Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue has promised to do something very unusual this coming Tuesday. He's going to offer an explanation.
My interest in Penashue was originally piqued by this video posted at Impolitical in which the minister mindlessly recites the same non-answer to every question the reporter can think to ask him. Until this past week, he'd been doing pretty much the same with every reporter since then, though not many have had the opportunity to get even that much from him.
And until this past week, his colleagues on the opposition side of the Commons were getting even less. Questions put to the member about possible irregularities in his campaign financing were being fielded by anyone but. So the NDP decided to talk about intergovernmental affairs and actually got Penashue to stand up and start talking.
And now we know that flying back and forth between Ottawa and Labrador — a lot — is a great way to strengthen relationships between all levels of government across this great land of ours. Penashue seems quite confident that it's doing the trick. Some members of the opposition seemed to think this was unlikely but the minister just thinks they're rude.
Penashue acknowledged that all this speaking in public made him nervous but somewhere along the line he must have decided that he'd found his sea legs, so to speak, and he had a word with the press corps as well. This is when we learned that he intends to go back to Labrador — again — and face his constituents. You might even say he's under pressure to do so.
I'm under pressure.
And so the citizens of Labrador will get an explanation.
There's lots going on and I want to speak with my constituents and explain what happened during the election, and I think once they hear the explanation they will be in a better position to understand how things unfolded.
And I, for one, would really like to be in a better position to understand how things unfolded. I wonder if I'll then understand why Penashue hasn't been able to improve anyone's position until now when the unfolding happened last year.
I do think the opposition's demands for his resignation as minister of intergovernmental affairs are misplaced. When you consider the importance the Harper government has placed on intergovernmental affairs, Penashue is the perfect man for the job.