Sunday, 16 December 2007

Who Said What to Whom, and When?

On Wednesday, December 12, 2007 in the Saskatchewan Legislature, Saskatoon NDP MLA Cam Broten asked Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Rob Norris the following question:

"Mr. Broten: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it has been suggested that during the recent CUPE strike the Minister of Employment and Labour made a call to Peter MacKinnon, the president of the University of Saskatchewan. When reporters asked about conversations between Mr. MacKinnon and the minister, he replied, quote, “All I’ll say, there was a range of what I would term as quiet diplomacy. And I won’t give any specific details of that.”

To the Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour: what quiet diplomacy did he conduct during the CUPE strike, and exactly what does he feel is an appropriate level of involvement with one side of the table during a labour dispute?" (P. 46 - Hansard - December 12, 2007).

In his response, Mr. Norris did not deny that during the strike he spoke to U of S President, MacKinnon. It's hardly a coincidence then that shortly after CUPE 1975 rejected the University's "so-called final offer", Premier Brad Wall all of the sudden started to threaten back-to-work legislation.

So my questions are:

1. Who Said What to Whom, and When
2. Did the Minister of Employment and Labour really only speak to one-side?
3. Is "Quiet Diplomacy" code for "We did what the University asked us to do"?

I commented about this matter in an earlier post on this blog.


Cathie Foster said...

Peter Mackinnon went on record during the last provincial election to say that political parties and the provincial government have no business interfering in how tuition is determined at the University of Saskatchewan, among other things. How ironic that less than a month later Mackinnon had to rely on Brad Wall and crew to bail him out of the do-do created by his corporate administration's attempt to bust the CUPE union. Guess its not just the Sask party that can backtrack and mislead people during an election. Or maybe Mackinnon was not-so-quietly working for the Sask party during the election?

Sean S. said...

way to go Cam! A great question and I await our excellent newspapers the LeaderPost and StarPhoenix to pursue this matter...