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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

NB vs NL

ODP makes an astonishing statement in his Telegram year-ender:
The proposed Lower Churchill hydroelectric development did hit a number of snags this year, but Williams said he always knew it would be a challenging project to pull off.

He said there are still environmental issues, aboriginal rights and financing hurdles.

"(The province is) doing so well on the financial side that we're going to be actually in a financial position for the first time ever in our history to be able to fund the Lower Churchill ... ourselves," said the premier.
No markets, no transmission route, no agreement with the Innu, no environmental approval... but We are now able to fund Our imaginary hydro project Sinn Fein?

There you have the key difference between Danny Williams and Shawn Graham in how they approach state-owned energy corporations.

Shawn Graham wants to use NB Hydro to halve his province's debt.

Danny Williams is planning to use NALCO(R) to double his.


What's that smell?

Himself tells the Telegram:
Williams also said Neville's allegation after she was fired that the government tried to block her investigations is "absurd."

"What she's trying to do now is taint this with a conspiracy theory. That smells of Bern Coffey," said Williams.
Silly people and their silly conspiracy theories:
Williams said the biggest challenge the project faces is dealing with Quebec, which shouldn't be the case.

"Hydro-Quebec have skinned us big time on the Upper Churchill. The least they could do as a neighbour, as fellow Canadians, would be allow us to just go on with our project," he said.

But, Williams contends, the utility has "blocked us at every step."

The targeted approach

Again from the Telegram's year-ender:
Williams said the Department of Health is not like other departments, because of its complexity, the numerous different groups of professionals, and its costly assets.

"Our approach has been more of a targeted approach," he said.
A targeted approach to health care, indeed:
"It's disgraceful. They should be shot over there," Williams told reporters outside the legislature, attacking how Eastern Health had released information about the cancer patients whose hormone receptor tests now have to be retested.

Going it alone together (III)

The Telegram year-ender offers yet another peek into the parallel reality that exists on the Eighth Floor of Confederation Building:
"(The province is) doing so well on the financial side that we're going to be actually in a financial position for the first time ever in our history to be able to fund the Lower Churchill ... ourselves," said the premier.

But he also said it would be nice for Ottawa to help fund the project, and other transmission partners will likely have to come on side, too.
We are going it alone, but it would be nice for Ottawa to help us to go it alone? (And come on, Dave, direct-quote that bit!)

What happened to that nice Mr. Autonomy, anyway?
We as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians aspire, not to perpetual subservience, but to self-sufficiency. Our people are not content to tolerate a future of relying on others economically. However, our people have now also learned that we will achieve self-reliance economically only by taking charge of our future as a people. To that end, My Government will harness the desire among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to cultivate greater cultural, financial and moral autonomy vis-à-vis Ottawa.

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Translation (II)

Again from the Dannese. When Himself tells Dave Bartlett in the Telegram's year-ender:
Williams said the legislation is important, but has to accomplish what it's supposed to, while preventing abuse.

"We do not want to allow it to be used by people who just happen to have a gripe or a beef, who are malicious or vindictive or vengeful," he said.
What this means, in English, is:
Williams said the legislation is important, but has to accomplish what it's supposed to, while preventing use.

"We do not want to allow it to be used by people," he said.

Event of the year: 2010

Just a few years ago, this photograph would have been impossible to take.

You are looking south and upstream along the Kenemou River, from the western embankment of the temporary bridge on the Trans-Labrador Highway, on Sunday morning.

The fact that you can now drive east to west across Labrador, uninterrupted, from the border between Fermont and Labrador City, to the border between L'anse au Clair and Blanc Sablon, is going to change many things.

It has already started doing so.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You can't spell DANNY without J-O-E-Y

"Stop picking on Mr. Smallwood because he has done so much for Newfoundland."

-"West Coast Fan", writing to Ray Guy, 1968, as quoted by Greg Davis in the Newfoundland Quarterly, Vol. 102, No. 3.

Donna from NL writes: To all readers out there that are against Danny. Are You Out of Your Mind. Our Premier has done so much for this Province in the last 5 years. [...] He is making our lives a heck of a lot better and is showing Nflders that all we need is unity, strength and loyalty. And for the ones who call him a Dictator. SHAME ON YOU.

Pease in a pod (XII)

December 29, 2009
Stop shuffling deputy ministers: study
Rapid changes take toll on efficiency of PS, expert charges

By Kathryn May, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The Harper government should stop the "mad merry-go-round" of deputy ministers bouncing from department to department and keep them in the same job for a minimum of five years, says a new study on the public service.

June 9, 2009:

Over on the public service side, the relative numbers are even more dramatic.

Liberals: 24 appointments over eight years.

Progressive Conservatives: 37 in five and a half years or so.

Now some of these announcements were onesies and twosies, that is one appointment at a time.

In other cases, like the one made today, the changes have involved seven or eight people in different departments.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pease in a pod (XI)

Tories dodging detainee debate to slurp eggnog?

Public execution delayed for Speaker’s Christmas Party



A strange series of statements in today's Western Star editorial:
While there’s no arguing that throwing off the shackles of collecting federal equalization payments after 60 years in Confederation is historic, there are many in this province who would likely say they haven’t noticed much difference from the bad old days when Uncle Ottawa was our best friend.

The editorialist, like so many others who subscribe to, promote, or wilfully accept the local mythology, seems blisfully unware of two important facts. The equalization program hasn't been around for sixty years, and, after declaring Dannyland to be equalization-free, Danny Williams-Government then proceeded, to, erm, collect and cash an equalization cheque.

And the gall, the nerve, of that mean, nefarious federal government, "shackling" provincial governments by giving them money!

How long will it be, after Newfoundland and Labrador really does stop collecting equalization, before the same people who whined about the "shackles" of receiving equalization, will be whining, with equal fervour, sense of injustice and grievance, and manufactured outrage, about the "shackles" of not receiving equalization?

(Cf. Alberta crypto-separatist rhetoric, 1965 to present.)

This corner gives it six months, tops.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


From the Ministry of Truth:
Consider Yourselves Lucky: Crosbie

December 26, 2009

Lieutenant Governor John Crosbie says the people in this province can consider themselves lucky given the state of many other countries in these tough economic times. Crosbie says our offshore resources have helped cushion the impact of the financial challenge and ride it out. He says with our continued growth in the province we should have a positive outlook for the future. Crosbie says we should enter the New Year with that positive attitude and if a deal can be struck on the Lower Churchill than there's more reason to be optimistic and full of good cheer.
Umm... so why is Hizzonner shilling for Our Dear Lower Churchill project?


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas wish

That people would stop buying vowels on Wheel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Danny then and now (V)

Parliamentary privelege. Danny Williams-Government used to be against it:
Let's change it. From my perspective, I think the legislature should have the exact same accountability. That's a democratic practice that goes way, way beyond me. But from my perspective, I'd be prepared to be held accountable...those laws get changed...or anybody else in the House has to be held accountable for what they say. I have no problem with that.

That was before DW-G was not only for it, but started hiding behind its skirt:
MR. T. MARSHALL: Mr. Speaker, while there are those who have advocated for Ms Neville’s appearance in this House, including the Advocate herself, it is important to understand that this House is not a court of law. In a court of law, Mr. Speaker, there are procedures and procedural rules which govern things like the admissibility of evidence. There are rules governing the integrity of the process. Witnesses are questioned, cross-examined, evidence of others is called in reply and they are cross-examined. The whole process is overseen by a judge trained in the rules. This House is not a court of law, and these evidentiary safeguards do not exist here. Under the circumstances, it would be thoroughly irresponsible to admit Ms Neville into this Chamber. It is not surprising then, on December 4, 2009, that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Trial Division dismissed Ms Neville’s application seeking a declaration by the court that she is entitled to an oral hearing with costs awarded to the Speaker.

Chief Justice Orsborn said, and I quote: The law is clear, that the conduct of proceedings and of debate in a legislative chamber is a sphere of activity protected by parliamentary privilege and beyond the jurisdiction and scrutiny of the court.


HR Policy (II)

Tom Marshall accuses Darlene Neville, December 17, 2009:
MR. T. MARSHALL: A breach of confidentiality or a breach of an oath of office may also constitute misconduct. Mr. Speaker, with this in mind, allow me to provide my hon. colleagues with a summary of the misconduct upon which the resolution to remove Ms Neville as Child and Youth Advocate is based.


Mr. Speaker, the third area of misconduct arises from Ms Neville’s breach of confidentiality and her Oath of Office. Section 13.(1) of the Child And Youth Advocate Act is clear and unambiguous. It reads, "Confidentiality of information 13.(1) The advocate and every person employed under him or her shall keep confidential all matters that come to their knowledge in the exercise of their duties or functions under this Act."
Yvonne Jones recalls some inconvenient history, December 21, 2009:
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, in the minister’s opening comments in the House he cited very clearly the cases regarding confidentiality.

Mr. Speaker, when the former Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development went on an Open Line program and read from a Cabinet document no disciplinary action was taken. Even though this is considered a breach of confidentiality, the former minister received nothing only support from his colleagues.

I ask the minister: What is the difference between a minister breaking this confidentiality rule and an officer of the House of Assembly?


In fact, Mr. Speaker, when there were calls made and questions asked with regard to that breach of confidentiality of a Cabinet document, it was his colleagues on the other side of the House who actually supported him, who actually spoke in support of him and his actions, and made light of the situation.

What makes a breach of confidentiality by a Cabinet minister any different than a breach of confidentiality being alleged toward Ms Neville today, or toward any Officer of the House of Assembly? Why is it that they would be terminated from their job but, yet, a Cabinet minister would be patted on the back and light – very light - made of the entire issue? Because that is exactly what happened.
Danny Williams engages in a bit of freelance proactive disclosure, August 6, 2008:
During the session with reporters, Williams also accused MUNFA president-elect Ross Klein, one of the most vocal critics of the government's involvement, of a double standard.

"Professor Klein actually wrote me last year a two-page letter concerned about the fact that he had not been given enough funding for a venture that he went on with the university," said Williams.

"It was for my information, but by the same token, why would he bother to write me, as premier, if he doesn't want us to be interfering with academic autonomy? It doesn't add up."

Speaker’s Orders

Last Thursday, the Hon. Member for Lake Melville stood on a point of order, and cited the House of Assembly’s S.O. 90:
Mr. Speaker, I stand on a point of order regarding Standing Order 90. Standing Order 90 is, and I will just read it for the record, Mr. Speaker, "A petition to the House shall be presented by a Member in his or her place who shall be answerable that it does not contain impertinent or improper matter; and every Member offering a petition to the House shall sign it with his or her own hand."

Whatever did or didn’t happen during the presentation of the petition at the heart of the controversy, the Hon. Member then proceeded to adduce nothing that suggested that the petition contained impertinent or improper matter, or that the Member offering the petition had not signed it with his or her own hand.
The Speaker offered nothing by way of any ruling on Standing Order 90, but did, quite interestingly, make up a brand new rule – a Speaker’s Order – right on the spot:
The other thing that we have failed to do here is – and I think from here on in that myself, as Speaker, will impose is that the prayer of all petitions be read, because the prayer of this petition was not read into the record. The petition was presented as a petition and the commentary was made by the Leader of the Opposition. At no time was the prayer of the petition read into the record of what the petition contained.

There is a point of order here, and the Chair will state specifically from here on in when petitions are presented here to the House, number one, they be vetted through the Table, which a ruling has already been made in the past. From today forward, the Speaker will insist that the prayer of the petition be read into the record as well before members start making commentary to use up their three minutes.
Oh, the mischief and merriment that this may lead to in the hands of clever backbenchers. Start looking for petitions with looooong prayers, which must – Speaker’s orders – be read into the record, even before the three-minute clock starts ticking on the commentary by the member presenting the petition.

There are legislators in other chambers who would give up their parking spots for a rule like that.

While the Speaker is thinking about Standing Orders and rules and such, he may wish to refresh himself, and the rest of the House, on S.O. 44:
44. Every Member desiring to speak is to rise in his or her place, uncovered, and address himself or herself to the Speaker.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Making a list

My, but someone's touchy these days. Yet again, an opposition press release results in a battalion's worth of rapid reaction:
Minister Skinner said that in a little more than six years, the Provincial Government’s deliberate approach to improving the province’s communications capacity has led to significant increases in connectivity. In 2009, close to 450 communities, representing 85 per cent of the population, have access to high speed Internet – up from 114 communities in 2003.

Such remarkable figures: "close to 450" vs. a precise 114; 85% of the population, which means someone has created a spreadsheet.

Hey, Scott Barfoot — care to share the spreadsheet?


HR Policy (I)

Mr. T. Marshall accuses Darlene Neville, 2009:
MR. T. MARSHALL: In her ninety-two page submission, Ms Neville repeatedly acknowledges the existence of a poisoned work environment at the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate; however, she accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the problem. Rather, her submission is replete with examples of the alleged failings of others. Nowhere does Ms Neville acknowledge that her own conduct may have been lacking in any respect at any time.

Mr. Speaker, human resource issues are complex, yet Ms Neville is the one in charge of that office. For her to adopt the position that the poisoned atmosphere - to use her own words - is everyone else’s fault but not hers is completely untenable. According to Ms Neville then, it is the entire regiment that is out of step and not her.


Mr. Speaker, the hallmark of good leadership is the acceptance of responsibility. Regrettably, Ms Neville’s failed staff relations is most publicly apparent in her press release dated August 7, 2009 in which she is critical of ‘certain staff’ for not initiating the Labrador investigation. Rather than taking responsibility for the conduct of her office, Ms Neville chose to hide behind and publicly criticize those who work for her. Unfortunately, in her written submission, Ms Neville has offered no recognition of the impropriety of publicly criticizing OCYA staff, particularly regarding the Labrador fire referral. This, Mr. Speaker, is not leadership.
Danny Williams exonerates John Hickey, 2007:
"We had in the House of Assembly a system and individuals that on one hand assured members and their assistants that compliance and accuracy checks were being carried out to protect them, but in reality it was not happening," said the Premier. "I have heard several instances of MHAs telling the same story; the individual in charge of the book keeping at the House of Assembly gave absolute assurances that any mistakes or errors would be identified and corrected. Indeed, the note prepared for me which I am releasing today states very clearly that ‘The role of the Administrative group within the House of Assembly in regard to MHA expense claims is to review MHA claims and certify that they are accurate and compliant with the rules as specified by the IEC.’ Unfortunately, the systems and controls to allow this happen were not in place."
John Hickey exonerates John Hickey (Canadian Press, February 10, 2007)
Hickey, who was notified Wednesday that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary concluded their investigation into his spending, acknowledged that his office had made mistakes when compiling his constituency allowance expenses.

He has repaid the money to the legislature, but also maintains that he was a victim of poor spending controls within the house of assembly.

"The police have gone through this, they've gone through the auditor general's report and they have basically concluded after interviews, after investigations, that there was no wrongdoing," he said.

"Yes, there were mistakes made, and we fully recognize that, there was mistakes made in my office. I fully respect that and understand that. There were also mistakes made in the House of Assembly."


Proudly fighting

Or is it fightly prouding?

Either way.... to listen to the First Blue Kool-Aid Division, Danny has given us pride. He is fighting, fighting, fighting for us, because no one ever thought to fight before. Why, there are even unconfirmed reports that children were never even toilet-trained before Danny came along.

What then, to make of the following bit of prose, which has the inconvenient quality of pre-dating Danny Williams' arrival on the political scene?
Their history has been so tragic that Newfoundland was long ago called "the Cinderella of the Empire"... Yet there is more stubborn pride of country in every cubic inch of the average Newfoundlander than will be found in a cubic foot of any other people.


Newfoundlanders are great battlers. They must be great battlers: they have been battling against this or for that ever since the first settler landed here. Battling for the opportunity of getting a berth on one of the West-Coast English fishing-vessels coming on a summer's voyage to Newfoundland in the early days of the Island's discovery; battling for an opportunity to desert the vessel before she returned to England with her cargo of codfish in the autumn of the year; then batttling to hew a humble home out of the virgin forest that grew to the salt water's edge in some small cove far along the coast out of site or knowledge of the English fishing-vessels coming to our coast each summer in those early years; battling against Nature and the elements to wrest a living from the sea and the forest while they were building homestead; battling against the dreaded surprise attacks of pirates, English men-o'-war, "Fishing Admirals"; battling against the merciless, ruthlessly determined efforts of the early fish-merchants to amass fortunes out of the toil of the Newfoundland fishermen: against official stupidity and private greed; against betrayal, treachery, double-dealing and downright theft: against all thes and many other evils had the early Newfoundlanders to battle.

Nor has there been a time ever since when there seemed much less need to struggle and fight.

The much-advertised English bull-dog courage and the equally publicised Irish love of a fight have both found their greatest need of expression here in Newfoundland, from the dawn of our history to the very present.


I do think we Newfoundlanders need to have something said to diminish our rather swashbuckling pride of country and militant patriotism... Always keeping one eye upon the possible accusation of the psychologist that such insisten patriotism must really denote the existence of an inferiority complex deep down within us, I hail this pride of the Newfoundlander in his country as one of the most promising media by which Newfoundland will overcome her troubles and carve a great future for herself.
If Danny is the wellspring of pride, if Danny is the first to fight, then how can a body account for this literary anachronism? How can there possibly have been proud fighting before Him? How?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Life imitating art imitating death imitating life

You really, really, can't make this up.

January 11, 2008:
Premier Danny Williams barely arrived in the nation’s capital before dismissing Friday’s first ministers’ dinner with Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a political charade.


“To have to come here to be told it’s a certain time, it’s going to be over supper, officials aren’t allowed in, there’s no preparation going on between the governments and the bureaucracies and we’re gonna be out by the Friday night movie.

“How can you get anything done? I think maybe a weekend at Bernie’s might be more productive,” an apparent reference to a 1989 movie in which the title character is a corpse.
Kevin O'Brien, December 14, 2009 (via the Tellytorialist)
God forbid, if we lose the leadership that we have right now, that is certainly the envy of all of Canada, as I have travelled within the country itself, I have heard time and time again: God, we wish we had a premier like yours. So God forbid that we would lose him as a leader at this particular time. I will say this, that at some point in time, I suppose a lot of people expect that we will lose him, but my idea of it all is that we should mummify him and keep him in the seat and do not let anybody know in Newfoundland and Labrador that he is dead. I think just having him here, we will do much better than if we had somebody else in that chair. So I will say that there as well. I have said that, actually, publicly at times. I say it with some type of jest, because I am not sure if he would want to be mummified and put in that chair, but in the meantime, I would like to have him there myself, because I have all the admiration in the world.


Pfffft, revisited

The Bond Papers kremlinological observatory makes a fascinating discovery.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Northern exposure

Hospitality Newfoundland and Newfoundland maintains its long-standing silence on Labrador marine passenger and tourist transportation, but there are finally glimmers that HNN has discovered that it is ostensibly the tourism industry association for the entire province:
“The Trans Labrador Highway will have an incredible impact on the tourism industry of Labrador and travellers planning to visit,” says [Bruce] Sparkes. “It will allow much easier access to many of the places that make Labrador such a unique destination. It goes without saying that residents deserve this piece of infrastructure, however, travellers now also have new options for travelling within the region. Opening the highway now allows time for potential travellers to make plans for the upcoming season and hopefully we will see the fruits of all the hard work that has gone into this project.”

Perhaps come the summer, Sparkes will finally have something to say in public about things like this, this, this, and this, just as it has lots and lots to say about ferries that the federal minister of transportation isn't responsible for.

Heck, perhaps someone should ask him, now.

Then, then, and now

MR. WILLIAMS: In subparagraphs (c), and it is particularly in subparagraph (e). I will read subparagraph (c), it talks about "plans that relate to the management of personnel of or the administration of a public body..." and again, even more importantly is subparagraph (e) which talks about "information about negotiations carried on by or for a public body or the government of the province."

That particular exclusion is not in the old act and it has been inserted in the new act. Of course, the concern here is the issue on Voisey’s Bay or on any other major negotiations that the Province is involved in. By virtue of this section, the head of the public body would be permitted to exclude information about negotiations carried on by or for a public body. This is of particular interest, in these times, Mr. Chairman, because of the Voisey’s Bay negotiations which are going on. It has been a big issue for the Opposition, that in fact, there should be more disclosure to the public.


That is the fundamental issue on Voisey’s Bay. This clause hides negotiations. It was not in the old Freedom of Information Act. We are trying to have a more open act, and now what we have, is a more secretive act. That is what we have accomplished, which is sad. The people have a right to know. They have a right to know what the government is negotiating on their behalf.

If we allow this clause to go through as is, without the amendment that is presented by the Opposition, then government can continue to have secret negotiations. So if the Minister of Mines and Energy wants to have secret negotiations about oil and gas, well, then he can do so. If he wants to have secret negotiations or negotiations in private about the Lower Churchill, our hydroelectric power, then he can do that as well. They can basically negotiate all the resources of this Province away, have the deals done and the people will never know what happened, what the reason were or why they did it. That is why this amendment is so very, very important to this legislation.

MR. WILLIAMS: […] last December 5, when I announced my intention for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party - I am not sure if any hon. members opposite were there on that day when I announced it. In case you were not, I am going to tell you what I said. The reason it is important is because the Minister of Justice indicated that on December 12, 2000, a review committee was set up to look at the Freedom of Information Act. Well, a week before that I made a statement - and you must have reacted to it because I quoted Abraham Lincoln, he said: "Let the people know the truth and the country is safe. We will keep the people of this Province fully informed; there will be no secret documents, there will be no hidden agenda. If you and I know the facts then we will collectively decide the best course for our future.." of this Province. That is what I said at that time, and a week later the committee was struck to review the Freedom of Information Act. I am glad that you took that initiative.


That is what my platform is all about; no hidden documents, no hidden agenda. That is why our position is so clear on Voisey’s Bay. No secret negotiations, no secret documents. If the people know the country will be safe, and they have a right to know. They need to know the details on major negotiations of a $50 billion resource. They have a right to know. Why should it be kept secret? That is why I said it.

Let’s go to our policy on Freedom of Information, which is contained in our Blue Book in the 1999 election. "A PC Government will establish a new Freedom of Information Act to reduce the cost of accessing information...". First point, reduce the cost of accessing information. Secondly, " reduce the wait for information, and to ensure that Ministers actually provide the information requested where that information belongs in the public domain...". Three pretty sound, reasonable principles.

Now, the comment from the Minister of Justice. In the paper he talked about a change of attitude. If I may, I have to take off my glasses because I am nearsighted. That change will not come overnight, he said, there is a mindset that has to be changed. It is no good to have a progressive piece of legislation if we do not change the mindset and understand that it is the public’s right to access the information. I agree with the Minister of Justice. The mindset of members opposite should be changed, I agree.


With regard to negotiations, it is the position of this Opposition that there should not be negotiations in secret, especially on major matters, especially on Voisey’s Bay. I would suggest to hon. members opposite that this is the Voisey’s Bay clause. We know why it was there and it is wrong.

And now:
Hebron information confidential: Dunderdale

Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resources minister is refusing to release information about an agreement that deals with a scrapped component of the Hebron project, despite pressure from the Opposition.

In the house of assembly this week, the Opposition Liberals have been asking Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale to release details of the agreement that deal with any cancellations involving the development.

Dunderdale has refused.

"We haven't released the amount of money concerning the part of the project that now needs to be redesigned because it is commercially sensitive info," Dunderdale told the legislature Monday.


Friday, December 18, 2009


No, not from the Portuguese this time, but from the Dannese:
Where this takes the university campus in western Newfoundland, Williams said that lies in the hands of the people running it.

“This was an exercise saying, tell us what you need, we will give you what you need, now get out and do it,” he said. “Prove, if you want complete autonomy and you want to get a senate established, then the ball is in your court. You have everything you need to accomplish it.”
In a little under two years, without a doubt, the way for people to "prove" that they want autonomy for Memorial University of Newfoundland Corne Brook will be to vote proudly, strongly, and determinedly.

Temos aqui há 500 anos

Where might you have heard this before?
For Miguel Cunha, president of the Industrial Fishing Shipowners Association, the possibility of returning to fish in Canadian waters “proves them right,” referring to the Organisation, which had already announced that “that zone was ready to receive a greater fishing effort.”

In addition, he contended that the “cod stock was not in such a bad state” as was reported.

Things are not always as bad as they want us to believe. The cod stock was in moratorium for around 10 years, when scientists said that it was extinct. This opening is proof that resources are dynamic,” Cunha added.

That busy legislative agenda again

Since January 1, 2009, St. John's City Council has met a total of 45 times.

During the same time period, the House of Assembly has met a total of 43 times — 44 if you count March 25th twice.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good thing that John Crosbie isn't calling the shots

The Ceeb reported on July 28, 2007:
[John] Crosbie, a former federal and provincial cabinet minister, did not mince words on Friday when speaking about the government's motivations [with regards to SWGC].

"There appears to be political motivation in this whole situation, and the desire of the premier and one of his principal ministers to shine in their own districts," Crosbie said.
In follow-on coverage of the kerfuffle, Rob Antle of the Quebec Daily Newspaper reported:
John Crosbie has every right to his opinions, but his days in politics are over and he no longer gets to call the shots, Premier Danny Williams said Tuesday.


"Mr. Crosbie is a citizen of Newfoundland and Labrador," Williams said. "He has an opinion, and he's entitled to it. From our perspective, we're the government, and we've made the decision as to what we're going to do here.

"Mr. Crosbie had his day in government, and he made his decisions in that time - that was a long time ago. Now we are the government and we are going to do what we think is in the best interests of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, and that's exactly what we're doing here."

Pater provincias

Good ol' Memorial University of Dannystan, reliable source of incisive analysis like this:
"It's something in political science we call economic regionalism," he said, explaining Williams is seen as somebody who's not trying to favour any particular group. "It's almost like he's trying to help out the Newfoundland society as a whole," Marland said.

Labels: ,


On the day after the metaphorical last spike is driven in the Trans-Labrador Highway, allowing, for the first time in history, ground transportation to and from at least the southern Labrador coast by a mode that doesn't involve water, liquid or frozen; a change in transportation patterns which will, in the medium to long run, be as profound for the province as a whole, if not more so, than the construction (and abandonment) of the Newfoundland railway, the establishment of the Gulf ferry, or the construction of the major airports during World War Two; you might think that such an event would merit more than sixty-two unsigned words deep on page A11.

Just sayin'.


Legislative intent, the sequel

Nottawa points out some funny stuff:

No legislative amendments are required for the changes announced Wednesday and King said there are no other foreseeable developments at the moment which would require changing the legislation."

The legislation that required tedious work, due diligence, solid research, years of delay and (of course) deserved full debate turns out to suddenly be completely unnecesary.
It would appear, then, that the province's one and only institution of higher academic education, has itself been re-educated — perhaps during Tuesday night's "hurried" Bored of Regents meeting.

That's because the Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's and Corner Brook) annual report [link to .pdf file], tabled in the House of Assembly on September 30th, states, at page 5:
To undertake the changes contemplated for Sir Wilfred Grenfell College there will have to be amendments made to The Memorial University Act. Those amendments had not been finalized during the period of the 2008-09 annual report.

Working Title Productions

Even with shared services with Memorial University in some areas, a new and substantially larger budget would be essential. The independence and complete functional autonomy scenarios would, therefore, have profound and far-reaching impacts. If these changes were coupled with a concurrent doubling or tripling of the student population of the new Grenfell University (a working title) and concurrent increases in faculty and staff numbers, these impacts would be compounded.

Hurry! Hurry hard!

Gary Kean of the Other Quebec Daily Newspaper reports this morning:

The latest plan was endorsed by what chairperson Bob Simmonds described as a “hurried” meeting of the Board of Regents Tuesday night.

Now, that's curious.

Less than eighteen months ago, then-edjukashin Minister Joan Burke was pleading for patience:
Sir Wilfred Grenfell College on the west coast of Newfoundland, which has been waiting for independence from its parent university for years, will have to wait awhile longer, Education Minister Joan Burke said Friday.


"We are just at the point, I guess, with a busy schedule in the house of assembly and certainly the tedious work in developing the legislation, that we didn't have sufficient time … for the full debate that it deserved," Burke told CBC News.
Last fall, she brushed off concern about the delay:
“I want to stress that this doesn’t mean that our position on Grenfell has changed, I was really hoping to bring it forward in this session because I think it is a very positive piece of legislation for the west coast and in particular Corner Brook,” Minister Burke told The Western Star Wednesday.


Her reassurance to Grenfell was this was a time delay as opposed to a shift in thinking or change in direction.
During Budget Blowout 2009, she insisted:
Burke continues to avoid putting any timelines on when Grenfell’s autonomy will be brought forth in the legislature, but said government’s commitment has unwavered.

“Obviously, to give Grenfell more autonomy has taken longer than we all anticipated originally,” she said. “ ... At this time, I can’t exactly say when it is going to be in the legislature.”
And in May, her successor in office Dr. Darin Luther King maintained:

MR. BUTLER: I ask the minister: Is this delay linked to a re-evaluation of whether or not this government should give Sir Wilfred Grenfell College full university status?

MR. KING: Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. We are continuing to work through a process with officials at Grenfell College and Memorial University and our own officials at the Department of Education. We intend to move forward, and when the legislation is ready we will have it before the House.

From vague timelines, and no particular rush, and insisting on the time to do things right... to a “hurried” meeting of the Board of Regents Tuesday night, a short-notice announcement on Wednesday at noon, and a press release that didn't come out for another three hours after that.

Why on earth, after taking all that precious, precious time, a “hurried” meeting of the Board of Regents Tuesday night?

And why a bungled announcement on Wednesday afternoon?


Question time (II)

Again following up from Saturday's Tellytorial — an odd place to go spilling beans about failures of accountability that should have been spilt in hard reporting, but anyway:
The province won't release a six-page CRA report generated by the pollster's August questions, saying it is confidential third-party information. In other words, even though the province paid to see the numbers, CRA actually still owns them.

Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that some of the August questions, or any other of CRA's quarterly omnibus questions, were bought and paid for by the provincial government.

Commissioned, you might say.

They would then be captured by the quaint 2003 election promise by Danny Williams-Government:
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.


Good thing that Axel Meisen is out of the way

From a Rob Antle report on page 3 of the October 21, 2005 edition of the Quebec Daily Newspaper:
Premier Danny Williams says he wants Corner Brook's Sir Wilfred Grenfell College to stand on its own as the province's second university.

"I'd like to see Grenfell independent on the other coast," Williams told the editorial board of The Telegram this week.

"That's going to cost us some money, because you've got duplicate administration and duplicate hierarchy. But by the same token, they've got a niche over there. There's a certain market that they can go after. There are certain things that they can bring because of where they are, where they are located."

Williams said making Grenfell independent would help drive competition with Memorial University, and could make MUN better as a result.

"I don't want to just see it as a subsidiary, affiliate of Memorial, which is run by (MUN president) Axel (Meisen) and his team and all the St. John's crowd," the premier said.


"Right now, Axel wants to have it under the thumb, and I don't agree with him under any circumstances on that one. Axel and I often don't see eye to eye."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Someone, at some point soon, is likely going to think better of publishing the "blues" copies of Hansard:
MS DUNDERDALE: In 2008, Nalco Energy became the corporate identity of our
energy corporation.

Tee hee.


Sure signs of trouble (I)

Really: how hard does it suck to be a cabinet minister in Danny Williams-Government?

April 27, 2007: Government Releases Feasibility Study on Sir Wilfred Grenfell College
A feasibility study commissioned by government on the future role of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook was released today. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, said government has reviewed the report and blah blah blah.
December 16, 2009: Government Announces Plan for Increased Grenfell Autonomy

A number of initiatives announced by the Provincial Government today will increase the independence of Sir Wilfred Grenfell and facilitate its growth. These initiatives build on the strengths of Grenfell and appropriately recognize its role as a university institution and not a college.

The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Education, made the announcement today in Corner Brook. He was joined by Bob Simmonds, Chair of the Memorial University Board of Regents, and the Honourable Tom Marshall, MHA for Humber East.

2007: Marking a new era of partnership in oil development in the province, the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the province’s oil industry co-venturers today announced and signed the final deal for the development of the province’s fourth offshore oil project, Hebron.

2009: "We have reviewed the new development concept put forward by the Hebron proponents, which includes our own Nalcor Energy, and their rationale for this modification," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources.


Mr. Speaker, do your job (XIX)

MR. HEDDERSON: To date, since the Williams government’s first budget in 2004, we have spent approximately $185 million on the Trans-Labrador Highway.

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Autonomoney! (IV)

The ultimate symbol of Newfoundland and Newfoundland's history as a once, and in some eyes, future independent country, gets a makeover — complete with a false-alarm frisson of excitement, that maybe, just maybe, Secret Nation was a documentary after all:
While in the attic, French notes that during the ceiling stabilization, workers discovered old ballots.

There was an "Oh my God moment. - '1949 maybe we shouldn't have been in Confederation' " as thoughts turned to the 1948 referendum voting and a conspiracy theory about missing ballots.

But the bundled and wax sealed ballots turned out to be about prohibition (of alcohol) in the 1880s. The ballots were turned over to The Rooms.

Of course, if 1949 maybe we shouldn't have been in Confederation, the foreign country of Canada wouldn't be kicking in upwards of $750,000 for a pet project by a government that desires — or is that desired? — financial autonomy vis-à-vis Ottawa.


Continuing adventures in autonomy

Because nothing says “autonomy” like forcing an institution to adopt the name of the parent institution you pledged to give that first institution autonomy from.

Does this qualify as Kafkaesque, or Orwellian?

To assist the growth and independence of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, the Provincial Government has formally requested that the Board of Regents:
• Rename Sir Wilfred Grenfell College to Memorial University of Newfoundland-Corner Brook to enhance its unique identity within the university system

Sure signs of trouble (II)

1) The press release finally rolls out of ITAR-DAN at 3:10 p.m. — more than three hours after the advertised time of the announcement...

2) ... notice for which was given on the same day, less than three hours before.

3) The spokesperson for Autonomous Memorial University of Newfoundland — Corner Brook works out of Memorial University of Newfoundland — St. John's.

4) The phrase "Williams Government" is nowhere in sight.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For lifetime achievement in sycophancy

The award goes to... Bill Westcott.

Myopia and delusionary are wrong attributes for a pragmatic premier.
through to:
From my side of the overpass I prefer Danny - with his relentless warrior inside. He is a leader in a class of his own, our nationally recognized premier who isn't afraid to battle Big Oil or the cold, calculating enemy of Newfoundland and Labrador - Stephen Harper.

It is no wonder a staggering 80 per cent in this province trust and respects the premier - it makes sense to me.
the whole thing is just... just... flumbarious, sorcotic, and trambulific. There are no words. You might as well make them up.

At least the headline editor had a bit of subversive fun.


Mr. Speaker, do your job (XVIII)

MR. HUTCHINGS: We are generating our own revenues, we are providing our services. In terms of contributing, we are a have Province in terms of this country. We are finding our way and doing it quite well under this government and certainly the leadership of Premier Williams.

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Speaking of...

... hydro-electric projects, access to information, the memory hole, and Greg Malone. This is from a Ryan Cleary cover story in the October 26, 2000 edition of the Telegram.

Whatever became of that nice Mr. Cleary?

For that matter, whatever became of that nice Mr. Malone?
Freedom train off track:
Newfoundland's access to information law is not living up to its name


In another request, The Telegram asked for a copy of the Guaranteed Winter Availability contract and Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. Shareholders' Agreement signed by the Newfoundland government and Hydro-Quebec on June 18, 1999.

In denying the request, Energy Minister Paul Dicks said both agreements contain commercially confidential information that would hurt ongoing negotiations with Hydro-Quebec.

He added that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, although a Crown corporation, isn't subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Hydro did fall under the act until 1995 when, during intense public debate over whether to privatize the corporation, the province removed it.

"There should be total transparency there. Years of silence can only be covering up unpleasant truths," says Greg Malone, one of the leaders in the fight against Hydro privatization.

He believes the province has signed away management rights to the Lower Churchill River, and he won't believe otherwise until he sees the documentation.

"What are we hiding, glowing reports? Successes? Good deals? Is that what we're hiding? What we're hiding is a second debacle, a second sellout, the final sellout."

Malone says Newfoundland has been stung so many times by private deals it should be illegal to make one here.

"Any deal that's secret is secret for a reason; it's not because it's in the best interest of the people of Newfoundland."

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Down the memory hole

The Danny Williams-Government Department of Justice used to offer this sage advice to would-be ATIPpers on the pages of its website devoted to the subject of Access to Information:

"The ATIPPA is not meant to replace existing means of obtaining information. Before you make a request using the legislation, you may wish to try other, informal means to obtain the records you are seeking... Often, you can get the information you want in this informal way, without using the legislation. This route will often be faster for you and less expensive for public bodies to administer."

Why, you may ask, dear reader, did yours truly go to the trouble of screen-capping and transcribing this sage advice?

Well, because it's since been 404'd by The Most Open And Accountable Government In The History Of Ever.

TMOAAGITHOE's new web pages devoted to Access to Information — here and here — make no reference whatsoever to the "informal" method of obtaining government documents, the method which, scant days ago, information-seekers were told was "often... faster for you and less expensive for public bodies to administer."

The necessary implications in the bit-bucketting of this advice would seem to be this:

  • Danny Williams-Government no longer wants you to get information quickly.
  • Danny Williams-Government now prefers to waste money administering its Kafkaesque interpretation of the Access to Information regime.

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Vaguely familiar

Thespian and activist Greg Malone, who has remarkably little to say in public about the environmental and other impacts of putative hydro projects within his own province, offers the Telegram this insight into the lack of local opposition to Fortis' Challilo Dam project in Belize:
Newfoundland performer and activist Greg Malone said flatly that he didn't believe Fortis.

"There's not a lot of protest in Belize because people are afraid," Malone said. "It's very hard to get people to organize and protest because they will be punished for it and there will be retribution from the gringos with the money."


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Question time (I)

Some interesting revelations in Saturday's Tellytorial:
What do you think? Do you think Newfoundland and Labrador has benefited since joining Canada in 1949? Do you know anybody who's left the province to work in Alberta in the past six months?

Do you consider yourself foremost a Newfoundlander, a Canadian, or something else?
Those are some of the topics addressed in recent public-opinion polling of residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Interesting questions, all.

And it would be interesting to see how the respondents to those questions from the CRA August quarterly omnibus survey.

Very interesting, indeed.

But you know what would be even interestinger?

Finding out who the client was, who paid to have those nationalism-related questions on the omnibus in the first place.

One big hint: it wasn't a media client, not only because they are impecunious, but mainly because if it had been... they would already have turned their commissioned poll into a story or two by now.

Who bought the questions?



Bondpapers makes an observation about a Great Unreported Fact (GUF):
One of the great unreported facts of this expropriation – unreported by the conventional media, that is – is that the expropriation didn’t just affect AbitibiBowater.


Included in the seizure were assets of Newfoundland and Labrador-based Fortis Inc and an Italian company called ENEL.
Two other GUFs of the expropriation:

2. The legislative wing of Danny Williams-Government, gleefully ignoring the constitutional separation of legislative and judicial powers, used a sledgehammer statute to terminate a case before the courts in which it was the defendant; a move which certainly has no constitutional implications (Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth).
9. The action between Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. and Abitibi-Consolidated Company of Canada and Her Majesty in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador, reference: 2003 01T No.2113 is discontinued without costs.
3. The Danny Williams-Government wing of Danny Williams-Government has already given notice that it does not consider itself bound by whatever valuation may be placed on the expropriated assets:

The expropriation will come with a purchase price, but Williams said he now plans to deduct the cost of severance and environmental cleanup from the final amount.

"So, if the possible environmental exposure and, or, the severance were X amount, and the amount that the assets were valued at were substantially less, well, then obviously there would be no payments of cash from the government," Williams said.

Danny Williams Is A Great Lawyer.™


Friday, December 11, 2009

Mr. Speaker, do your job (XVII)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Incompetent Speaker, unless the Standing Orders have lately been amended to allow the trained seals to refer to the Premier, and only the Premier, by name, instead of by title or district name, then you should start doing your job.

Do your job, Mr. Incompetent, Useless, Speaker.

Do your job.
MR. HICKEY: Mr. Speaker, as many of you know, I got elected in 2003 when this government took office under Premier Danny Williams.


I take the opportunity to thank my colleagues for their support, and particularly the support of Premier Williams.

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From Thursday's proceedings in the Chamber of Sycophancy — formerly the House of Assembly — from a member who doesn't realize that he's already in cabinet, and doesn't need to keep auditioning:
MR. HICKEY: I can also tell you that the Member for The Straits & White Bay North now, he got a substantial investment out of that – government money, absolutely; Tory money. He came to the minister and said: Boy, I have an idea; put an iceberg plant up in The Straits & White Bay North. Well, Mr. Speaker, it is time that the Member from The Straits & White Bay North let us know how that is progressing, or we can have the Minister of Tourism doing tours through that particular facility. A very important investment, Mr. Speaker, again in rural Newfoundland and Labrador - rural Newfoundland and Labrador.


An eagle-eyed correspondent notes that the Political Service Announcements, in which cabinet ministers personally remind you to watch your driving and call for road conditions, actually started appearing in the weeklies several weeks ago. This is from the Charter of November 16th, brought to you by P and C and the Acting Minister of Highways:

So eager, however, is Danny Williams-Government to not have you kill yourself on the roads this winter — finally, they are doing something about the other half of the population equation, in addition to paying for babies — that the Acting Minister, and the Minister, are tag-teaming to reinforce the message. These two ads, paid for by the Department of Redunancy Department, appeared exactly as pictured, side by side, in this week's Labradorian:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not one

BondPapers takes Joan Burke to task for this statement:

Mr. Speaker, the previous government received a report in 1997, and on page 59 of that report it outlined what the focus should be in the legislation. In not one place did it say it should be in the best interests of the child. Do you know what? You took it, you brought it in and now we are left with the problems.
For shame’s sake, BondPapers!

Joan Burke spoke the truth when she said, “In not one place did it say [the focus of the legislation] should be in the best interests of the child.

That’s because the legislation says it in three places. In addition to s. 7, the Act also provides:
44. (3) The judge may grant an order to rescind an order for continuous custody, where he or she believes it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

64. (2) A director or social worker shall provide relevant information concerning the caregiver of a child or youth to the child or youth and the parent of the child or youth, but may withhold information where, in the opinion of the director or social worker, doing so is in the best interests of the child or youth.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hey buddy! take the tiller

It's not hard to see why Himself is so reticent to let His Dear Speeches stand on the written record anywhere.

Fortunately for the Anti-sphere, the Throne Speech can't be made to disappear down the memory hole.

Throne Speech 2009:

Captaining Our Own Ship

As we move forward to forge new and stronger relationships for the century to come, it is essential that the concerns and aspirations of all members of the federation be taken into account. Unfortunately, Newfoundland and Labrador is not convinced that the current Federal administration, having ignored our best interests when developing domestic policy, will do any better in representing our best interests when developing foreign policy.

If the current Federal Government is not prepared to represent the best interests of provinces like ours, then we as a Province will protect our best interests ourselves. To lower tariff barriers to our exports while safeguarding our fish stocks and securing markets for our seal products, we will speak up on our own behalf on the international stage and work to effect progressive agreements that take our best interests fully into account.

Canadian Press, today:

Bloody images of sealing have helped spur the European Union ban - a move Canada is challenging before the World Trade Organization.

"Ottawa is doing what it can," Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador said in an interview. "I know the prime minister has spoken with people at the highest levels."


Mr. Speaker, do your job (XVI)

MR. HICKEY: Mr. Speaker, in Budget 2009, the Williams government allocated a total of $390,000 for the 2009-2010 winter snowmobile trail season.

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Mr. Speaker, do your job (XV)

MR. T. MARSHALL: Since 2007 the Williams government has placed $776 million directly back into the pockets of taxpayers in this Province in a number of ways.

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The final section of the Trans-Labrador Highway, stretching between an area near Cartwright in the south to Happy Valley-Goose Bay in central Labrador, is now connected.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Likey speechy? (III)

Our Dear Premier went to Calgary last week — the one in Alberta — and uttered nearly as many words before the Calgary Chamber of Commerce as he has so far in the fall sitting of the House of Assembly.

Don’t bother going to Our Dear Speeches section of Our Dear Website. Liz hasn’t bothered to publish Our Dear Speech there, but she did make sure that Calgary journalists like Licia Corbella got copies of the prepared text.

ODP told his audience of Calgary hats:

I have said many times before that my province and our people do not wish anything less for our sister provinces and territories than success and prosperity. Nor do we have a desire to unfairly pit provinces and territories against one another. Nor do we begrudge federal government largesse to other jurisdictions.
Now, it’s hard to square that statement in Our speech from other statements in the same speech in which We, well, We begrudge federal government largesse to other jurisdictions, but only those named Quebec. But, taking Our Word at its value, the Calgary speech represents a refreshing change in Our Dear Attitude towards “largesse” from five years ago:

Apparently the Premier complained that money given to the 2010 vancouver-Whistler Olympics represents a case of other provinces being treated better than Newfoundland and Labrador.


Mr. Speaker, do your job (XIV)

MR. KENNEDY: Mr. Speaker, what I did know and I what I did see on a daily basis, was that this government, under the leadership of Premier Williams and his cabinet, has a vision for the future of this Province, Mr. Speaker, that what we are doing is for our children, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that our children have the choice to remain in this Province, unlike the mistakes – if I can put it that way – made by the previous Liberal governments, and also to ensure, Mr. Speaker, that they could live here with a quality of life that could be offered in no other Province or, in fact, in any other country in this world.

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The Political Service Announcements, reminding you of the numbers to call for highways information, remding you to slow down for winter driving conditions, and — what a coincidence — reminding you of the name of the Hon. Member for Harbour Main, and how much Happy Money the Ministry of Happiness is spending, begin to make their appearance in the weekly papers.

From Monday's Charter, among others:

Monday, December 07, 2009


A transcript of the audio file of His Dear Voice which accompanied the on-line report which inspired a bit of negativism — or is it pessimism? — on the part of nottawa:

I also postulated about the possibility if there was ever a separate Quebec within the country, that the new nation of Quebec would then be in a position to, basically, to determine the economic direction of everything – not of everything, but most of the east of Manitoba, so, and then I went into the whole New Brunswick deal and the Upper Churchill deal. And I have to tell ya, from this audience’s perspective it was very, very well received, and a lot of eyes opened when the kind of numbers were dropped there that Newfoundland is passing over to Quebec.

Where, oh where, to begin unpacking the Crazy? Let’s start at the end and work backwards.

1. What are the numbers that “Newfoundland” [sic] is “passing over” to Quebec? Does all profit – crazy example here, let’s say the differential between what a cable company pays for programming, and what it charges its retail customers – constitute “passing over”?

2. “From this audience’s perspective”. So, He was in the audience, in addition to speaking to it? Or was He His own audience for this speech? Just how many perspectives can one man have, anyway?

3. Quebec. Too potentially separatist to be trusted with an energy deal with New Brunswick. Not too potentially separatist to beg and plead with, for five years, to be an angel investor on Our Dear Lower Churchill.

4. If separatist provinces can’t be trusted to control any of the energy industry or energy supply in the rest of Canada, then surely that puts paid to the separatist ambitions of the mystery person who polled Newfoundland – and probably Labrador – on the question of separation less than three years ago.


Mr. Speaker, do your job (XIII)

The rule against mentioning other members by name, directly or indirectly, applies to Susan Sullivan's saccharinely sycophantic Statements as well as any other part of the daily proceedings, Mr. Speaker.

Do your job, Mr. Speaker.


December 3rd:
MS SULLIVAN: In June 1, the Williams government officially opened the new
Disability Policy Office, which was created to promote inclusion of persons with
disabilities in all aspects of society, while helping government departments
ensure their policies and programs are inclusive and barrier-free.

December 7th:
MS SULLIVAN: This was done as per the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador
Labour Market Development Agreement, or LMDA, which was signed by the Williams government in 2008.

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Not so fast

"We don't need Ottawa."

— Deputy Dan Kathy Blunderdale, speaking about the Lower Churchill on VOCM, September 4, 2009.

"Oh, yes we do," or words to that effect.

— Dan, speaking about the same thing, some time in December.

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Cross-border policy shopping

From a Danny Williams perspective, Danny Williams finds it (pick one) (A) ironic, (B) frustrating, or (C) rhetorically expedient that He "has to" rely on the American FERC regulations to get imaginary Lower Churchill power across imaginary power lines to imaginary markets in the States. (None of these, of course, apply on those days when He is spouting the narrative that He's not allowed to wheel His imaginary power at all.)

From a Rob Antle perspective, Rob Antle probably finds it hilarious that he has to resort to American regulatory filings to access information that The Most Open And Accountable Government In The Universe frustrates local access to.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Going it alone together (II)

An unusual little report today on the Ministry of Truth (Provincial), lacking any of the when or where that would otherwise have classed it, if marginally, as "news".

Perhaps the newsorthiness is in the ex-cathedra pronouncement from Mr. Go-It-Alone Autonomusly that He - that is, We - want and need financial assistance from the federal government W/He desire fiscal autonomy from, in order to fulful Our fervent desire to Go It Alone.

On a go-forward basis, naturally.
Feds must get involved in Lower Churchill Project: Premier
Dec 6 , 2009

The premier says the federal government will need to get involved in the development of the Lower Churchill project. Williams says development of the Lower Churchill will be of significant advantage to not only the province, but the country as a whole.

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More reviews are in

The Ministry of Truth (Provincial) reports on Our Dear Speech in Calgary — complete with curious greengrocer quotation marks and self-praise:

Premier Gets 'Good' Reception in Calgary

December 4, 2009

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham is accusing Premier Danny Williams and Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter of spreading 'misinformation' on the NB Power - Hydro Quebec deal. Premier Williams has been spreading the word about the poor deal Newfoundland and Labrador has on the Upper Churchill and has openly criticized the NB Power deal. Willaims received a good reception from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce when he addressed them Thursday. Williams says the audience was very receptive to his outline of the province's efforts to provide hydroelectric power to the northeastern United States and other parts of Canada.
Cf. Williams Doing Great Job: Williams

Saturday, December 05, 2009


This Political Service Announcement appeared in the Telegram and Western Star this morning.

Why on earth is the Minister's name and mug, and multiple references to how much money Our Dear Government is spending, required in a campaign ostensibly aimed at giving out highways information numbers and reminding the public to drive with road conditions in mind?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Pease in a pod (X)

Buddies in Big Oil edition:

September 8, 2006:
"The fact that the prime minister is not supporting me on the whole fallow field exercise and legislation, the only explanation I can see is obviously he's a supporter of big oil," Williams said Thursday.

"And if he wants to be a big buddy to big oil, that's for him to decide."

December 3, 2009:
Premier defends Prairie oil
Canwest News Service

Alberta and Saskatchewan shouldn't have to bear the brunt of Canada's emissions reductions, Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams told a Calgary audience Thursday.


On deadlines

Deadlines are good, m’kay?

“I'm a big believer in deadlines. The minister has already indicated that we can get it done by the end of the summer. I've already indicated that to the prime minister. So, that's the deadline we should stay with, as far as I'm concerned.”
Deadlines are bad, m’kay?
We're not going to have artificial timelines imposed on us by this corporation whom we've had difficulty dealing with over these past number of months.
No, deadlines are good, m’kay?
However, the unions have been informed that unless a deal is reached by the end of this year that we cannot guarantee that the 20 per cent will be on the table after that date. So much depends on the price of oil and the state of the economy.
Wait, no, they’re bad, m’kay?
“I hate giving timelines for negotiation because sometimes they take on a life of their own, but if you assume six months from the end of last year, that’s the outside I would hope a Hebron (deal) would be done by then,” Williams told Transcontinental Media Tuesday.
No, deadlines are good again, m’kay?
[W]e are asking the New Brunswick government to … finalize an agreement, by February 2010, prior to signing of the definitive agreements between New Brunswick and Hydro Quebec, subject to normal environmental assessment and permitting, to construct a new interprovincial transmission line through New Brunswick to the Maine/NB border, separate from the existing NB grid
CF(L)Co has asked Hydro-Quebec to reply to its request to commence negotiations by January 15, 2010.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Can we really trust Canada?

Hoo boy.

Family planning

"We can't be a dying race," Williams said Tuesday, while releasing the Progressive Conservative party's platform for the Oct. 9 general election.

- CBC Dannystan, September 18, 2007

"Girls we need more babies or we will never be able to support our future," Urquhart wrote.

- CBC New Brunswick, December 3, 2009

But (XVI)

Funky Monkey from NL writes: I like the government's approach this time with this matter. I hope they do fight and take it to court once again and do have the opportunity to renegotiate. It would be great and right.

But I hate and ashamed of the treatment of the premier of anyone that opposes him. Calling a person who questions him a traitor is beneath him. The Liberals are not saying don't go for it, they are just asking questions. That is democracy. They should ask all the questions they can. It's not an attempt to undermine the government. It's the government working as it should. Grow up.

Posted 02/12/2009 at 1:44 PM
Link to comment


Mr. Speaker, do your job (XII)

MS PERRY: It is my pleasure to rise in this House today to speak to the Speech from the Throne which is primarily focused, I guess, on staying the course. We certainly have a lot to be proud of here in Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly under the Administration of the Williams’ government which has been leading us to prosperity; steadily but surely.


MR. HEDDERSON: Mr. Speaker, I think I have twenty minutes. If I had twenty hours I would not be able to get through the tremendous change that has been brought about here in Newfoundland and Labrador by the efforts of this government and our leader, Premier Williams.


MR. WISEMAN: You know, in October of 2007 we had a general election and look what happened. Look what happened, the people of Humber Valley recognized [...] that this is a whole new ball game now, this is not a by-election, this is a general election. Who do we want to represent us in the House of Assembly? Who was the most appropriate person to have as the leader of the Province? Who was the most appropriate person to be the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador? Who do we want representing us? The people of Humber Valley at that time said: No, no, we do not want the person we elected in Opposition several months ago; we want a new person. We want someone who is going to be a part of the Premier Williams’ team and so they elected my colleague, the current Chair of Committees, who we saw in action today, Mr. Speaker, doing an admirable job.


In a most recent poll - I will find it here now in a second, Mr. Speaker. Most recent poll said that - they are all alike, aren’t they? I have some data here going back to 2006, I can pick any time, any time since 2006 - in fact I do not have it before me, but my memory serves me that prior to 2006, as a matter of fact since we have been elected in 2003 any time that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have been asked about their level of satisfaction with our government it has always been eighty-seven, seventy-eight, ninety, eighty-four, eighty-two, eighty-three, consistently, Mr. Speaker, consistently. When someone says who do they want to be - when the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have been asked: Who do you want to be the Premier of the Province? Who do you prefer to have as the Premier, the current Premier or one of the leaders of the opposing parties? Do you know what they said? In 80-odd per cent of the time, every single time since 2003, they have said the current Premier, Premier Williams is the person that they want as the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, I say, Mr. Speaker.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Stimulating packages since 2003

A funny claim from a Minister in a government of the guy who wants — or is that wanted — to "cultivate" financial autonomy from Ottawa:

MR. HEDDERSON: What I might add, is that this particular year, that was really, I think when the final analysis - it was up around $900 million because we leveraged federal money. So you are talking about $900 million, and not only that, but we are ahead of the game because we were prepared as a government. Because we heard what was happening or what we saw and heard from the people what was required in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, in Newfoundland and Labrador in general, and we responded. Guess what? As a jurisdiction - talk about stimulus packages and that, we have been stimulating since 2003.



From the proceedings of the Bow-Wow Parliament, May 3, 2005:
MR. GRIMES: [...] He is betraying his own people in his own District in Port Rexton who thought he was seriously coming out to help them get a couple of teachers, to maybe get our teachers back. They thought that was what the meeting was about.

MR. E. BYRNE: (Inaudible) point out to the Leader of the Opposition and to the House, and to ask you to rule on it. It is fine that the Leader of the Opposition can say that government has betrayed people on policy matters and we can debate that all day but he cannot impute motives on another member in this House and say that a particular member betrayed somebody, his own people or anyone else in this House. That is not parliamentary. It is unparliamentary. It imputes motives on a member and it causes disruption in the House. Clearly, Mr. Speaker, that language is unparliamentary and I ask you to rule on it or ask, before you do it, the Leader of the Opposition to do the right thing and withdraw.

MR. SPEAKER: The word betrayal, as the Government House Leader points out, when you direct it towards an individual is clearly unparliamentary, and taking into consideration the tone that the Leader of the Opposition put forward, the Chair rules that it is out of order and I ask the hon. Leader of the Opposition if he would kindly withdraw that remark.

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It's really unfortunate when one of our own betrays us like that

Danny and The Minions continue to find new bottom in a very deep barrel, and not just in the sorry excuse of a legislature. Over on the Telegram's comment boards:

tcollingwood from terra nova, nl writes: JONES is a JUDAS there are times when we should unite and this is one of them.
Posted 01/12/2009 at 9:36 AM
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The Train from NL writes: Sometimes I wish Yvonne Jones just SHUT HER TRAP.
Posted 01/12/2009 at 10:56 AM
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And over at the VOCM Question of the Day:

Colin P. Said: Yvonne Jones and the Liberals are traitors. If they were in power, they would sell out the Lower and Upper Churchill developments to Quebec at the very first opportunity. Just look at them - they can't wait to do another (bad) deal with Quebec. It makes me sick. Yvonne, stand up for your province for a change.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sycophant of the Month: November 2009

Total number of ProvGov press releases issued in November: 209 (+34 from October).

Total number with the phrase "Williams Government": 10 (+1 from October).

Sycophancy index: 4.8% (-0.3% from October).

Susan Sullivan got the game rolling on the second of the month, followed soon after by Danny Williams-Government himself. She didn't let the Big Guy spoil her groove, though, and she responded in kind on the 10th.

Things were looking good for a repeat performance for last month's champ.

Then things happened.

Tom Marshall happened. Not once, but twice on the thirteenth. Again a week later. And the week after that.

Later the same day, Jerome! put himself on the board, followed by a frenetic and blistering effort by Sullivan to get back on top of the game, scoring a rare threefer.

But, alas, threefers in this game score exactly the same as singles and doubles. Tom Hedderson closed out the month, making the final standings Marshall four to Sullivan's three.

Her performance on the 27th makes her the network announcers' unanimous choice as October's First Star, followed by Marshall for his solid showing, and Danny Williams-Government for Williams-Governmenting himself.

Susan Sullivan's monthly streak ends at, erm, one, though like Chrétien in '84, she's second in the month, but first in our hearts. Your November Sycophant of the Month, reclaiming his long-lost title. Congratulations, Tom!

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Pease in a Pod (IX): not-who-you-think edition

Via Canwest news:
The Prince Edward Island government wants to pick the pockets of other provinces to secure the money needed to build a new provincial museum. The ruling provincial Liberal Party has long promised to build a centrally located museum in P.E.I., which remains the only province in Canada without one. But once again there was no money in the capital budget released last Friday for the project. Provincial Treasurer Wes Sheridan says that's because the province is lobbying the federal government and other provinces to pay for the museum.
Honestly! Who does Rob Ghiz think he is?

From the Bow-Wow Parliament, April 16, 2008:
MR. PARSONS: My next question is for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.On November 22, 2007, the media broke a story about certain reports done by that department concerning the future use of the Colonial Building. The report itself, apparently, cost $200,000 and it has still not been released by government.

I ask the minister: When can we expect to see that report released?

MR. JACKMAN: Indeed, the report is in its final stage. Second to that, and very much a part of, is federal funding. We are awaiting confirmation from the federal government as to whether they are going to support that project, and I anticipate that will be announced rather shortly - I mean, the overall report.


Dr. Sealgood, PhD.

Danny Williams' Ambassador to Canada comes in useful, it turns out, in the important business not just of defending the seal hunt, but of compiling lists of friends and enemies. From proceedings in the Bow-Wow Parliament on Monday:

PREMIER WILLIAMS: I will give you one example. They should be calling him Dr. ‘Sealgood’, because when the seal issue was on the go he went around to every single embassy on behalf of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador - he did an outstanding job –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WILLIAMS: He identified for us who was with us and who was against us, and that was invaluable information to me.

ODP was right on one thing: they should be calling Fitzie Dr. Sealgood.

Oh, yes they should be. And they probably will be.

Not fit for it

Actually, the person who uttered this is not fit for anything in public life, really:
PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, the level of betrayal of the hon. member opposite to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador never ceases to astound me.

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Pease in a pod (VIII)

And yes, the numbering in this series was out of sequence.

By way of Jason W, posting on the Telegram site:
Jason W from Toronto/Channel, ON/NL writes: Great. Now Danny is taking pointers from the federal conservatives. You ask a legitimate question and Dany wraps himself in the Newfoundland flag and accuses others of spying for Hydro-Quebec. Ask Harper a question, he warps himself in the Canadian Flag and calls you a Taliban lover. I guess ABC is dead?
Posted 01/12/2009 at 11:01 AM
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