The following letter to the editor is published in today's Weekend Telegram.
I’m writing in response to the June 13th letter to the editor ("Avalon-only candidates need apply") by Terry Burry of Glovertown.
The point of Mr. Burry’s letter is that the Avalon Peninsula is overrepresented in Ottawa in terms of MPs and Senators, and that even our representative in the federal cabinet is a Nova Scotian.
Former Labrador MP Peter Penashue may have left the incorrect impression that divisive politics (pitting Newfoundland against Labrador, for example) is the name of the game.
I promote St. John’s South-Mount Pearl as the most precious riding in Canada, but I stand for all of Newfoundland and Labrador when I take to my feet in the House of Commons.
It’s impossible to represent one region of the province when most constituents have ties to every nook and cranny.
My chief concern is with our Senators, and the fact their allegiance is to the party that appointed them – not to the province.
As for the weekly drive to Gander, workers across this country are under direct attack and if a Townie MP chooses to take a three-hour detour off the Avalon to show support, to stand by his broader principles, then that’s what must be done.
Besides, the air beyond the overpass is good for the Newfoundland and Labrador soul.
Ryan Cleary, MP St. John’s South-Mount Pearl