Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dear Premier MacDonald

Please forgive me, Premier MacDonald, for misinterpreting the statements you made in a recent interview about rising gas prices. I was so busy struggling to make ends meet that I didn't put aside the time to thoroughly analyze your words.

Your plight for clarification was brought to my attention on May 14th, when I read your letter in The Reporter. You did a fine job explaining to us all how you were so viciously and maliciously misquoted.

After all, had I not been so consumed with my astronomically-priced light bill, I might have recognized that, when you suggested "taking up the opportunity for transit", that could just as easily have meant for people to take the subway or commuter train from Inverness now, hold on. I don't think there are any other means of public transit in Nova Scotia apart from the buses in CBRM and HRM, are there? I mean, except for the Strait Area Transit Cooperative, but, useful as they might be, I'm not aware of their fleet of vehicles making a daily River Bourgeois - Port Hawkesbury run. No matter, you didn't actually SAY for us to take the bus, you just suggested we use public transit....which would HAVE to mean the bus, since there aren't any alternatives....which would make the quote, "take the bus" pretty accurate. Anyway, I digress.

Thank you for your suggestion as to how to get some relief at the pumps. When I get a break from worrying about this region's high unemployment rates and economic hardship, I'm going to look into getting one of those hybrid vehicles you talk about. As one of the highest paid public servants in our province, I'm sure you'll have no trouble getting your hands on one, so maybe you could give me some buying tips. Who knows, since people who can afford hybrid cars probably aren't too concerned with gas prices anyway, perhaps I can find an owner to let me take theirs for a test drive! As long as I promise not to go for an ice cream, of course. We've all learned what a perilous outing that can be.

It's surprising that you haven't received more thanks from the people of Mabou and Cheticamp and Framboise, all those small communities, for those generous transit tax credits included in the recent budget. People around here need all the help they can get, and even though credits like that won't apply to the majority of Nova Scotians (certainly not to the ones living in your riding), you would think the municipal councilors or welfare recipients or Ladies Auxiliaries, somebody, would have all got together and at least sent a fruit basket or something your way, in lieu of the widely-inclusive financial assistance provided by our government. How ungrateful.

But, while I'm sitting around watching tourism figures and population numbers rapidly decrease, I'm encouraged by the fact that you had the time and resources to pen and distribute such an important letter of explanation to your hometown constituents. One has to assume that, with enough time on your hands to successfully spin a potential media fallout, you must have projects up your sleeve that will solve all our problems here at home. I can't wait for the press conference announcing what plans for our area have developed to such an extent that letter-writing is your top priority. Is it a new plant of some sort? A change in the Accord agreement? C'mon Premier, don't play coy! We're chomping at the bit over here.

I don't have much more time to write, as I'm on my way to the post office (I can't afford to go visit my family in Richmond County every week, what with the price of gas and all, so we've started corresponding by mail). However, I would like to commend you on your flair for the dramatic. It's not every day a Premier has a letter published in every provincial newspaper for the purposes of damage control, attempting to clarify a point that is, I feel, pretty clear to everyone already. It must be difficult to compete for headlines with the likes of Judy Streach and your other colorful cohorts in Halifax. How very Strait regional school board of you to make much ado about nothing; it almost indicates a knowledge of goings-on in our region after all.

In closing, Premier, I'd like to extend to you an invitation to my son's third birthday party next week. I notice that you're usually in enthusiastic and jovial attendance at other functions around Port Hawkesbury as of late, and I'm willing to bet a well-to-do man like yourself will probably spring for a pretty nice present (there will be free food, after all). Just look for the blue house with the white "surrender" flag hanging on the deck.

Very sincerely,
Gina MacDonald