The Interview He Never Gave
It was, even by his standards, a particularly unctuous and hand-talky Danny Williams who sat down with Debbie Cooper of the CBC last week for a shallow and narrow-ranging interview, which aired Tuesday night, that could and would have been a lot more interesting if she had asked Our Dear Premier a few very logical questions.
Here, then, the transcript of It was, even by his standards, a particularly unctuous and hand-talky Danny Williams who sat down with Debbie Cooper of the CBC last week for a shallow and narrow-ranging interview, which aired Tuesday night, that could and would have been a lot more interesting if she had asked Our Dear Premier a few very logical questions.
Here, then, the transcript of The Interview He Never Gave.
WILLIAMS: Seventy per cent of all the money that we spend this year will be spent on health or education or social issues.
COOPER: And can you tell us, how does that compare to previous years?
WILLIAMS: I think we’ve got significant oil and gas potential for a long time.
COOPER: What’s the royalty rate on oil and gas potential? What are our expected revenues from oil and gas potential for this fiscal year?
WILLIAMS: In Labrador we have the best wind regime in North America
COOPER: What do you mean, ‘regime’? What is the royalty regime for wind power in Labrador? Has your state-ownership-or-else policy, as stated in Our Dear Energy Plan, attracted or discouraged wind energy investment in Labrador? If the Labrador regime is so good, why are there several wind projects under way in Newfoundland, and even more in places like Quebec, P.E.I., Ontario, or Alberta, but not one in Labrador?
WILLIAMS: We’ve also had a policy of no more giveaways.
COOPER: So, what are the resources that aren’t leaving the province now, that were leaving when you came into office?
WILLIAMS: People are feeling very, very good about themselves, there’s a great feeling, not only within the province, but outside the province, by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are living and working in other areas of the country and all around the world, I get emails all the time, they feel good about themselves, they can stand up at the water cooler and say, ‘I’m proud to be a Newfoundlander and Labradorian.’ That’s a wonderful thing.
COOPER: But I don’t ever remember being ashamed to be one. Did you? Is it possible that you’re projecting?
WILLIAMS: We want to be a contributer, a net contributer to Canada. But we also want to be masters of our own domain.
COOPER: Is that part of your population strategy, then? No more of… you know… that? Like on Seinfeld? Every sperm is sacred?
WILLIAMS: I don’t want to be dependent, or have our people dependent on the whims and fancies of a federal government in the future.
COOPER: Then what was that kerfuffle with Paul Martin, then, a few years back, about not having any reductions in equalization, no matter how high our own-source oil revenues go? What’s with the current kerfuffle about equalization with Stephen Harper, if not about maximizing the dependence of the provincial finances on federal transfers? Or what about the constant beating a warpath to Ottawa, of always wanting more federal funding for provincial infrastructure, whether that’s the Colonial Building or the Labrador Highway, or whatever else? Or what about wanting more and more and more and more federal government jobs? Isn’t that kind of difficult to square with what you just said, that stuff about reducing dependence on the federal government, and being masters of our own domain?
WILLIAMS: Well, y’know…
COOPER: Or, when you say you don’t want to be dependent on the federal governent, is that just another cryptic way of saying you do want separation from Canada and the federal government altogether?