When I heard on the radio last night that Ernie Fage was involved in a hit-and-run last November, I’ll admit the first thing that popped into my mind was that he might have had a few before hand. Otherwise, why run, right? At that time, I quickly posted what I had heard and read, but shortly thereafter more complete reports came out that witnesses smelled alcohol on him and captured the images of him and his car on camera-phone.
The premier said Fage told him of a “minor fender-bender” sometime before Christmas, but looked no further into the issue. For Michel Samson, the interim Liberal leader, this is not good enough; he maintains that the premier should have looked into the incident instead of dismissing it. When I first heard this, my immediate reaction was that Samson is merely trying to make a political issue out of something that has already been handled – Fage came forward, admittedly late, and MacDonald accepted his resignation.
However, David Rhodenizer makes an interesting point in this morning’s Daily News:
why MacDonald accepted Fage’s story of a “minor accident,” knowing it happened following MLAs’ traditional session-closing piss-up at the Old Triangle.
I don’t believe that a premier, or any leader for that matter, is responsible for the personal behaviour of members of his party, provided everything stays legal and it doesn’t affect their actual job. That was why I initially thought that MacDonald did what he had to do – a member of his Cabinet said he had a fender-bender, big deal.
“Hey Rodney, I, uh, got into a bit of a bump with the car a couple of weeks ago.”
“Good. Much damage?”
“Nah, just a dent in the bumper and fender.”
“Cool. Cream in your coffee?”
“Rodney, I, uh, had a few pops one night a couple of weeks ago and got into a bang-up in an intersection.”
“Whoa, any damage? Were the cops involved?”
“Not much. I reported it a few days later, it all seems cool.”
“Phew, this would look really bad if anyone found out.”
As of right now, there is no indication in anything that MacDonald or Fage has said to this point that indicates which conversation occured. However, the only way we’re actually going to find out is if we don’t take these guys’ word for it. Michel Samson is doing the right thing; where is Daryl Dexter?
For me, the next question is when does MacDonald kick Fage’s sorry ass out of caucus – before or after the trial?