Welcome back, Cathy McLeod!

Iin other areas many Conservative MPs simply ignored calls from the media. McLeod has always responded to us

Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week

Back in the spring of 2009, KTW editor Christopher Foulds wrote the following about Cathy McLeod:

“The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP is simply an honest woman, a regular Josephine who happens to have that rarest quality among politicians: When asked a question by a reporter, she offers up an answer devoid of political bafflegab and spoon-fed sentences from party elders.”

The issue was attack ads her party was running about then-Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, a tactic McLeod criticized.

It was our front-page story and, given how unusual it was back then for an MP to criticize her governing party, it was also picked up by national media.

Imagine that — a Conservative MP who spoke her mind.

Kamloops has returned McLeod to Ottawa, but she will be in Opposition.

Will Stephen Harper, her dictatorial leader, be just another back-bencher if he really does decide to stay in Parliament?

Anyone taking bets?

Perhaps her new reality will bring back McLeod’s forthright frankness, coming from an MP Foulds described six years ago as having sensible and honest opinions.

Kamloops reporters have been luckier than many of their colleagues in other areas with Conservative MPs; while many simply ignored calls from the media, McLeod has always responded to us.

Yes, we knew she’d parrot the party line, but she at least acknowledged her role in the give and take of covering politics.

In my hometown of London, Ont., folks there started a “Where’s Ed?” campaign in the run-up to Monday’s federal election, mocking the complete absence of the minister of state for science and technology from anything that might have involved speaking to reporters or, apparently, voters.

He lost the election.

McLeod’s comments in 2009 were also a welcome relief because her predecessor, Betty Hinton, was a Conservative MP who we knew, as Foulds described it in his column on the attack ads, “would have waxed eloquent on the production quality of the marvellous television moments, regardless of their crassness — the story would have likely been placed inside the newspaper.”

Occasionally, my out-of-office path would cross with that of McLeod and it was always interesting to talk with her.

Yes, there would be the anticipated responses to anything political asked, but there were also welcome moments when the real McLeod came through.

At the 2014 official opening of a preschool’s new space in the renovated Kamloops United Church, for example, I joked with McLeod about saving the plants in her Ottawa office. It was a bit mocking, to be sure, but at the time, future-hero-turned ambassador and then-sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers had declared plants in the House of Commons government property would be removed and sold because it was too expensive to water them.

“Really, Cathy?,” I asked. “Can’t you all just water them yourselves?”

The reply came from the McLeod about whom Foulds wrote five years earlier.

She leaned in, put her hand on my arm and answered: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

There she is!

The real Cathy McLeod!

I can’t wait to watch that one once Parliament resumes. And, for those of you who despair that the majority of Kamloopsians voted against her, do not worry.

This is the same woman who was praised during her time as mayor of Pemberton for being good, for always having the time to listen to others, for taking concerns to heart, for working hard for her constituents.

I don’t see her changing — and she’s already got a self-declared neighbour to all Conservatives in the new prime minister.


Just Posted

PHOTO: Hockey players help Legion

Clearwater Midget hockey players reduce the snowload on Clearwater Legion Hall

What’s on at the Sportsplex, March 16 – 19

Figure-skating show, curling club windup, and Peewee Okanagan championship hockey

PHOTO: First baby boy of the year

Gunner Gordon Langwood was born on Feb. 24

Meeting looks at moving Grade 7s to CSS

Final decision won’t be made until school board meeting on April 23

TNRD survey looks at economic impact of 2017 wildfires

457 of the 492 businesses in the study area were affected “in some way” by the 2017 wildfires

VIDEO: Climber ‘catches the sunrise’ over city atop B.C. crane

Police warn ‘rooftopping’ poses risk to climber, public and first responders

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

B.C.-based CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, was arrested last week in Seattle in years-long undercover operation

B.C. artist featured on T.V. series highlighting Indigenous tattoo artistry

Skindigenous, a series on APTN TV, features international tattooing traditions including a Salmon Arm artist

Most Read