MLA’s Absence Noted at Community Meeting
Three key people were absent from tonight's agriculture meeting in Truemanville, raising the question of possible political interference. Absent were two planned speakers from the provincial Department of Agriculture, and the MLA for Cumberland North.
Danny Small and Michael Kittleson were on the speakers list in the poster distributed in advanced promotion of the meeting. However, each sent their regrets to the meeting organizer shortly after a telephone conversation with someone from the office of the Minister of Agriculture.
Elizabeth Smith McCrossin, who planned the meeting, was asked, last week, if the local MLA, Terry Farrell, could speak at the meeting. McCrossin said the speaker list was already set, but there would be a question and answer session where the MLA could easily address the panel and the audience. It was shortly after that conversation that the department employees sent their regrets.
When asked if there was a connection between the phone call and the regrets, McCrossin would only say, "Might be."
Aside from her lifelong interest in agriculture, as the daughter of a dairy farmer from Linden, McCrossin is also the nominated candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party who will oppose Farrell in the next provincial election.
The two have clashed in recent months over a number of issues, especially the controversy over the tolls and debt retirement of the Cobequid Pass.
Farrell's name was mentioned at tonight's meeting, but not by McCrossin. An audience member noted it was too bad that the MLA was not on hand to hear the concerns of the people.
McCrossin would not make an issue of the absent guests. It only came to light, after the meeting, when she was asked why they were unable to attend.
The MLA for Cumberland North was not available for comment.
The matter will no doubt be discussed tomorrow morning (Tuesday) on "Morning Talk", the phone-in radio show on Six Rivers Radio. The program invites listeners to call in for a live discussion on the air. Click HERE to listen to Six Rivers Radio.