Saturday, January 2, 2010

Denis Landry, Former Car Salesman, Making Life and Death Decisions at Transportation Department

Denis Landry, New Brunswick Minister of TransportationWe were wondering what kind of qualifications Denis Landry, New Brunswick's Minister of Transportation, had to be making life and death decisions on the safety of children being driven to extra-curricular sporting events in 21 passenger MFAVs.

After all, it is common practise for Cabinet Ministers to have solid work experience in their portfolios: for example it's par for the course to have a lawyers as Minister of Justice and in the Bernard Lord government, a Medical Doctor, Dr. Denis Furlong was the Minister of Health. So too was Dr. Russ King in the government of Frank McKenna. It gives citizens confidence when their leaders have experience in their areas of responsibliity and since Mr. Landry is the one who decided NOT to undertake scientific research study of the 21 passenger Multi Function Activity Vehicle, we thought we'd check up on his background experience in transportation, after all, the person making these kind of critical decisions should know what they're talking about, don't you think?

(Click here to read Minister Denis Landry's December 29, 2009 letter in which he says he is not going to undertake testing of the tires on the MFAVs).

So we took a look at his on line biography on the Government of New Brunswick website and quickly found out that the NB Transportation Minister's only experience with vehicles is as a car salesman on the Acadian Peninsula. Presumably, he kicked a few tires in the parking lot during his tenure there and knows what he's talking about when it comes to tires.

It's really disheartening to see how the people who are least qualified to be making these kind of decisions are the ones who have been granted the overwhelming power to do so... unless of course, it's the bureaucrats who are really running the Department of Transportation and Education... but that's another story...

Minister of Transportation

Denis Landry was re-elected to represent the new riding of Centre-Péninsule-Saint-Sauveur in the provincial election held Sept. 18, 2006. He was sworn in as Minister of Transportation on Oct. 3, 2006.

The eldest of 11 children, he was born on Nov. 13, 1957, in Val-Doucet, N.B. After graduating from the Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux in Caraquet in 1975, he worked as a logger for 17 years. He served as secretary-treasurer and then president of the local chapter of the Canadian Paperworkers Union (CPU).

He completed various training courses: forestry instructor (Memramcook Institute), leadership (St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S.), literacy instructor (Fredericton), and establishing small and medium-sized businesses (Université de Moncton in Shippagan).

He has served as president of the Acadian Peninsula Labour Council and president of the coalition against changes in unemployment insurance. He was the New Brunswick co-ordinator for the World Summit for Social Development. As a consultant, he was selected to go to Copenhagen, Denmark, in March 1995. More recently, he worked as a sales representative at a car dealership in the region.

First elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick on Sept. 11, 1995, as the first Member for the new constituency of Centre-Peninsule, he has served on the Standing Committees on Law Amendments, Public Accounts, and the Committee on Social Policy Renewal. He was a member of the Action Nord group, and was the only member to sit on the ministerial committee for the economic development of the Acadian Peninsula.

He was re-elected to the 55th Legislature in the provincial election held June 9, 2003. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Private Bills and the Select Committee on Wood Supply. As a member of the Official Opposition, he was the critic for areas of interest related to tourism and automobile insurance.