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Ripley’s Believe It or Not…

February 25, 2009

Yes, today in the TJ there is a commentary (“Minister is Investing in Health“) from the most silent of the silent ones.

Ed Doherty has gone out of his way to applaud fellow Liberal Michael Murphy for his efforts in health care.  Ignoring the constitutional crisis arising out of Murphy’s tinkering with health care administration,  he lauds the minister for his sagacious distribution of tax dollars for clinical upgrades around the province and reminds his constituents of the government’s commitment to medical education at UNB Saint John.   That’s rich.

Isn’t this the same minister who put UNB Saint John on the chopping block?

Now he thinks he can buy goodwill–and votes–from the people who demonstrated outside his office when he was Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Training.   Who is he kidding?

Moreover, the Canada East media has provided Mike Murphy with ample opportunity to promote his policies–okay, so he’s been less successful than might be hoped, but not for lack of trying.  Adding the dulcet tones of silent Ed won’t make health care reforms any more palatable to those launching constitutional appeals, and hearing from him now rankles those who wanted a strong voice for post-secondary education in 2007.

Call me obvious, but isn’t this commentary a not-so-subtle attempt to make people forget how inept the good minister was at representing his constituents when it was needed most?

The references to UNB Saint John in this piece are especially irritating.  Given John Steeves recent clarification (“Med Program will serve NB,” 14 Feb 2009) of the nature of the relationship of medical education and UNB Saint John–that is, the campus will provide space and not much more to a program that belongs to Dalhousie University–Doherty’s comments are gratuitous.

Funding for medical education will do precious little to fix the funding problems that plague UNB Saint John.  If the government was really concerned about UNB Saint John it would ensure adequate funding to sustain (or even improve) existing programs.

As it is, the monies earmarked for medical education will be used in a program that its new Associate Dean identifies as “exclusively a Dalhousie program,” delivered by Dalhousie faculty, with some of the programs “hosted” by UNB Saint John.

Don’t insult us by implying that the anglophone medical education program to be centred in Saint John signifies government support for UNB Saint John.

  1. February 25, 2009 10:07 am

    I still believe the NB Government’s mishandling of the PSE file requires restitution for damages it caused UNBSJ. Until then the local member and his cabinet do not deserve their offices — as the next election will no doubt demonstrate.

  2. February 25, 2009 12:08 pm

    “Don’t insult us by implying that the anglophone medical education program to be centred in Saint John signifies government support for UNB Saint John.”

    In fact, and I was not on the inside of any of the discussions, but the impression that I got was that the provincial government’s dragging its heals on the issue almost junked the deal, and that their apparently very grudging agreement to refurbish an existing (and already fully utilized) building came at virtually the last minute.

  3. February 25, 2009 2:00 pm

    A liberal bagman was quoting in the Telegraph-Journal in the fall of 2007 as saying that he was not privilege to any information, but that he had never been wrong about resolution of the medical program in Saint John being resolved in two weeks time. That was, what, 16 months ago? One might suspect such hubris.

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