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

Friday, December 30, 2005

First person royal?

"Last year this time, we were taking down the flags."

- Premier Danny Williams, in his CBC Here and Now year-end interview.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Promises are made to be broken

"The Transparency and Accountability Act will greatly enhance openness and accountability in government, but a comprehensive and effective Freedom of Information Act is the best safeguard against the tendency of governments to descend into official secrecy and elitism," said Danny Williams during the 2003 election campaign. "A Progressive Conservative government will: Proclaim new Freedom of Information legislation which will include amendments that will clearly identify information that should be in the public domain, including cabinet documents, and will require full and prompt disclosure of the information to the public."

What, then, was the purpose of all this nonsense?

A make-work project for the provincial government's solicitors?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Solstice

A year ago today, Danny Williams took a young man aside and told him, "we are going to do something for Labrador. Good things for Labrador."

The young man was skeptical. The Premier pushed the point.

"No, I mean it. We are going to do things for Labrador."

A year ago, already.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Margin of error

Inkless has been getting exercised, and rightfully so, about the apparent innumeracy of Toronto’s National Newspaper.

To the meek defence of the Globe and Mail, the stupid error they committed is easy enough to commit, when the pollster in question puts the results of the “momentum” question ahead of the vote-intention question in its daily releases.

What everyone is missing, however, is why the pollster is even asking a question about "momentum" at all.

“Which Party has the most momentum towards a federal election?”
What is “momentum”? Would you know how to answer the question? Would anyone? Even hacks?

The question is meaningless, the responses from interview subjects are meaninglesser, the aggregated results are meaninglessest, and the carefully weighted aggregated results are, well, meaninglessesterest.

"Momentum" can perhaps be calculated from periodical changes in vote-intention or best-PM figures. But how many of the three-day sample of 1500 respondents could define “momentum” for themselves long enough to answer the question meaningfully?

"Momentum" is physics, not street-level politics. Allan Gregg may as well be polling Canadians on moment of inertia or potential difference.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The use of the word "additional", as in "an additional $50 million over five years", would imply the pre-existence of other $million.

Can Trevor Taylor please point to the previous $millions which the province has spent, out of provincial-source funds, on the Trans-Labrador Highway? (No, Trevor, the recycled Labrador Transportation Fund announcements from last winter, not a dime of which came from the provincial government, don't count.)

Is the province prepared to put $1 into the Trans-Labrador Highway, whether or not there is matching funding immediately available?

And since when does the Trans-Labrador Highway only stretch from Labrador West to Happy Valley-Goose Bay?

Where is the province's unconditional commitment to the Trans-Labrador Highway — all of it, from the border at Fermont to the border at Blanc Sablon?

And why do Danny Williams' "commitments" to Labrador — to the Métis here, to the performing arts there — always depend on federal money?

Is Labrador part of a province? If so, which one?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Two questions

First question: Why did the entire governing Progressive Conservative caucus — at least the ones who were present for this vote — vote against their own leader's 2003 election campaign promises and recent HappyTalk™ in Happy Valley?

Second question: Why weren't Premier Williams and energy minister Ed Byrne (the latter actually spoke to the motion during debate) present for the recorded division, especially considering that the Hon. Member for Lake Melville was?

WHEREAS Labradorians must be the primary beneficiaries of any development of the hydro resource on the Lower Churchill River;

AND WHEREAS the Premier promised during the 2003 election campaign, "We will not develop the Lower Churchill unless the primary beneficiaries are Labradorians. You have my assurance on that";

AND WHEREAS the government party promised during the 2003 election campaign that, "a Progressive Conservative government will make use of the hydroelectric potential of the Lower Churchill to promote industrial development and meet domestic energy demand in Labrador";

AND WHEREAS Labrador communities must have electrical power which is affordable and reliable to sustain and grow the local economy;

AND WHEREAS Labradorians expect a heritage fund will be established to ensure future investment in Labrador and its people;

AND WHEREAS there must be respect and inclusion for all of Labrador's aboriginal peoples - the Innu Nation, the Metis Nation and the Inuit must be consulted and engaged in meaningful discussions on the development;

AND WHEREAS local business procurement and local employment opportunities must be a fundamental part of any plan to develop the project - a Labrador First Policy must be adopted;

AND WHEREAS environmental concerns must be considered and addressed through environmental assessments. Labradorians must be provided with intervenor status;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this House of Assembly calls upon the Government to ensure that Labrador receive the maximum benefit of the development of the Lower Churchill Power Project;

AND THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a deal on the Lower Churchill not be concluded unless the electrical needs of Labrador are met and a Labrador Development Fund is established to ensure that Labradorians are the primary beneficiaries of the export of their hydro electric resources.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Harper's Niagara River moment

Stephen Harper is upset that marine forecasting was moved from Gander to "Halifax, 1,150 km away, and aviation forecasting to Montreal, 2,220 km away".

Courtesy the handy-dandy Great Circle Mapper, you will find that Gander (YQX) is actually 816km from Halifax (YHZ) and 1499km from Montreal (YUL).

For interest's sake, Gander is also 970km from Nain (YDP) and 973km from Wabush.