Friday, June 19, 2009


As national icons go, the Peggy's Cove lighthouse in Nova Scotia is nearly synonymous with Atlantic Canada and our maritime heritage and culture. And as a tourist draw, the old light doesn’t do badly, bringing in nearly half a million people per year. So when some locals (and tourists) expressed dismay that the lighthouse was in dire need of a new paint job — one which would only cost $25,000 — it didn’t seem like getting the work done would be a problem. However, thanks to some confusion over just which department should be shouldering the work, things didn’t get off the ground. A situation like this is ripe for finger pointing and blame, and indeed there was some. Observers saw this as a lot of needless bickering over such a small amount to pay considering other expenditures. Into the fray stepped Defence Minister Peter McKay (the MP for Central Nova) with a simple message. “We’re going to ensure that this lighthouse is put back in proper repair.” Saying it is one thing, but he cut through the jurisdictional quagmire when he presented a realistic solution as to where the funds would come from. In the end there were still questions as to what should have been done, when and by whom, but Mr. McKay’s clear and simple message of commitment was a clear beacon cutting through the fog, if you will.

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