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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Announce that you are going to announce something

Our Dear Premier expressing his confidence in the House of Assembly now that Tom Rideout is gone, or at least his press secretary (what happened to Andrea?), makes a curious statement:
The Premier said that an announcement on a by-election for the District of Baie Verte-Springdale will be announced within the specified time-frame as required under the Elections Act.

Curiousity 1: It's the House of Assembly Act, s. 54, and not the Elections Act, which specify the time-frame. Well, there's still a dead-letter provision of the Elections Act concerning the time-frame for a by-election in the very narrow case of a tie election, which the legislature might — might — have caught if it had actually, and carefully, considered the last set of amendments to the election timeline in the first place.

Curiousity 2: Said House of Assembly Act sets out a time-frame for the holding of a by-election, not merely the announcement of one.

Even in the new reality, where stupid stuff like mandatory language in an electoral statute doesn't really mean anything any more, that's an important distinction. At least to some people.

You'd think a Great Lawyer™ might care about such niceties.

You'd be wrong. As usual. But you might think it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Airgead agus na vótaí eitneach

« C'est vrai qu'on a été battu, au fond, par quoi? Par l'argent puis des votes ethniques. »
— Jacques Parizeau, October 30, 1995

"Newfoundlanders should have voted no too, in 1948. If it had been left to the Irish here — I mean descendants of the Irish — we wouldn’t be in Canada today. In “Irish” districts like Ferryland, Placentia-St. Mary’s, St. John’s East and West, and Harbour Main-Bell Island, the vote went strongly against Confederation. It was mainly the Protestants who voted yes to join Canada."

— Patrick O'Flaherty, doing his part to broaden the demographic appeal of the Newfoundland crypto-separatist sentiment, June 28, 2008

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Friday, June 27, 2008

How Not to Be Autonomous (I)

Autonomy Through Greater Federal Payroll Is Glorious Goal Of Our Dear Island Nation!
In 2006, the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, wrote the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, emphasizing the need for an enhanced presence of Natural Resources Canada in this province. Minister Dunderdale reiterated the Premier’s request by writing Natural Resources Canada in June 2007. In addition, since 2003 the Williams Government has been aggressively pursuing enhanced federal presence in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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On Ridiculousness

Ryan takes out his pink, white, and green pencil crayons and writes this week:
Returning to politics, George Baker is always good for a quote. Jane Taber of the Globe and Mail wrote recently how Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government aren’t fans of the Senate. They want changes, including allowing the provinces to elect senators. As the debate continues, Taber wrote, Harper isn’t filling Senate vacancies, provoking comments such as this one from Senator Baker, a Liberal: "Hey honey, I shrunk the Senate." Please God they won't shrink the House of Commons — our seven seats out of 308 is ridiculous enough …
Yeah. Ryan reads the Globe and Mail. The oppressor. Just like Our Dear Premier and No Names Please do.

But, pray tell, what's ridiculous about seven seats of 308?


Thursday, June 26, 2008


Executive Council
June 26, 2008

Media Advisory: Premier to Announce New Chancellor for
Memorial University

The Honourable Danny Williams will announce a new Chancellor for Memorial University today. The Premier will make the announcement outside of the House of Assembly at 2:30 p.m.

- 30 -

Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 693-7291
Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991

2008 06 26 1:50 p.m.

First person plural

"We are a seafaring nation, we are an ocean-going nation, we are surrounded by water."

So says talk radio host No Names Please, just now.

Which nation?

And who's "we"?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Three little words

Radio host No Names Please just makes mention of the health care system "in other island nations such as ours".

Which is the island that is a nation?

Which nation would that be?

And who are the "we" who result in the possessive pronoun "ours"?

Back over to you, No Names Please.

Choo choo!

Radio host No Names Please just makes the extraordinary claim, after excluding PEI from consideration:
What is it, twenty years ago since trains were abolished in the province? We are the only province in Canada of the larger nine provinces that doesn’t have a train.

This must mean that either (a) the Quebec North Shore and Labrador RAILWAY, the Wabush Lake RAILWAY, and Tshiuetin RAIL Transportation run something other than trains; or (b) that Labrador is no longer part of the province.

Monday, June 23, 2008

On ego

“The smaller the mind, the bigger the ego… they don’t like to have their credibility called into question. We have a lot of politicians on Backtalk we don’t hear from any more, who used to block the airwaves… now they’re hidin’ around in a sook because you said something about them.”
— Bill Rowe, today

Openness! Openness! Openness!

CBC reports:
The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced late Friday afternoon it will give the head of the Cameron Inquiry the extension and the resources she has requested, even after the premier and province's justice minister criticized the inquiry for the amount of money being spent on legal fees.



Oh, and it's not stated in the report, but: before a long weekend?

And lookie — Mr. Accountability, off in the Middle East on more-or-less governmental business (or is it businessal government?) and Mini-He can't even be bothered to put their "announcement" in writing up on the internets.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Monstrous hybrids

Danny Williams November 1, 2001, speech to the St. John's Board of Trade — this was back in the day when Mr. Accountability still published his speeches — reveals that he subscribes to the school of thought that a province should be run like a business:
I intend to bring a business approach to government that balances compassion with practical reality.
Then there are some, like Joan Forsey, who think that a province should not be run like a business:
This contains two highly questionable assumptions: that carrying on a business and delivering a public service are comparable; and that the cost of delivering a public service in remote rural areas is the same as in the province’s largest city.
And finally, there are those who think a business should be run like a province:

Talks Surrounding NLRC To Happen in Qatar Tomorrow
June 21, 2008

Meetings with potential investors in Qatar are planned for tomorrow and Monday in an effort to bail out Newfoundland and Labrador Refining Corporation.The Director of the Refining Corporation says he's remaining optimistic in light of the company's current situation. SNC Lavalin, one of it's contractors, served the company Thursday with action in Supreme Court asking the corporation be declared bankrupt. Brian Dalton says their first action will be to address the issue. Dalton says the company is seeking investors from outside the North American Market. Dalton says he is encouraged by their response and says yesterday they were working hard to inform them of the latest developments.

Premier Danny Williams and Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale are in Qatar where they hope to pitch the project to the investment community. Dunderdale says they still believe in the project.

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Final question, Mr. Speaker

MR. WILLIAMS: My final question for the Premier is: Why are he and his government using this very, very important piece of legislation to deny vital information to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador? What are you trying to hide?

- Danny Williams, grilling Roger Grimes over the Access to Information Act, November 26, 2001.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ken Morrissey saves the week!

It was shaping up to be a curiously Williams-Government-less week over in press-release land.

That is, until Ken Morrissey saved the week:
The protection of the province’s natural resources, such as salmon and trout stocks, is a priority for the Williams Government. In 2004 the IFEP was established to address concerns of the Provincial Government, conservation groups and recreational anglers who believed the Federal Government was not living up to its responsibility to provide adequate enforcement.
Take that, federal government!

Curioser: no ministerial quote, not even from the usually outspoken Screamapillar.

The WilliamsGovernment streak has thus been preserved, and now stands at 21 consecutive weeks of WilliamsGovernmentiousness. Just in case you might have forgotten who the government is.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Il se souvient

Darrell Hynes can remember stuff. Stuff related to the hormone receptor test stuff.

Darrell Hynes can remember stuff.

What Orwell warned about

This is the sort of writing that gives government press releases a bad name:
“These investments in the energy sector are bringing the Provincial Government closer to its Energy Plan vision for energy resource development in the province,” said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. “After the careful research and planning we put into the plan, we are now taking major steps towards its implementation and realizing our long-term vision for our vast wealth of energy resources.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On feces and flags

Bill Rowe, in his holier-than-thou discussion with a caller about how much more racist Ontarians are than anyone else, apparently, claims:
“At one town they put down the fleur-de-lys and trampled on it and maybe even defecated on it.”
Don't recall the facts? No worries — just make'em up. It's the open line way.

Of course, flag dishonour and desecration — not to be confused with defecation — is always intolerable under every circumstance, right, Beel?

Dear Clyde Jackman

"Recreation NewfoundLabrador"?


"Recreation NewfoundLabrador"?

Likey speechey?

You might think that The Most Open And Accountable Government In The World would publish Big Important Speeches by the Premier and other ministers, such as the Big Important Speech that Our Dear Premier is rumoured to have given to the assembled Annoya delegates.

You might think it.

You'd be wrong, of course.

But you might think it.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Ignorance knows no boundaries

Jack, tonight's resident VOCM aboriginal expert, has travelled to Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, and along the Quebec North Shore.... and still doesn't know the difference between Innu and Inuit?

Almost total recall

Perhaps after last week, Danny Williams was hoping that everyone else would have forgotten his staff pay-raise last year.

After all, they've probably already forgotten, themselves.
Rideout, the deputy premier, defended the new pay rates.

"Those staff are worth their weight in gold. They provide great service to the people of this province," Rideout said.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quote of the Month — June 2008

Even though half of June is still to come, there is no way that anyone is going to say anything better or more important than this in the next fifteen days:
“The notion that scientists will make a more valuable contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of the world if their research is closely directed by politicians is the most astonishing piece of nonsense I have had the misfortune to come across in a long time.”

— Brian Cox, as reported in the Times of London

The rot

On the second day of the 2007 election campaign, a caller to VOCM's Nightline program went on the air to deliver a stinging criticism of Danny Williams.

The criticism was so inconsequential that this blogger forgets what it was even all about. But the opening words of the caller's harshly critical remarks, directed towards the Premier and his government, are indelibly imprinted (and saved for posterity):

"Now, I love Danny Williams as much as the next person, but..."
Fast-forward nine months, and check out some of the comments on CBC's reporting of Danny's latest round of judge-bashing:

bbbc17 wrote:
Posted 2008/06/15at 9:55 AM ET
I too have supported this administration in the past fiscally & probably will in the future. But surely, the Premier must realize how embarrasising his office is looking in the eyes of the public.

mike_d_1001 wrote:
Posted 2008/06/14at 2:44 PM ET
Bad protocol....... Danny, who I generally agree with, is stepping out of bounds here

SpikeySnow wrote:
Posted 2008/06/13at 10:20 PM ET
I'm a big Danny supporter but with all due respect....BUTT OUT DANNY....
It's one thing, a scary thing, for the political culture at the top to adopt the ethical compass of a tin-pot third-world dictatorship. Which it has. In spades.

But for ordinary people to timidly proffer their criticism of the regime, and only after prefacing or footnoting their criticism with professions of their support for it?

That's quite another, a much scarier thing, that the political culture, at the grassroots, has now taken on the attributes of Mugabe's Zimbabwe, or Brezhnev's Soviet Union.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Danny disappointed over disdain - again

Our Dear Premier, whose Minister of Justice the other week was protesting before a Senate Committee that Our Dear Criticism of Our Dear Cancer Inquiry wasn't directed at Our Dear Judge, but rather at Our Dear Commission Counsel, directs his criticism today at Our Dear Judge:
"I have to say I was disappointed. I was disappointed as I watched Madame Justice Cameron show disdain for a professional witness who was before her, giving testimony, honestly, forthright, under oath, to the best of his or her ability," Williams told reporters.

"The pencil tapping, the shrugging, the rolling of the eyes, the tongue in the cheek — I find that disappointing, that's all I can say."


"People understand that you can't possibly recollect that kind of detail," he said.

"Where the commission and its solicitors are trying to drill down and demand that people have to remember that, well, I think it's a very honest answer for witnesses — any witnesses — but given a certain set of circumstances, here's what likely would have happened."
Of course, Our Dear Premier, in his former life as Great Lawyer™, never, never, ever, once tried to cast doubt on a witness' credibility when they couldn't recollect a certain kind of detail... right?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let he is who without cultural genocide...

Over at the Federation of Newfoundland Separatists clubhouse, Myles claims:
After losing its sovereignty and eventually becoming a part of Canada in 1949 Newfoundlanders (as they were known at the time) were encouraged, through a federally subsidized educational system, to forget their unique history in favor of the Canadian view of the world.

Nobody stopped to consider that Newfoundland’s history was not Canada’s history.

Nobody cared that Newfoundland’s music was not Canada’s music.


Indeed, in the case of Aboriginal communities, Ottawa tried to kill the Indian in the child, to eradicate any sense of Indian-ness from Canada, but the government of Canada is also guilty of trying to kill the Newfoundlander (and Labradorian) in the child and eradicate any sense of that culture from the Canadian landscape.

After 1949 the schools in Newfoundland and Labrador were encouraged, through political and monetary pressures, to dispense with offering meaningful historical information that might instill a sense of pride in a people being incorporated into a new culture.

Young minds were spoon fed Canadian history and the Canadian experience. The exception to this regime was the occasional dalliance into negative historical lessons. Dalliances intended to shame “Newfoundlanders” by reminding them the dark events in their past, such as the extinction of the native Beothuk, rather than the historically significant contributions they had made to the world before joining Canada.

For decades 500,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, like the the Aboriginal people identified in this week’s apology, have been led to believe that they are of less value than “ordinary Canadians”.
Interesting... if bizarrely inaccurate. (The education system was "federally subsidized"?)

From the Report of the Royal Commission on Labrador, Volume I, pp. 165 et seq., 1974:
[The education system in Labrador] has been a system which has done little, and sometimes alienated Labrador people from their potential.

The secondary school system has done this in part by an almost total disregard for uniqueness of the Labrador situation. The school year is at variance with the pursuits of a basic livelihood i none part of Labrador. School texts have very little to say about Labrador and some have almost no relevance. Indeed, it has been the case that at least some texts used in Labrador were designed for American school children, and have little relevance to Canada, let alone Labrador...

This disregard has carried over into the areas of curriculum and program development. Labrador uses the same curriculum as all other Newfoundland schools in spit of its being unique in geography, climate, location, industrial development, ethnic origin of population and predictable future. The curriculum does an abysmal job of relating either to the way Labrador is or the way Labrador is going to be...

The system is even less relevant to students of coastal Labrador... Skills such as those associated with use and understanding of the environment — komatik building, snow-show construction, survival in the country, and hunting, trapping and fishing techniques — are entirely ignored as being worthy of inclusion in the curriculum. This failure to recognize the importance of such skills and the emphasis on an irrelevant and academic curriculum in essence culminates in a degradation of the normal life style of the residents of the coast. The curriculum continually presents, as models worthy of emulation, things external to the present environment...

... the curriculum must recognize as valuable and encompass the teaching of at least some of the traditional skills of northern people. Local knowledge about the land has spin-offs for biology, geography and history, for example... School texts will have to be selected more carefully in the future so that their relationship to the life styles of Labrador people is much more immediate.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The official motto of Quebec, one which has been co-opted to some degree by nationalist sentiment, is Je me souviens.

The official motto of the Newfoundland nationalist party politicians and back-roomers, it would seem, is Je ne me souviens pas.

Difficult to control

A very, very, interesting exchange yesterday at the Cameron Inquiry:

COFFEY, Q.C.: If we could, please, look at Exhibit P - 0228? And this is an e - mail from Ms. Cheeseman, June 3rd, 2007, 11 : 29 a.m. Subject is "On line poll question". It's to Ms. Nolan, Ms. Turpin, yourself and Ms. Mundon and it's actually the results of a poll, apparently a Telegram on-line poll question dealing with the issue of "do you agree with the Liberal Party calling for the resignation of Health Minister, Ross Wiseman and Eastern's Health's CEO, George Tilley, over their handling of the faulty hormone receptor testing controversy." And that's why I asked you the question about whether or not there was any discussion about whether or not Mr. Tilley should continue, to your knowledge.


COFFEY: What, if any, sort of usage is made of this sort of material? I mean, why would Ms. Cheeseman be sending you this?

MS. MATTHEWS: She would send it as an item of interest. For me, personally, on-line polls are frankly rather meaningless, they are very difficult to control and I wouldn't have taken it as anything more than a point of interest. I don't monitor on-line polls personally.
Ah – the perils of the Clintonian present tense.

Ms. Matthews doesn’t monitory on-line polls personally. Present tense.

Did she in the past?

Or, if she didn’t, and doesn’t, do so personally, do or did any of her colleagues or subordinates?

“On-line polls are difficult to control,” she says. Does that mean she, or anyone she knows, has made the effort to control them? How else would you be able to make that judgment?

And what about other kinds of polls? Having stated that one kind of poll is “difficult to control”, how does that compare to the ease of controlling other kinds of polls?

For she, personally, on-line polls are frankly rather meaningless.

However, it is abundantly clear that someone, and someone with a particular interest in the Premier’s public standing, doesn’t agree with Ms. Matthews’ opinion, as stated at the inquiry, regarding on-line polls.

This chart shows the number of votes in VOCM’s difficult-to-control on-line polls over the past three years. [Clickificate to enlargimafy.]

The peaks marked with letters are for the following questions:
A 6/3/2005 Do you think the Liberals will be able to hold onto Exploits district in the June 23rd byelection?
B 8/5/2005 Do you think government is being upfront with the public on its' negotiations with Abitibi Consolidated?
C 12/13/2005 What party do you plan to vote for in the federal election?
D 5/1/2006 Do you think Jim Bennett should step aside as leader of the Provincial Liberal Party?
E 5/24/2006 Do you think the fisheries summit should be open to the public and broadcast around the province?
F 6/8/2006 If a provincial election was held today what party would you vote for?
G 6/13/2006 Do you think the provincial Liberal Party will be able to successfully rebuild itself before the next election?
H 7/7/2006 Do you support Danny Williams' cabinet changes?
I 7/11/2006 Do you think the provincial government should improve its offer to the Nurses' Union?
J 10/12/2006 The provincial election is set for next October, but if it was held today what party would you vote for?
K 11/23/2006 Do you think there should be an independant inquiry into the Fibre Optic Deal approved by government?
L 11/27/2006 Do you think the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the province to host Canada's premiers last summer, was money well spent?
M 11/29/2006 Should the official opposition drop the fibre optic issue?
N 12/11/2006 Should Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale resign over the Bull Arm contract controversy?
O 1/9/2007 Do you think the premier should call an early election because of the ongoing spending scandal in the House of Assembly?
P 2/9/2007 Do you support Loyola Hearn's statement that the annual rate hike for Marine Atlantic will result in improved quality service?
Q 3/30/2007 Do you support the province's ad campaign aimed at Stephen Harper?
R 4/13/2007 Do you support the Labrador Metis Nation's ad campaign aimed at Premier Danny Williams?
S 4/23/2007 Do you support plans for a massive rally on Confederation Hill to support the premier in the equalization fight?
T 4/26/2007 Do you like what you heard in the Speech from the Throne?
U 9/17/2007 The provincial election is less than one month away. If it was held today, what party would you vote for?
V 9/27/2007 Who do you think won last night's leaders debate?
W 10/18/2007 Do you like the Harper government's Speech From the Throne?
X 1/11/2008 Do you think the premier should shelve the feud with Ottawa and focus on social issues during this week's First Ministers meeting?
Y 1/15/2008 Are you satisfied with Tom Rideout's action on his controversial expense claims?
Z 2/5/2008 Should the premier ask Andy Wells to step down as mayor to focus on his new job as chair and CEO of the PUB?

All but three are on purely provincial political issues. Seven of those mention the Premier by title or name.

The last two massive-peaking questions, “Do you think radio call-in shows like VOCM Open Line influenced Government's handling of the breast cancer testing scandal?” and “Do you think Danny Williams owes an apology to breast cancer patients and their families for his recent comments on the Cameron Inquiry?” aren’t lettered, as they were the subjects of Geoff Meeker’s clever experiment last month.

By way of comparison, the average daily number of poll-clicks on the VOCM Question of the Day over the past three years is about 2650.

Ms. Matthews professes, in the present tense, not to care about on-line polls.

But someone very clearly did, and did so for a very long time, up to and including the very recent past.

It would be most interesting to know who.

Too bad that point wasn’t pressed yesterday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Check Against Delivery

Dianne Whalen, the giant-killer who ended Joan Burke's reign of hypersycophancy, was at it again today with her ferry announcement. In her press release, as in her speaking notes, she repeatedly referred to "Williams Government":
The Williams Government announced today it has awarded a contract for the construction of two intra-provincial ferries that will directly benefit two areas of the province and fulfill yet another major Blueprint commitment.


"Our Vessel Replacement Strategy is a key component of the Williams Government’s unprecedented Infrastructure Strategy, valued at over $3 billion," said Minister Whalen.
Except that... in actually delivering lines similar to these, she referred instead to something called "the Williamses Government."

Government of the Williamses, by the Williamses, and for the Williamses!


We can't afford to build a $35-million causeway, and, more importantly, you can't build a causeway in Marystown.

Trust and confidence

I have a lot of confidence in Judge Cameron and Mr. Coffey.

- Minnie, on VOCM Backtalk with Linda Swain, today


The Most Open And Accountable Government In The Universe releases the study it commissioned last year into the possibility of a dairy operation in Labrador.

The eagle-eyed will note that the study is dated March 2008.

The even more eagle-eyed will note that today's date is June 10th.

Those who are competent in advanced math will be able to figure out, pretty quickly, that that's more than 30 days.

Maybe one of these days, Williams Government will even release, in hard copy and on the internets, that Labrador Highway chipseal assessment.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Farrerexia (II)

Farrerexia strikes again. This time it's the usually well-informed Linda Swain, in banter with a friendly caller, claiming:
We here in St. John’s are closer to London, England, than we are to Toronto.
No, we are not.

Positive Bob

The über-partisan Tory caller to VOCM formerly known as Negative Bob informs us that he hasn't drunk the Kool-Aid.

That's reassuring to know, especially in light of all the other not-sycophantic, not-over-the-top and certainly not in the least bit scary praise he heaped on Our Dear Premier tonight. With regards to the Tom Rideout affair, he proclaims
Danny Williams is bringing in a whole new way of doing things... this is totally different from what we had, everyone pulling rank, everyone buying votes.
Yip. Totally different. Liz' talking points say so, and it must be true. If you suggest otherwise, nothing could be further from the truth. Our Dear Premier has successfully removed politics from the highways budget by centralizing control over the program in his own office. There are no "sacrificial districts". And we have always been at war with Eastasia. Or Canada. One of them.
Positive Bob, who hasn't drunk the Kool-Aid, continues, with literally Messianic zeal:
I love the man, I admire everything he's doing... I'm not afraid to tell the man he's done an excellent job, he's done a miraculous job... The man is a Messiah for what he's accomplished. I'm stating it, that's all. Why not tell it? Why hold that back?
You tell 'em, Positive Bob! And while you're at it you make some more sound points that couldn't possibly be any farther from being a political personality cult, nosiree:
People don't seem to appreciate what he's done. This is a sin against humanity… to not acknowledge it. Why not give the man the due for what he's done, and be so grateful?
*Sniff.* Brings a tear even to these jaded glass eyes, Positive Bob. And when you say
He's given us pride!
there ain't no one, no one indeed, who will contemplate, or consider, or even twig to the obvious logical implication, that if He, He alone, gave us all that pride, that it means for all these years, we were getting around in shame.

Right, Positive Bob?

You tell 'em. You tell 'em all.

Just don't pass the Kool-Aid.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


And clueless, too.

A happy ending

The Australian pack-rat follows up.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Put the politics on ice

This ten-para monstrosity, which drops the names of politicians as often as it drops the name of the player — who, for the record, is Danny Cleary — was bad enough.

But Come. Right. Off. It.:
"As Newfoundlanders, we have to fight for every inch of everything that we get," Harbour Grace mayor Don Coombs said.
Like, what, Your Worship? You mean to say that all the Quebecers, and Manitobans, and Michiganders, and Finns, who have ever been on a Stanley Cup team, have just had the big shiny thing handed to them or something?

Cleary, and his teammates — just like curling, hockey would appear to be a team sport — won their league's championship the same way that every team before them did.

Yeah, they "fought" for it. No quotas, no fair shares, no our turn.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Burning desire

Innu lawyer Armand McKenzie talks of arson, and, by presenting himself in this fashion, provides the perfect bully-pulpit for Williams Government to preach from, yet again.

Good going.

Factually challenged

One J.A. Magrath of St. John's makes some awesome points in a letter to today's St. John's Telegram:
The three judges reserved for "Atlantic Canada" was for a time when there were only three maritime provinces. Our country was the seat of the first high court on British North America. Mr. Wangersky would not understand this, coming as he does from one of the provinces created by the federal government. It's our turn.
Or, at least, they would be awesome points, if any of his or her premises were true.

First of all, there aren't three judges reserved for Atlantic Canada. There are three judges reserved, by statute, for Quebec, for good reason: the Supreme Court hears cases from both the Common and Civil traditions, and has to interpret federal statutes consistently with both. There thus has to be a banc, and an odd-numbered one, of civilian expertise on the court.

At times in the early history of the court, there were two justices from the Maritime provinces. Since the creation of Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905, there has, by custom, been one, as there are now until the retirement of Mr. Justice Bastarache — not three.

Speaking of creation of provinces, Russell Wangersky is one of the Halifax Wangerskys. Halifax is in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is not a province created by the federal government.

And speaking of Nova Scotia, it was part of British North America, and had British common-law courts half a century before Newfoundland did.

Nice try, though.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Open and Accountable Government shuts down the House of Assembly today.

That would, of course, be the rubber-stamp factory that sits less than the Senate, than St. John's City Council, than pretty well any other legislature in Canada, including those of the territories.

Oh, in a totally-unrelated item of news, which is completely unconnected to the Wednesday, June 4th shutdown for the summer (and fall) of the House of Assembly, next week is when Williams Government staff members are slated to start appearing before the Cameron Inquiry.

The new math

Asking for support to urge to agree to meet as soon as possible = demand!

Yet more assistance that, in Jerome Kennedy's mind, we aren't looking for.

Danny Williams: Proud. Strong. Liar.

From Tuesday's debate in the sad-sack Bow-Wow Parliament:
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, it doesn’t matter to me if they were on lease, on rent, on loan, on term, I say to you, Mr. Premier, but the reality is that there was a request for a full debate around those projects by the member opposite, the current Premier of the day. We are asking, Mr. Speaker, that if there is a deal on Hebron that it be brought to the House of Assembly for a full debate.

I ask the Premier today, if he is prepared to do that?

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, the Memorandum of Understanding has already been presented to the House.
No, it has not, Mr. Openness and Accountability.

St. John's, Labrador (II)

From the Telegram, James Tarrant reporting on the latest blunder by Open and Accountable Administration:
On May 20 Hydro held a methyl mercury information session with local groups. During this meeting, it was decided by Hydro, that an "alternatives" workshop would take place in St. John's on May 24. However, no such meeting, was scheduled in Labrador at that time.

The decision was later changed when residents in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mud Lake, felt residents who are going to feel the brunt of this project, should also be entitled to a meeting to discuss alternative approaches.

To compensate for the mistake, Hydro postponed its St. John's workshop on May 24 and rescheduled it for June 3 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Labrador residents were only told of the rescheduled meeting on the morning of May 29.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Taking Action for our Environment

In which the Good Minister finally gets to read her own Ministerial Statement:
Taking Action for our Environment is the theme for Environment Week. It is a reminder to everyone we must work together and take an active role to ensure Newfoundland and Labrador’s environment is clean and healthy for all of us to enjoy, especially our children and grandchildren.

[Blah, blah, blah]

I also ask all Honourable members here today to take time to do their part this week and every week. Reduce energy use at home and carpool or walk, and please consider the environment when making purchases.

Every one of us can make a difference!
Pop quiz: how many Honourable members drive single-occupant vehicles to their parking spaces at Confederation Building?

How many carpool?

And how many walk?

Coast to coast

And right on cue, radio host No Names Please proves this point through the intermediary of a listener's email.

Diversity in action

Williams Government Announces Williams Government Policy on Multiculturalism.
"I encourage everyone to support multicultural initiatives in their community, to share cross-cultural experiences and to foster partnerships that increase our understanding and knowledge of one another," said Minister Skinner. "By celebrating diversity, we increase respect for all cultures and enrich Newfoundland and Labrador society and the quality of life enjoyed by all citizens."
Maybe this means that, in addition to the perennial and never-ending series of fact-finding missions, trade missions, and cultural missions to Ireland, Williams Government will now be financing and organizing fact-finding missions, trade missions, and cultural missions to Northern Ireland, too.

That's teamwork

Williams Government has a perfectly functional Minister of the Environment, but, no, it's Danny Williams-Government himself who delivers this ministerial statement.

And Williams Government has, at least notionally, a Premier, one who delivers ministerial statements that you might expect, you know, ministers to deliver... but who also can't be bothered to answer questions during the Question Period that starts as soon as Ministerial Statements ends:
MS JONES: I ask the Premier today: is government considering any loans to any part of this operation or this company at the present time?

MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Loose lips?

Sir Robert Bond emerges from hibernation, and analyzes this:

One interesting tid-bit that's turned up already: last fall, natural resources minister Kathy Dunderdale made a comment in an interview with Ted Blades, a comment that seemed strange at the time.

She said something to the effect that Hydro would buy power from the Lower Churchill. It seemed strange at the time since any Lower Churchill development corporation seemed like a natural subsidiary of Hydro itself and therefore, Dunderdale would have the company buying power from itself.Turns out she was right, but the rest of us couldn't have known it in September 2007.

The plan, as contained in the EnerCorp strategic plan - released in March 2008 - is to have Hydro as a subsidiary of EnerCorp alongside all the companies that used to be subordinate to Hydro.
Interesting. Very interesting.

So maybe, just maybe, Kathy Blunderdale wasn't exactly mis-speaking for 8.5 minutes when she started blabbing off about a putative boondoggle of a lawsuit on the Upper Churchill contract.

Maybe what really incurred the Wrath of Our Dan is that she spilled the beans.

Well-organized spontaneity

Most interesting to hear Marjorie on the Two-Hour Daily Hate this afternoon, poo-pooing John Efford and Danny Dumaresque by name.

It was almost as if it was scripted or something, but of course nothing could be further from the truth. It was entirely spontaneous and not scripted at all.

Fifteen minutes!??!!?


Our Own Revenues

Political wunderkind Bernard Davis has a plan for Capital City.

We have to “increase our own city revenues”, he says.

Mkay. Assume that’s so. How does Bernard propose increasing our own city revenues?

He says we have to “lobby our own provincial and federal governments to contribute more.”

Autonomy Through Less Autonomy!

Bernie would make a good Williams Government MHA.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Jerome Kennedy, Great Geographer™ (III)

Another piece of brilliance from his Senate committee appearance:
Atlantic Canada is an interesting concept because there is Newfoundland and Labrador; we are a province unto ourselves. In fact – and I do not know what Senator Baker would say about this – we still feel we are a country within a country.
Who's "we"?