"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Friday, July 17, 2015


In 2003, Dear Leader's platform promised, and we quote, for the umpteenth time:
“A Progressive Conservative government will ... release to the public every government-commissioned report within 30 days of receiving it, indicate the action government will take on a report's recommendations within 60 days, and ensure prompt public access to all government reports in hard copy and on the Internet”
Dear Leader's government and party have had, at best, a spotty adherence to this solemn vow.

But now they have come up with a clever new way of breaking it. Pity the poor sod who made Access to Information request ENV/21/2015, only to receive a redacted version:

But even that is better than what "the public" — as in, "release to the public" — have, or will receive. The report, despite being "government-commissioned", has not been released on the internets, neither proactively, nor in response to the ATI request. The publicly-posted version of the request notes:
Potential copyright materialIf you wish to obtain a copy please contact the ATIPP Office at (709) 729-7072 or
Pro tip to the legal geniuses in DannyGov DunderGov DavisGov: put a standard clause in all your contracts for commissioned reports, that either assign or license the copyright in that commissioned report to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador.

This is hardly the only such case. There have been at least 53 such "proactively released" ATI request packages in which some or all of the substantive part of the return have been withheld from public release on the same flimsy ermagerd cerpyrert grounds. Many of them are, naturally, the same type of "government-commissioned report" that Dear Leader promised, a dozen years ago, would be routinely released within 30 days of their receipt.

And why did Dear Leader make that promise?

Because His research staff were having trouble getting access to government-commissioned reports.


Monday, July 06, 2015

The dead hand

Where or what is "Newfoundland Labrador Hydro"?

Danny's gone, folks. You can start using conjunctions again.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Five years already

His Dear Parting Words, though only a handful knew it at the time:

The Cupids celebrations, 400th Anniversary celebrations - I want to make sure everybody has a great summer and you spend time in your districts and get a chance to get around the Province, but this is a very special celebration. This is the oldest English colony in North America. It is equivalent, in my opinion, to the Quebec City celebrations that were held just two years ago or a year ago. Get out there, it is in the middle of August. Make sure you spend some time out there, but it is really worthwhile being there and being part of it. I know, Roland, I am going to see you out there. So we will see you there and at the Blueberry Festival. 
Take care.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The new battlemap

Because, for some reason, the most open and transparent government EVAR can't bring itself to do any such thing, nor even make the underlying data available for public download, here's a zoomable map of the 36 new electoral district in Newfoundland. (Since the four Labrador districts are unchanged, they aren't mapped here.)

Zoom in to see detail at the local level in your community or neighbourhood.

Apologies for the lack of district labels.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015


There's something positively oramesque about this bit of flattery, released as part of ATI release package PRE/13/2015:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Legislative innovation

Ahhh... open government.

The ever-innovative people who brought you classics such as "There Are No Purple Files", "A .csv document Is A Computer Program", "That'll Be $10,000 Please, " and "We Used Electricity To Scan This Excel Spreadsheet So Now It's An Electronic Record", now bring you this, from recently-releases CYFS ATI release package CYFS/006/2015 [pdf link]:

And, starting at page 43 of the release package, this:

Pop quiz: Which legislative provision allows a body which is subject to the Access to Information Act to redact requested records because of swears?

Never let it be said that The Most Open And Accountable Government In The World is incapable of innovation. If it isn't in the Act... they will just make it up.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Indecision desk

In three provinces or territories, coloured here in red, a tie vote in a provincial or territorial election is decided by a random draw, or, in the case of PEI, a coin toss.
In Ontario and New Brunswick (blue), the returning officer casts a deciding vote.
In the rest of the country, and federally (green), the tie result is voided and a new election is held.
The numbers are references to the relevant provision of the appropriate electoral legislation.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Can't do that, you're not 'llowed

For mysterious reasons known only to The Most Open And Transparent Government Evar (TMOATGE), you are not allowed to copy and paste text from the PDF of TMOATGE's final budget speech.


False advertising

The increasingly verbose and grandiose titles of every budget of the DDD — Danny-Dunderdale-Davis — era:

2004: Protecting Our Future
2005: A New Future...A Renewed Pride
2006: The Right Choices: Momentum for Growth and Prosperity
2007: Vision. Action.
2008: Securing a Sustainable Future
2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation
2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future
2011: Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador
2012: People and Prosperity: Responsible Investments for a Secure Future
2013: A Sound Plan, A Secure Future
2014: Shared Prosperity, Fair Society, Balanced Outlook
2015: Balancing Choices for a Promising Future

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Ten years later...

A gem from the increasingly-distant past:

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, we have taken the long-term heath care issue to the forefront in this Province. As a matter of fact, during our last Budget, we confirmed the initiative on the West Coast, which you are very familiar with, we have confirmed the initiative in Clarenville, and we have confirmed the initiative in Labrador. All of those are now proceeding. You know what is being done on the West Coast. You know when you were in power, when your government was in power, there were all kinds of waffling, and going back and forth, and public-private partnerships, and it was going to be private, it was going to be public, it was going to be a $70 million exercise. We are going about it right. We are going to do it right. We are planning it properly.

- Danny Williams, April 20, 2005

Monday, May 04, 2015

Investor profile

The percentage of press releases which contain the words "invest(ment/s/ed/ing)" in the title, in the context of an announcement of government spending, 1996 to 2015 year-to-date.


Friday, May 01, 2015

More notable quotables

From the pages of the recent past in House of Assembly Hansard:

To clue up, I just want to acknowledge that this Budget is a great Budget. Some of the things, the Leader of the NDP even took credit for one of our biggest pieces of it: removing the HST from our home heating oil, but she is voting against it.
- Terry French, May 12, 2011  The NDP government in Nova Scotia, they brought in legislation that removed their provincial share of the HST on heat and light, but to pay for it they raised their HST. They raised their provincial share of the HST from 8 per cent to 10 per cent. In other words, they put the HST up on everything else and took it off heat and light.
- Tom Marshall, May 17, 2011  When you take all that into account, Mr. Speaker, it is much better to approach the tax system as we have – and we have not raised HST, which would affect everyone, as we have seen in other provinces. So, I would suggest that our approach to taxation is certainly a lot better for the people of this Province than the tax, tax, tax suggestions of the NDP.
- Jerome Kennedy, April 17, 2013  At the end of this fiscal year, Nova Scotians will have paid more HST than they paid four years ago. In fact, at the end of this fiscal year Nova Scotians will have paid 45 per cent more HST than they paid four years ago – 45 per cent more. That is the NDP philosophy. That is more than $500 million more in HST in an economy that has been stagnated by the New Democratic Party. That is what the folks opposite hope is in store for Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Steve Kent, May 9, 2013  Now, the one thing I will say, of course, what we could have done is done what the NDP in Nova Scotia and Manitoba did and raise HST that affects everyone, especially the poor and the vulnerable. We chose not to do that; we raised a $50 fee here on a transaction.
- Jerome Kennedy, May 14, 2013