Musings —04.09.2010 04:35 PM—
Globe and Mail, August 3, 2007:
The early days in the portfolio were stormy as Mr. Smitherman took on doctors, hospitals, nurses, drug companies, community-care advocates and pretty well anybody…Mr. Smitherman acquired a couple of nicknames, Furious George and Old Yeller, from his blunt dealings with health officials.
He told doctors looking for a contract that they could take or leave what he had offered. He pointed a finger at an Ottawa hospital official who was unused to being treated that way. He criticized Taj Ma-hospitals being built with fashionable atriums and he called optometrists “terrorists” for fighting cuts in health-insurance coverage…His staff rotated faster than the turnstiles at cinemas showing the new Harry Potter film…
“Spend more time with his family.” I always love that one.
UPDATE: Ryan adds an update over on Facebook: “Once upon a time I worked for him at Queen’s Park and I know exactly why Jeff, or anyone would quit. In 2003 Smitherman’s Press Secretary quit after one week on the job.”