Letter to the Editor – Williamson shows “lack of class”

Editor,

We here in the riding of New Brunswick Southwest need good leadership, at this time, even more than any other.

For several years we have enjoyed the representation of the late Hon Greg Thompson, a senior statesman under whom I had the pleasure of serving as his riding president.

In the last sitting of Parliament, we were represented by Liberal MP, Karen Ludwig, who had won over Thompson’s successor, John Williamson. Ludwig served the riding well.

In the last federal campaign, Williamson’s team focused heavily on defeating Trudeau. They even went so far as to run on issues that Williamson had no hope of changing while avoiding any riding-specific issues.

He was successful.

After her defeat to Williamson, Ludwig went on to win the nomination to represent the Liberal party of New Brunswick, in the provincial riding of Saint Croix. That seat opened upon the death of our former MP, the late Greg Thompson.

Recently Ludwig was offered and accepted a position in the field of post-secondary education, of which she is a respected authority, and many in the area wished her well in this new path.

Not all were so gracious. Of all people, our MP John Williamson has come under fire for the lack of class he has shown to his former political rival.

He took to social media, and posted across several pages the following post:

“I was never convinced Justin Trudeau’s former MP for N.B. Southwest could win the provincial St. Croix byelection for the Liberals after her 2019 federal loss. Her decision to quit the race is revealing:

1) Blaine Higgs’ PC government has done a very good job managing the Coronavirus pandemic in New Brunswick. There is no place safer to be. Kudos to Mr. Premier!

2) Karen Ludwig’s federal record against law-abiding firearms owners, support for a carbon tax, and neglect of our fishing communities was sinking her campaign everywhere in St. Croix except St. Andrews.

3) Liberal boss Kevin Vickers is unable to keep a candidate he recruited, and he has a leadership problem. Yes, Vickers offered the normal public excuses, but he failed and is back to the recruitment drawing board after the local Liberals spent thousands of riding association dollars on Ludwig newspaper ads.”

Many people in the riding, of all political stripes, took offense to his less than gracious send-off. Such inappropriate behavior shines a low light on politics as a whole – not helpful during a pandemic.

Even on his own personal Facebook page, his fans were severely critical of his posts. Criticisms which he dismissed, especially those from constituents from Saint Andrews, his disputed home base.

I have called on him publicly to apologize to Ludwig, a call which he has chosen to ignore.

I can not support this man—a man who continues to create divisiveness and controversy.

John W. Gardner

Former CPC riding president, NBSW

Honeydale, NB