Published on June 13, 2012
Doug Doucette, left, and Robert Gallant voice their displeasure with the federal budget bill as they wait in vain for more people to show up for a planned budget protest Wednesday evening outside of Egmont MP Gail Shea’s Tignish constituency office.
TC Media photo by Eric McCarthy
Published on December 30, 2011
MP Gail Shea, minister of national revenue, at her Summerside office in this Guardian file photo.
Ryan Quigley/Journal Pioneer
TIGNISH – A planned protest outside of Egmont MP Gail Shea’s Tignish constituency office fizzled Wednesday evening when only five people showed up to express their dissatisfaction with the federal budget bill now before parliament.
“What I think is people don’t understand yet what this is going to do,” businessman Robert Gallant from Goodwin’s Corner said. He admitted being surprised by the small turnout. There were no placards and no one in attendance to take charge of the event.
The Budget Action Network had indicated similar protests would be taking place at Conservative Party constituency offices across the country at 5:30 p.m. local time Wednesday in an attempt to attract “13 Heros,” Conservative caucus members who would agree to vote against the budget bill. That’s the number of Conservatives the Budget Action Network believes would be needed to defeat the bill.
“I think a lot of people just say the heck with it,” Gallant said of what he views as the Conservatives’ “their way or the highway” approach.
“If I could see her vote against (the budget bill), Gallant said of MP Shea, “I would be more for her. I think more people would be for her if she voted against it.”
While Gallant said he doubts the bill will be defeated, he is hopeful the opposition parties can force some changes to it.
Doug Doucette drove right to Tignish from work to join in the protest. Like others in attendance, he is unhappy with proposed changes to the Employment Insurance Act.
“They’re pushing it through and keeping the blinders on,” he complained.
Gallant said there might be need for changes to EI, but ones that affect farming, fishing and tourism are not the way to go. Once it was obvious no one else was showing up, Gallant got back in his truck and headed home to watch the parliamentary proceedings on television.
A similar protest is planned for Shea’s Charlottetown office Friday at 12 Noon. Her office in the capital city is located at the Royal Trust Tower at 119 Kent Street in Charlottetown.