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RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: N.B. Liberal senator opts to retire early Reply with quote

N.B. Liberal senator opts to retire
Published Wednesday November 4th, 2009
A1Rob Linke
Telegraph-Journal
(s)OTTAWA - Liberal senator John Bryden has retired early from the Senate to spend more time with his wife of more than 50 years and enjoy life on the farm his father bought when he returned from war.

Enlarge Photo Bryden would have reached his 75th birthday, the mandatory retirement age for senators, in August 2012.

His resignation took effect Sunday at midnight.

Reached at his home in Murray Corner on the shore of the Northumberland Strait, Bryden explained the time had come to devote more time to his family.

"I have a wonderful place to live, a wonderful wife that I've not been able to spend enough time with and three adult children and eight grandchildren.

"It's simply time for me to be with the people most significant to me."

Bryden, 72, was appointed in 1994 by Jean Chrétien, that prime minister's first Senate appointment from New Brunswick.

Bryden was a veteran political campaign organizer.

He helped quarterback Frank McKenna's 1984 leadership campaign and historic 1987 sweep when the Liberals won all 58 seats in the legislature.

"John Bryden got Frank (McKenna) elected. Without Bryden, he wouldn't have made it," Harrison McCain was quoted as saying in Philip Lee's biography of McKenna.

Bryden says after 40 years in politics, it's hard to pick a highlight - but if there's one, that sweep is it.

He recalled winning $20 from members of the Liberal youth wing by predicting the afternoon of voting day that "we're going to win them all - every seat.

"Of course the person who found it hardest to believe was Frank McKenna himself."

He went on to help run the 1991 and 1995 provincial Liberal victories, as well as Chrétien's 1990 leadership campaign in New Brunswick and subsequent federal elections for Chrétien and Paul Martin.

He also helped draft Shawn Graham's platform in 2002.

A lawyer, public servant and businessman, Bryden failed to get elected himself. He lost two bids for the provincial Liberal leadership.

He came second to Saint John lawyer Bobby Higgins in 1971 and lost again in 1978, as well as a campaign to be a MLA in 1974.

He had been New Brunswick's deputy minister of justice in the Liberal government of Louis J. Robichaud but resigned in 1970, as soon as Progressive Conservative government of Richard Hatfield took office.

In the 1980s, he ran a forestry business - Paperboard Industries Corp. - for his brother Rod Bryden, who had SHL Systemhouse and a stake in the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

In the Senate, Bryden served on the constitutional and legal affairs committee.

"John has been a passionate and effective advocate of all manners of good causes throughout his professional, business and political career," said a statement issued by the leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Nova Scotia senator James Cowan.

In recent years, Bryden had taken up the cause of animal cruelty.

In 2008, his bill on animal cruelty was passed by the Commons by a vote of 189-71 after previously passing in the Senate.

Most Conservative, Bloc Québécois and many Liberal MPs supported it but New Democrats and about three dozen Liberals opposed it.

The bill created stiffer penalties for animal abuse.

"It had died on the order paper all kinds of times but we just sort of kept slugging on," said Bryden, and it finally got royal assent.

In 2007, Bryden was critical of the Harper government's changes to equalization and said he'd defy then-party leader Stéphane Dion's direction and vote against the budget bill.

"In Atlantic Canada, we're treated like dirt," said Bryden.

In the Liberal leadership race in 2006, Bryden was one of only three prominent New Brunswick Liberals to declare their support for Dion. The others were then-Miramichi MP Charlie Hubbard and former cabinet minister Claudette Bradshaw.

In 2002, months before Chrétien was scheduled to face a leadership review, Bryden raised eyebrows when he publicly called on Chrétien to resign before being embarrassed by losing the vote.

Bryden estimated 70 per cent of New Brunswick Liberals wanted Chrétien to go.

Bryden said for his adult life, there had always been a call to duty "and when you're from a Scottish background, you do that duty."

Now, he said, he can get up in the morning and decide what he wants to do.

"There are fish to be caught," he joked. "I'd like to get back to the point where I can compete with my wife in throwing a fly."

http://telegraphjournal.canada.....cle/846011
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, how close does that put a Conservative Senate majority?
DavidK





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
So, how close does that put a Conservative Senate majority?


As of January 2, 2010, we'll officially be up on the Liberals, at 51 vs 50 in the Senate. (of course, we can still be outgunned if the two remaining PC's vote with the Liberals... we won't have an absolute majority until late 2010)
[Christian Conservative]
DavidK





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standings in the Senate

Liberal Party 51
Conservative Party: 46
Progressive Conservative: 2 (McCoy, Murray)
Independent: 3 (Pitfield, Prud'homme, Rivest)
No Party: 1 (Cools)
Vacant seats: 2 New Brunswick (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (1)

TOTAL: 105
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember when Anne Cools defection to the Conservatives was a big deal.
DavidK





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
I remember when Anne Cools defection to the Conservatives was a big deal.


She's a social conservative, and for that I have to respect why she originally had crossed over. The budget issue, I'm not so sure on. She should have abstained or gotten 'sick', what else did she expect to happen voting AGAINST a budget?
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N.B. Liberal senator opts to retire early

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