Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
If a senator resigns, does anyone notice?
Sen. JoAnne Buth resigned today. I was channel-surfing before heading in to work the night shift, and I learned this from a screen crawl on CBC News Network. It did not occur to me until about an hour later that Buth might be one of Manitoba's senators and this might be of local interest.
After I alerted my boss, he said we probably just wanted a shortie, a brief. Not really that interesting, he said. I was slightly indignant. She's one of Manitoba's constitutionally-guaranteed voices in the upper chamber! Her resignation matters! This leaves Manitoba with half its Senate seats vacant!
As I drove in to work, I began to reconsidered this. Since Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed her more than two years ago, she has not been quoted once in the Free Press, not even when I canvassed all four sitting senators to find out what they thought about the Wallin-Duffy-Brazeau scandal. An entomologist by training, Buth has deep roots in agriculture. But she was never quoted by the Manitoba Co-operator either. I have never seen her at any political events, not even lame photo ops. I have never heard any gossip or intel about her. I know of no issues she championed or causes she backed. We aren't even absolutely sure how to pronounce her name.
Though I'm sure she is a very nice and capable person, she was, like most senators, an invisible member of a irrelevant and disgraced institution. A shortie was probably all her two years in the Senate deserved.
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More Welch's Gripe Juice
More Welch's Gripe Juice
(1 of 5 articles for this year)09/30/2014 3:24 PM 0
About Mary Agnes Welch
Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first covering city hall and then the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter. Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.
Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school. She has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category.
She was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13, where she studied indigenous issues, urban planning and political science. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and has served on several boards.
She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.
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