddie says the trigger point is actually 6cm and during a call with Pete Soucy on Tuesday, he said that would explain when the change was made to make it 6cm, but he never actually got around to giving us that information. I hope that when Minister Hawkins returns this week, that he can clarify what the actual trigger point for forecasted snow is, and when the actual change was made. I don’t envy Hawkins though for having to come back from a nice vacation to have to deal with the PR nightmare that Joyce has turned the department into over an eventful couple of weeks.
During his call to Pete Soucy and his interview with CBC on Tuesday, Joyce kept answering questions by making veiled personal attacks at Paul Lane. Soucy even called him on it, asking if they could discuss the issue instead of trying to discredit another person for information that they did not even provide. It should not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed Eddie’s career. Coming from a boxing background, Eddie doesn’t know much about anything, but he does like to pick a good fight. I mean I honestly feel embarrassed for the man every time he opens his mouth. Whenever you can’t answer a question with facts, play the blame game. Then again, Eddie is certainly not alone in that as this current crop of Liberals has not been able to accomplish much in the past year, other than to blame everyone else for their blunders and mistakes.
At a time where confidence in government is at an all-time low, you really have to wonder if it is arrogance or incompetence that is really running the show up on the hill. When the premier and the communications team decides let Eddie Joyce have full reign to run his mouth about something as complain-worthy to NL’ers as snow clearing, then you really have to wonder if they even give the smallest fuck about the public perception of this government. I mean Eddie Joyce…c’mon. The man sounds like a cartoon character on a bad trip at the best of times, and no matter what the Liberals might owe Eddie Joyce, they have to know that every single time he opens his mouth, their government loses a little more credibility.
Many of my readers may not know that Eddie got his start in politics by winning a seat back in 1989. Unfortunately, Clyde Wells lost his seat and needed to win a by-election in a seat that was guaranteed Liberal. Eddie resigned from his seat in Bay of Islands and became a high-level staffer and Wells won the seat by acclimation. So, in case you are wondering how in the world Elmer Fudd became a cabinet minister, now you know. The good old boys club owed Eddie a carrot and Dwight Ball, aka Mr. Nice made sure that Eddie got it, even if it meant having a cabinet minister to represent his government that has absolutely no educational qualifications or communication abilities. Dwight would do well to shuffle his cabinet in the near future, but unfortunately, he probably does not have the foresight to realize the damage being done to his governments reputation by ministers who continuously put their own egos above the good of the people. When your judgement is so poor that you send Eddie Joyce out to communicate with the public, there doesn’t seem to be much left to say….