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The T-J continues its stepped-up policy

August 20, 2008

of union-bashing with a hysterical article that practically has poor old Abel Leblanc lobbing a Molotov cocktail into Market Square. But what can you say about a newspaper that continues to put the phrase “big business” in quotation marks, as if the term were some biased product of the radical left rather than a spectacularly understated statement of fact?

I don’t know Abel Leblanc from, well, J.D. Irving. But at least as far as he has been reflected in the local media, he is angry and hurting about the ongoing attacks in this province on the dignity of working people, and in that, I am with him.

One of the commentators picked up on the following segment of the article:

LeBlanc also pointed to protests last fall over concerns the Liberal government would merge the University of New Brunswick Saint John with other community colleges. He said many union members were in the crowds, and their opposition convinced the government to reconsider the reforms.

She writes,

I also wonder where he was when the protests for UNBSJ were happening. He mentions union members being in the crowd but no mention of himself being there as an MLA. I also do not recall if he added his voice to the Harbour cleanup issue or to the North of Union debates. I haven’t heard him speak of the abysmal infrastructure issues of Saint John nor the ever increasing property tax rates in the city.

While it is true that the unions, UNB’s and others, were out in force last fall — along with the rest of the city — we were certainly frustrated at UNBSJ that not one of the Liberal MLA’s from Saint John broke ranks and stood up for the campus, particularly as we knew that most of them must have been cringing behind closed doors. And not to underestimate the value of working behind the scenes. But given how dissenters tend to get savaged — we need look no further than Abel Leblanc — one can understand the impulse to keep ones head down. “Divide and conquer” is a long-standing tactic and all of us in New Brunswick who consider ourselves progressive on any issue would do well to consider working in coalition, wherever possible, with each other. Difficult when we are each exhausted with constantly trying to put out local fires, but you know the old saying: we stand together or we fall alone.

Particularly, er, being in a place where there are such, ah, common denominators.

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