“I was born to do this.”
— Charlene Johnson on being an MHA, March 2004 Independent.
In the middle of the 2003 provincial general election, Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail wrote a page-2 story in which Charlene Johnson talked openly about being premier of the province before too long.
Her performance in the House of Assembly this week won’t get her there anytime soon.
Johnson, minister of Environment and Conservation, was asked why government hasn’t implemented an emergency management plan for Placentia Bay.
The area is seen as the greatest risk for an oil spill.
Johnson passed the buck to the feds, saying Placentia Bay is under the jurisdiction of Transport Canada.
Johnson was later asked whether she was concerned that half the province’s oil booms (used to contain spills) had been shipped to Louisiana to help with the clean up there.
Johnson passed the buck again, saying the booms are owned by the Canadian Coast Guard and recommended questions be directed there.
There’s a letter to the editor in today’s Telegram (Time for a ministerial change) critical of Johnson.
“Surely it is time for a new environment minister who has some functional ability to be proactive,” reads the letter.
Johnson is the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Assembly.
She’s educated, with a degree in forest engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a master’s degree in applied science and environmental engineering from Memorial.
But her attitude needs work.
In March 2004 Johnson told The Independent she was “born to do this.”
As in be an MHA.
Although for a second I thought she meant pass the buck.
Johnson quickly added: “I’m going to be here as long as people will have me.”
How much longer will that be?