It’s easy enough to mock patronage, but pity the poor Conservative staffer who leaves a comfy job in Ottawa to play sacrificial lamb in a riding his party should never have lost—then returns to find his job is gone. That’s what happened to Joel Bernard, a New Brunswicker who had been working as a political analyst for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day when he got the tap to run in Nova Scotia against Bill Casey. Casey, you may recall, was the MP who bolted the Tory caucus over the Harper government’s decision to break
the Atlantic Accord on equalization. He ran as an independent in October, and won. Bernard, a father of two, seems, um, bitter. “There was one dumb-ass editorialist that said the reason I was going to Nova Scotia was not (because) I really wanted to represent the folks there; it was because I wanted a plum job when I got back to Ottawa,” he told the Chronicle-Herald of Halifax. “I guess that proves that he was full of sh*t. Can you quote me on that?”
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