by The Honourable A. Brian Peckford


April 22, 2023

Do You Ever Get The Feeling That Its OK To Be Honest But Not Too Much? Such Will Be Our Downfall !

Many years ago my wonderful Aunt Bessie , who moved to Boston to further her nursing career , always told me that honesty was the best policy even down to little tiny white lies . She confided in one of her annual visits home that she was a Republican and contributed to the Party. When I queried why she was a republican ( 1960’s) she countered that she supported hard work, the worth of the individual and earning one’s keep.

She did ,however , on one occasion ask me to answer the phone ( before cell phones) as she rushed out of the house to the patio area.

‘Just tell them I am out , and will call back later. ‘

And I did.

‘But why were you rushing out of the house, Aunt B’?

‘Well I did not want you to tell a lie—so I was really ‘out .’

Well , make what you will of this.

Aunt B later apologized —saying this was really trickery and she should have taken the phone call.

In surveying today’s scene and my interaction I get the impression we are a long way from my Aunt’s ethics. This came home this past weeks as I departed from organizations because of the loose manner in which ethics was being handled in governance procedures . When I explained this to a couple at a public event this week they ( having followed my blog and statements closely)were quick to agree to my response —just so much honesty ——-it seems —-they smiled ——understanding. . Others responded to imply , yes —but —-‘ just so much. Perhaps this is taking it too far———???!’

If there is one thing that must be non negotiable it’s honesty.

When we are dealing with other peoples’ money, when you announce principles of independence, accountability and transparency and fiscal responsibility and attack others for lacking same ——then ———do likewise????

Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde written in 1385 is reputed to be the origin of:

‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. ‘

English Judge Hewart in 1924 is reported to have said —‘

‘Justice must not only be done but seem to be done—-‘

Some might remember the recent story of my encounter with two Christian clergy in my rural Newfoundland riding in the 1980’s —they had asked whether I could have the road to their cemetery improved while the private contractor who won a competitive Government contact for the first pubic road on their island was still there—-free—-by that private contractor under Government contract .

I answered —‘ What would Jesus say?

‘Render unto Caesar——-

Democracy is only as good as the measure to which it is an honest process ——-

It has no place for ‘just so much —-‘.

Many things in the public square might entail flexibility and compromise ——morality is not one of them .



  1. WOW! Here is a person who was a former high school teacher who became a politician and then Premier of the Province of Newfoundland, telling us about the virtues of being “honest”. Is there actually something as an “honest” politician that exists? Really?

    As an example. At the opening of this article he (Peckford) tells us of an anecdotal story about a “little” lie involving his Aunt Bessie. Yet he apparently fails to understand that he willingly participated in his Aunt’s “little” lie.

    That B.C. “bud” smoke must be getting thicker and thicker out there on the Island.

    Brian Peckford is the same person who just recently encouraged us to vote for a person by the name of Jean Charest to be the leader of the Federal Conservative Party. The very same Jean Charest who was. at one time, a member of the Conservative Party, then became a turncoat, became a Liberal Party member and was then elected as the Liberal Party Premier of Quebec. Then Brian Peckford attempted to get us to believe that Jean Charest had seen the errors of his past political beliefs, subsequently rejected his Liberal Party leanings and attempted to become the leader of the Conservative Party. Fortunately, it didn’t work.

    Now, Brian Peckford is attempting to encourage Canadians to once again believe in the virtues of “honesty”. That immediately reminds me of an old saying: “Don’t do as I do, do what I say.”

    He should understand that most Canadians have never lost that virtue of “honesty” and continually wish that other members of our Canadian society would do the same. Particularly the current and ex-politicians.