Judy Foote, Opposition Business Critic and MHA for the District of Grand
Bank, says she has accepted Premier Danny Williams apology, but says MHAs
and individuals should not have to worry about personal attacks by the
premier when speaking publicly about issues in Newfoundland and Labrador.
On VOCM Open Line earlier this week in response to criticism of the new
branding strategy for the province, Premier Danny Williams said that Judy
Foote would not be satisfied even if her grandchildís photo was on the logo.
"Yesterday, the premier apologized for his remark and stated that he didnít
intend to offend anyone and I accept that statement. According to the
premier he just referenced my granddaughter to make a point. He admitted it
was a poor choice of words, however, under no circumstances should family
members of individuals who offer themselves for public office be referenced
to make a point, especially by someone in the premierís position," said Ms.
"While I accept the premierís apology for referencing my 11 month old
granddaughter in an interview, I should not have to worry about my family
being brought into the public debate when discussing issues. The premier has
complained in the past that his family was brought in the public debate in
this province and felt it was unacceptable. It is certainly no more
acceptable when making similar comments concerning the family members of
"As the Official Opposition, we are expected to do a job on behalf of the
people of the province. The branding issue has received much attention over
the past few days and many people are not pleased with the new logo or the
$1 million plus price tag that is attached. The premier must realize that
not everyone will agree with his position on every issue. We, as the
Official Opposition, have been asked to perform a job on behalf of the
people of the province and we should be permitted to do this job without
having to worry about personal attacks from the premier.
"It is important to encourage good people to come forward and express
their viewpoints and offer themselves for public office. If similar conduct
continues in the future, I suggest more people will be inclined to avoid
putting their name on the ballot."