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Federal New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair was in Newfoundland and Labrador for the last couple of days. Or to be more exact, he was in St. John’s for the last couple of days.

It’s always good to have a national party leader drop by to see how we live in this part of the country, but almost always, all follow the same travel format — fly into St. John’s and fly out of St. John’s.

If these political heavyweights are really interested in understanding Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and learning what needs to be done here to make our lives as Canadians better, they should rent a car and tour for a few days without all their handlers in tow.

The first thing they would discover is that we all don’t live like our fellow citizens in the capital.

Folks who live and work on the northeast Avalon exist in a whole different world than most of the rest of the province. Out there, the economy is booming, employment is almost always strong, businesses invest billions and international companies are lining up to establish themselves there. The rest of us? Not so much.

There are some spots around the province and in Labrador that can boast about their strong economies but they are few and far between. Even the affluent mining communities in Labrador have fallen on difficult times in the last couple of years and their economic outlook is more clouded.

As for our outports, they are a sad state of affairs in general. Some continue to get by on the fishery — some even flourish. Others have gotten on the tourism bandwagon and have adapted to a new reality. Most are wasting away as young people move west seeking a better life for themselves and their families, leaving aging populations and shrinking municipal services.

Yes, it’s good that party leaders spend a day or two in this province but they won’t know most of us any better by gladhanding at the regatta.

Organizations: New Democratic Party

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Avalon

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