Saturday, March 22, 2014

'I am not the enemy'

The following letter to the editor is published in today's (March 22nd) Weekend Telegram. 
As member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, I’m often asked whether I like my job. My first response is to say that what I do is not a job — it’s a life.
But yes, I enjoy what I do — fighting for Newfoundland and Labrador. Because it’s always a fight, within my caucus or against the government, an uphill battle to push our interests against those of other, larger provinces. The numbers are against us in most every way.
The fight is also against the Harper administration and its mission to change the face of Canada so that it’s no longer recognizable.
To date in 2014, I’ve spoken in the Commons on veterans, the seal hunt, the need for a national inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women, the Unfair Elections Act,
offshore health and safety, Marine Atlantic, the fishery, Canada Post, and the sunken carrier Manolis L.
I’ve also published two mailouts to my constituents — one on retirement security, the other on Canada Post. The latter drew the ire of Tom Badcock of St. John’s, who wrote a letter to the editor (“Ryan Cleary is tilting at the wrong windmill,” March 15 edition).
Mr. Badcock has a problem with home mail delivery, describing it as a “make-work project.”
He’s entitled to his opinion, just as each of the more than 2,100 people in my riding who signed a “Save Canada Post petition” are entitled to their opinion.
As of this week, my office has received 59 responses to our Canada Post mailout, with only four supportive of the cuts to the federal Crown corporation.
One woman wrote, “You try navigating through the ice and snow or even wind and rain while using a cane or a wheelchair! Honour your sick and elderly!”
Wrote another, “Thank you Ryan for asking how we, the people, feel. We all need to stand together and stand up to Harper for Canada Post.”
In his letter, Mr. Badcock also thanks me for caring more for “delivery people” than veterans. My response is that fires are burning all around us, Mr. Badcock — I have stood in the House of Commons for veterans just as I have stood to defend our treasured mail services, urban and rural.
I am not the enemy, Mr. Badcock. His name is Harper.
Ryan Cleary
MP St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

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