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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What he would do

Mr. Speaker, if I were in the Premier’s seat, I would take responsibility.

- The Word of Our Dan, November 21, 2010

The Ministry of Truth reports this afternoon as follows:

Dunderdale Blames Jones for Mill Controversy

Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale says any controversies about the failure of discussions on a new operator for the former Abitibi mill in Grand Falls-Windsor can be laid at the feet of the Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones. Motion Invest, a specialist private equity investment company has announced it is withdrawing its interest in the facility. The company specializes in the takeover and re-organization of unprofitable, distressed or bankrupt industrial enterprises. Dunderdale says from the start, the province maintained a cautious approach. On VOCM Open Line with Randy Simms, Dunderdale, who is also the Natural Resources Minister, says while government was working with the company with due diligence, the Opposition began questioning government to find out if they had received anything from the company. Dunderdale says she had to answer truthfully that they had, but at that point could give no details of any proposal. The Minister says Opposition Leader Jones criticized government based on information obtained from the internet, stirring up the furor of the past week. Dunderdale says the conclusions made about the viability of the deal were based on a lack of information.
This follows the remarkable line of logic concerning the air ambulance decision, a controversy which raged for much of the spring, as argued by His Awesomeness on May 4th:

The decision has been made. The decision is final. The decision stands. That air ambulance has to move, thanks to the Leader of the Opposition who raised this in the first place and brought it up and wanted to have this air ambulance moved to Labrador.
And again on the 11th:

This issue was raised by the Leader of the Opposition. She brought a petition to this House. She asked that this particular service be moved to Labrador. We then conducted a study. I would have to say, quite honestly, that until that study was conducted I did not know where the chips would fall. I had no idea where the preference would be. We now find that St. John’s is number one, Happy Valley-Goose Bay is number two, and if, in fact, there was ever a third air ambulance it would be in Deer Lake. So, St. Anthony has been completely eliminated from the picture as a result of the actions of the hon. member opposite.

While that was happening and while that petition was being brought before this House and while that study was being done, the Member for The Straits & White Bay North, at no time met with the minister or asked for a meeting with any of us.

So, you are the author of your own misfortune. You asked for a solution, we gave it to you and now you are blaming us for it. That is not acceptable.
You know what else is not acceptable?

Not taking the responsibility as Premier that you said you would and, like any pathetic coward, blaming someone else for your own personal and public failings.

But hey, if you're still looking for some blame to shift, if it makes you so very happy, here are some other things, which Yvonne Jones had nothing to do with, for which you can blame her anyway:

The Gulf oil spill
The past fifteen years of writing on The Simpsons
Thomas Kinkade


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Next up: an MOU on English composition

From Principal Minister Skinner's Ministerial Statement of June 3rd:
Our approach to forming these agreements has targeted those jurisdictions where we share a common bond.

In particular, our historical ties and relationship with the Atlantic Ocean led to increasingly valuable and productive agreements with the State of Rhode Island and Republic of Ireland. The value of which was highlighted at last week’s OceanTech Expo in Rhode Island.

No subject

A curious headline out of ITAR-DAN today:

Annexation of Little Catalina and Trinity Bay North Nearing Completion

This corner can't recall any previous occasion in which the abstract noun "annexation" was used in a way that would suggest "to annex" is an intransitive verb.

Who is doing the annexing?


Danny Williams is also the tallest MHA ever

In wrapping up the proceedings of the Bow-Wow Parliament for the summer on the 24th, Dear Leader made some dubious claims:

Having said all of that, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the last session, as I understand from the Government House Leader, it equals the record longest session of the House, so any criticism the hon. members opposite have about us not sitting around here long enough, we can stay for another couple of months, if you want to.


I want to thank my government. I want to thank the Government House Leader particularly, for thirty or thirty-one pieces of legislation this time around. The longest session of the House. I think the session extended over twelve weeks. It does not add up to twelve weeks but it did extend over a period of twelve weeks, if we count the partial weeks. That is a long haul.

They were dutifully reported by at least one broadcast media outlet:

Legislature Closes

The provincial legislature has wrapped up one of the longest sittings in the province's history - 43 days. The sitting covered all or part of 12 weeks. It featured over 30 pieces of legislation including some controversial bills such as changes to the Highway Traffic Act and drunk driving laws, stronger protection for animals, and a beefed-up human rights package. One of the key moments came when Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones reluctantly apologized after being labeled by the Speaker as the instigator of House of Assembly banter. Thursday afternoon, Lieutenant Governor John Crosbie cleared the way for everyone to go home by giving Royal Assent to all the bills.
(See if you can spot the other curiosities in that report.)

Fortunately, Dave Bartlett of the Quebec Daily Newspaper is not nearly as unquestioning and uncritical a thinker, reporting on Monday:

An analysis of the numbers from the year 2000 onward — and based on the number of days as posted on the House’s website — shows on average the House has sat for 33 days in the spring and 12 days in the fall over that period.

The average number of days the House sat in a calendar year between 2000 and 2009 works out to be 43 days.

But if you go back to the first two years of the online archive, 1991 and 1992, you find the House used to sit for considerably longer.

In 1991, the spring session last for 60 days and the fall session was 29 for a total of 89 sitting days. The following year the spring session was 54 days and the fall sitting 36 for a total of 90 days — more than double the average sitting over the last decade.
This chart shows the number of House sitting days between January 1st and the summer recess for as far back as there is on-line Hansard. The great "record" is only a record if you disregard everything that ever happened in the years B.D. (Years in which elections were held in the late winter or spring are shown in pale colours.) You'd think by now His Awesomeness would have learned the risks associated with taking advice from mere cabinet mortals,


Monday, June 28, 2010

Political science

From No. 21's Member's Statement on the 16th:
MR. HUTCHINGS: Mr. Speaker, I rise in the hon. House today to recognize and congratulate Shawn Kavanagh of Calvert, a student at Memorial University. Shawn is currently in his fourth year of an honours degree in political science investigating the effect that public opinion polling has on public policy, with a minor in history. He has also started his honour’s thesis in political science.
That would be a right interesting piece of research, especially in 21st-century Dannystan.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear G8 protesters

Um, yeah, what was that point you were trying to make, again?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Williams Effect?

It’s more expensive to buy property in St. John’s than it is in Toronto or Vancouver — at least in the latest edition of Monopoly: Canada
Will there be a ProvGov press release before the day is out?


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Identity politics (I)

A fascinating poll out on Saturday, commissioned by Jack Jedwab's shop in Montreal, and reported on by the Sun chain. Sadly, neither the Association for Canadian Studies, Sun media, nor the pollster Léger Marketing, have yet published the full tables on the intertubes. (In the case of the perennially out-of-date ACS website, they probably never will.)

However, the print edition of the Sun did carry a cleverly colour-coded graph, from which all manner of interesting lessons might be drawn, but for now, try this...

The share of poll respondents in Newfoundland and Labrador who said they were "very attached" to "their language" was 81.3%.

Not only is that higher than the all-Canada response of 62.4%, it is also the highest of any province outside Quebec.

What is perhaps surprisinger, however, is that Quebecers actually rank language even lower: 61.6% are "very attached" to "their" language (whatever that language may be for any given respondent.) In Newfoundland and Labrador, the figure was a staggering 81.3%

New Brunswick, less surprisingly perhaps, comes in next, at 70.3%.

It is not immediately clear whether "their language", to which respondents in NL self-profess to be "very attached", is the same one that the Entirely Spontaneous Blue Kool-Aid Brigade have, of late, taken to belittling, entirely spontaneously.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dear CBC Newswhatever You're Called This Year

Yes, we get it. World Cup. Olé, olé, olé. Oh look! Nil-nil. A blowout for both teams.

I can haz newz now?


Thursday, June 10, 2010

If you can't beat 'em

So, Dear Leader goes up to the Canada, having already spewed demoagogic venom, spews more such venom, and pledges to spew even more; after all, the next polling season is only seven weeks away:
PREMIER WILLIAMS: What we have done now is, we have gone to New York, we have gone to Calgary, we gone to the Nation’s Capital in Ottawa, and we will not stop there because we are going to state our case that is based on fairness, equity, and justice.
And, in the face of the transparent attempt to change the local channel by whipping up anti-Quebec hysteria, what do you do when you're the poorly-resource opposition? While Danny is off slaying his imaginary dragons, you seize the opportunity to attack his exposed flank, where he is vulnerable for his own failings and improprieties, right?

Of course not! In the sad spectacle that is Dannystan politics and the pathetic, hollow excuse of a legislature, you pile on board the Spirit of '48 yourself!
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, just yesterday the Premier bitterly complained about the way we were being treated at the hands of Quebec. Yet, in tender after tender this Province is awarding major construction contracts to Quebec companies. This government is feeding Quebec with one hand and beating them over the head with the other hand, I say to you, Premier. Quebec contractors are able to operate freely in this Province while restrictive labour practices effectively bar our own contractors from doing work in that Province.

I ask the Premier: Why are you awarding contracts to Quebec companies when our own contractors are restricted in competing for contracts in Quebec?


MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, just a week ago, as the Premier was staging another lashing for Quebec, his government awarded a $31 million contract for the RNC headquarters in St. John’s to a Quebec company. The second lowest bidder, a Newfoundland company was at $33 million, a difference of less than 5 per cent of the total cost of the contract.

I ask the Premier: Why is it that you can lash out at Quebec, like you did in your speech yesterday and say that Quebec has, and I quote: Demonstrated the Province’s bias, arrogance and discriminatory business practices towards our Province, yet you are handing out taxpayers’ money in Newfoundland and Labrador to Quebec companies?


MS JONES: Maybe the tender is not awarded but those are the notes. Let me tell you the tenders that are awarded, because I just got it off the tendering list, it did not say, Mr. Speaker. Let me tell you the ones that were, a Quebec company was awarded a $12 million contract for a school in L’Anse-au-Loup while the Newfoundland company was less than 2 per cent shy of the lowest bidder. A Quebec company was awarded a $50 million contract for a long-term care centre in Corner Brook and the next lowest bidder, a Newfoundland company, was less than 5 per cent. A highway contract in Labrador was awarded to a Quebec company, when the Newfoundland and Labrador company was $25,000 over what the $12 million bid was.

I ask the Premier today: Why is it that you are not looking after our own construction and trades industries in Newfoundland and Labrador, and keeping that money right here at home?


MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot say on the one hand we are being milked by Quebec, and on the other hand we are writing cheques for taxpayers’ money and giving it to Quebec companies.

I say to government opposite, you talk about the Agreement on Internal Trade, but it is perfectly acceptable if the government wants to put exemption clauses into ferry contracts or in fibre optic contracts, which we have seen happen in the Province, Mr. Speaker. So, if there is a will, there is a way.

I would say to the Premier today, in asking this question, Mr. Speaker, I would ask: When are we going to stop the practice of giving contracts outside of the Province, to the Province of Quebec, while they are shafting us, Premier?
The chances of anyone ever scraping together three brain cells, a shred of human decency, and a few grains of common sense, and calling the Premier out on his demagogic francophobic outburst of intolerance and bigotry are effectively nil.

In a 21st century province of Canada, that's really sad.


Likey speechy (IV)

So, Fearless Leader on Wednesday went up to the Canada, in which country, in a hotel just a few hundred metres across the river from Hydro Quebec, He gave a blistering speech, full of The Crazy. For some inexplicable reason, Fearless Leader gave just a few hours' worth of official notice of this historic event.

Our Dear Speech is entitled: The Province We Are; The Province We Aspire To Be.

Talk about your bait-and-switch; nothing, of course, could be further from the truth: ODS was rather, for six of its nine loopy and plodding pages, The Province Quebec Is; Or At Least, The Province I Think Quebec Is (And You Should, Too).

(Incidentally, who started the vicious rumour that Danny Williams is an "eloquent" speaker? Yeah, you need to see an audiologist.)

Don't bother looking for it on Our Dear Speeches website, however. Not only has it not been updated this calendar year, since He quotes or mentions by name the President of Air Canada, Fred Shero, former coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, Robert Browning, Sir Winston Churchill, Jeffrey Simpson, Don Martin, Seamus O'Regan, Rex Murphy, Rick Mercer, Heidi Bonnell, and Max Keeping, it would, apparently, be illegal under the Orwellian (or is it Kafkaesque?) laws of Dannystan to publish this barnburner on a provincial government web server, at least not without substantial redaction.

Never fear, however: the full text, including The Crazy, is available through the private sector.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Autonomy: New Brunswick edition

Among the chief criticisms which Dear Leader lobbed over the Gulf of St. Lawrence onto New Brunswick's Shawn Graham, over the aborted deal to sell NB Power to Hydro-Quebec, was that to do so would mean New Brunswick was ceding "energy sovereignty" to another province.

And apparently, that's a bad thing.

Which brings us to today's report in the Daily Gleaner, by way of The Telegram:
New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward says he has invited this province's Premier Danny Williams to participate in the New Brunswick energy commission he will set up after winning the September provincial election.


“Immediately following the election we will be moving forward with an energy commission and I encouraged (the Williams government) to be participants in that process, as we will be encouraging other neighbours both in Canada and in the U.S,” he said.

“We’ve said all along we believe in the importance of collaboration between our neighbours.“Yesterday was an opportunity for us to reach out to them, to hear what their idea and visions are for Newfoundland and energy development (and) … also within Atlantic Canada.”
Since it's bad for one province to have any say in another province's energy policy — "energy sovereignty" and all that — Dear Leader will, of course, decline the kind invitation.


Monday, June 07, 2010

Miles before they hit the shore

Early last month, the Chief Oilman reassured the House, and the public, that their concerns about a BP-style disaster off the shores of Newfoundland were perhaps overblown:

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, the people of the Province can be assured that we will adopt the best practices in the world. As we come to this process now in the Gulf of Mexico, if there are any new devices or methodologies or technologies that are developed, we will make sure that they are adopted in our offshore. From our own perspective, the C-NLOPB is responsible primarily for any offshore problems. If it comes to any leakages or seepages that come from tankers or ship transports, then that is the responsibility, of course, of Transport Canada.

From our own perspective, as recently as this morning, we have looked at just exactly what the situations are in the North Atlantic. It is a general understanding that because the offshore sites are significantly offshore and well east of the Province that the situation that could arise in Orphan Basin or Jeanne d’Arc or the Flemish Pass is that there is a lower likelihood that oil would actually come ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, that is not to say that it would not.

As well, we are dealing with a heavy crude oil out there, so from a fishing perspective, there is less likelihood that it would affect the fishery although it would certainly affect the gear. However, having said that, I am not trying to minimize the circumstances under any situation, we will make sure that we monitor this very closely and that we adopt the best practices in the world.

Now, it is probably true that, given the prevailing winds and currents, the likelihood is low that oil would reach local shores from a blowout at an existing or planned offshore Newfoundland oil well.

But what about other offshore areas that are subject to CNLOPB rules and “best practices”?

While there have been gas finds in both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and offshore Labrador, there haven’t been commercially-viable oil finds. Yet.

And the prevailing winds and currents offshore Labrador, or in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, don’t offer the possibilities of the same rosy scenario for a future submarine blowout.

This map, generated at this pretty cool website, shows what the BP slick in the Gulf of Mexico would look like transposed to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

(You can only use terrestrial locations to generate the map. This one uses Bird Rock, an uninhabited rock in the Magdalene Islands archipelago, as a reasonable facsimile of an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, not far from the putative maritime boundary between Newfoundland and Quebec.)

The putative slick extends from the northern tip of Cape Breton Island to Anticosti, from the Baie des Chaleurs between Gaspé and the Acadian Peninsula to Cape Anguille and the Port-au-Port Peninsula.

An event on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon, if it were to happen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, would have a major environmental and economic impact on all five provinces which surround it.

An offshore Labrador disaster, well… perhaps you could put some stuff in the water to trace the currents and make them visible on a macro scale. That would help you to visualize stuff.

In the immortal words of the 2007 PC campaign theme song, “We can see the problems coming miles before they hit the shore.”


Friday, June 04, 2010

Train 'em early (XXII): Sandy Collins

And finally — for now? — the other Mr. Collins, as if to outdo Mr. Davis, polishes the apple very, very vigorously, on May 6th. Curiously, he too invokes the polls:

Last, and certainly not least, I would like to thank the Premier and the entire caucus for the support during the by-election, but more importantly, since taking my seat. Upon being elected, I was openly welcomed in the caucus. As a member of this team I am given equal opportunity to pass opinions and participate. The Premier always says that each voice around that table brings a different perspective and therefore should be heard. Our newest voice, the Member for Topsail, will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable addition to this team. I would like to again welcome our newest member and look forward to working with him in the future.

We have a strong caucus with a clear vision and it is a tremendous thing to witness this group working together. A team cannot be measured on any one individual’s ability, and while we have the most dynamic Premier this Province has ever seen, the group around him must also be equal to the challenge. Mr. Speaker, the saying, "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it," certainly describes this caucus.

This Province suffered from years of neglect under the former Administration. It is so easy for them now to say: It was neglected because we did not have the funds that exist today.

True, they did not have the funds that are available, but the money they did have was mismanaged and squandered. Furthermore, and more notable, the reason we currently have the funds available is due to sound decisions by this government and the persistence, dedication and strength of our Premier.

I am surrounded by forty-three Progressive Conservative members, most of whom represent rural districts, and that simply says it all. These men and women, under the leadership of this Premier, work tirelessly for the benefit of the Province. People see and people appreciate this and are overwhelmingly satisfied with the job that has been done, and look forward to even brighter days ahead.

If the members of the Opposition are not convinced, I would suggest they look at the results from the latest opinion polls. Time after time after time after time, the numbers grow and seem to keep getting better.

The Premier did not give us greatness; he summoned it. It was due to hard work and determination of this government and our Premier to implement a plan, a blueprint for success. As a result of that successful plan, this Province has taken its proper place in Confederation: among the top. It is safe to say that Newfoundland and Labrador has arrived.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Train 'em early (XXI): Paul Davis

Paul Davis, newly minted trained seal for Topsail, with abundant help from trained seals for other districts, manages to not lose his voice in his stellar performance as maiden speaker on May 4th:

MR. DAVIS: Mr. Speaker, campaign candidates are afforded the opportunity not only to meet but also to listen to what is on the minds of residents. It is a very important aspect of election campaigns. There was one message that was heard so frequently that it was a level all to itself. That message is what I refer to as the respect factor, the support factor, and the absolute unprecedented backing that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador had for our leader, the Premier.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DAVIS: Mr. Speaker, as a candidate, what more could any person, an aspiring politician, what more could I ever ask for, what more could I ever hope to experience, than an opportunity to work alongside with, and learn from, a leader with such vision, such drive, such determination, such ability, such passion and such dedication?

Mr. Speaker, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is truly blessed to have a Premier of the calibre of Premier Williams.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DAVIS: As well, Mr. Speaker, the strong results of this by-election speak volumes to the great job this government is doing in leading and governing Newfoundland and Labrador, and to the confidence that residents have in the leadership of Premier Williams.

This confidence has also been evident in in-depth research polls, such as those conducted by Corporate Research Associates, and we heard these during the campaign. Their latest poll suggested that 93 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are satisfied with the job this government is doing today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DAVIS: The polling firm said satisfaction with the government is the highest recorded in Atlantic Canada in more than twenty years. Mr. Speaker, these results are remarkable. Our Premier and this government have made and continue to make a significant impact on the Province and its future.

Mr. Speaker, the people of the District of Topsail have placed their faith in me, and I am committed to working hard, working as part of this government, the best government –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DAVIS: - and working with this Premier, the best Premier –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DAVIS: - to make Newfoundland and Labrador better than it ever has been before.

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The bio

The Canadian Club of Ottawa, up in the Canada, has some biographical details of Dear Leader that have hitherto been absent from most other profiles:
Danny Williams has served as Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador since November 2003 Under his leadership, the province has experienced: unprecedented economic growth and activity; a substantial reduction in the provincial debt; lower taxation rates; significantly increased benefits for the citizens of the province in the development of natural resources; and a progressive social agenda including nationally acclaimed strategies on Poverty Reduction and Student Debt Reform.
Premier Williams studied political science and economics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Awarded the Rhodes Scholarship in 1969, he received a degree in Arts in Law from Oxford University in England, and earned a Bachelor of Law degree from Dalhousie University. He is a founding partner of one of Newfoundland and Labrador's preeminent law firms and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1984. While pursuing his law degree, Premier Williams also led a consortium of business people seeking Newfoundland and Labrador's first cable television license. From 1975, he guided Cable Atlantic through acquisitions of systems throughout the region to become one of the largest communications companies in Atlantic Canada Prior to entering political life, he sold his communications company in a multi-hundred million dollar transaction. Premier Williams has also been a corporate leader in the oil and gas industry, in the hospitality and tourism industry as founder and operator of three golf courses and one hotel resort He has been actively involved in hockey as a player and coach, was the founder and president of the St. John's Junior Hockey League, was instrumental in bringing the St. John's Maple Leafs AHL team to St. John's, and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. He has also served as Chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Channel, Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, Chair of the Provincial Government Offshore Oil Impact Advisory Council, and has served as a member of several charitable organizations such as the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Iris Kirby House, and the Arthritis Society His private family charity, The Williams Foundation, primarily provides assistance to individual children with illnesses.

Premier Williams has four children and four grandchildren.

(May 2010)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Train 'em early (XX): Kevin Parsons

And on December 16, 2008, it was the turn of the other Kevin P., MHA, one of the first to invoke the power of the poll. And if you had pride before Danny Williams came along, then, well, obviously you don't exist:

Mr. Speaker, I was at a seniors’ function recently, and I spoke to a senior. A gentleman eighty-two years old. We talked about the economy. He felt Newfoundland and Labrador was in a fortunate position, for the simple fact that we have such a great leader. What he said to me was, whenever the waters get rough, you need a good Captain at the wheel, and he feels confident Newfoundland and Labrador will weather any storm. Obviously, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel the same way, with the recent showing of our Premier with 80 per cent approval.

Mr. Speaker, since 2003, each year following, not only did Newfoundlanders and Labradorians change here but Canadians have changed in how they see our people. Mr. Speaker, this is a direct result of this government’s policies and planning. Finally, we have a Premier who is not afraid to stand up and ensure that we get maximum benefits for our resources. The days of the giveaways are no longer.

I feel very fortunate to be part of this government with such a great leader and such a strong team. That is why Newfoundlanders and Labradorians here and away have the pride that they do in our Province today.

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What Russell Wangersky might be interested in

MR. HICKEY: Mr. Speaker, this particular issue I say holds, for me, a very important part of my life having grown up in Churchill Falls, educated in Labrador. I grew up all my life there. My father, as I have said in this House before, worked early in the 1960s on the Twin Falls power development - that was before even Churchill Falls was even thought about – to supply power to the communities of Wabush and Labrador City and to the iron mines that started there back in the early 1960s.

Then, in the 1970s the community of Twin Falls was moved to Churchill Falls. All of the families were moved out of there. I think it was fifteen, sixteen families were moved out of there to Churchill Falls. Of course, Churchill Falls has been there for some time, almost over forty years now, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you having grown up on that project – as a matter of fact Russell Wangersky from The Telegram might be interested to know that I use to deliver The Evening Telegram in those days up on the construction sites as a paper boy. I think they were paying ten cents for the regular paper and twenty cents on the weekend.

Cranky, cranky

Some more judges wake up on the wrong side of the bed.


Mr Speaker, do your job (XXIV)

From Monday, the regular dose of fealty by Tom Marshall, uninterrupted by the occupant of the chair:
MR. MARSHALL: The Budget that we released, Mr. Speaker, on March 29 was the seventh Budget of the Williams government, continuing our substantial investments in economic stimulus in health care and in education. ... Mr. Speaker, this would be a good time for us to go back and look at the situation we found ourselves in when the Williams government first came into office. We had many, many years of deficits; many, many years of deficit after deficit after deficit. ... Smart investment, strategic planning and the resolve of Premier Williams to fight for the people of this Province is paying off for you and me today, but it will pay off more importantly for our children tomorrow. ... Premier Williams’ vision is a vision of self-reliance for this Province.
And from today, the scripted bit of unparliamentary flattery from some Minister or another. Really, at this point, does it matter what their names are? It would make it easier on everyone if we just started referring to them by number; here's good ol' 42:
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees: Mr. Fred Cahill, Mr. Gordon Manstan, and Great Big Sea were acknowledged for their business excellence and their contribution to Newfoundland and Labrador. They also joined an impressive list of the who’s who from the Province’s business community - a list of more than sixty prominent Newfoundlanders and Labradorians such as the Lieutenant-Governor, John Crosbie, the late Craig Dobbin, Susan Patten, Paul Johnson, Angela Cantwell-Peters, and our Premier, the hon. Danny Williams.
And here's No. 19:
Mr. Speaker, we have never gotten our fair share of the Upper Churchill. I can tell you what, under the leadership of Premier Williams and this government, we plan on getting our fair share out of the Lower Churchill. ... We are sending the message loud and clear to the people of Quebec, to the Régie, to the Quebec government, to Hydro-Quebec that this Province, under the leadership of Premier Williams and this government, we are going to get our fair share from our resources in our homeland for the best benefit of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. ... You know, when we looked at the translation of the Régie decision, there were a couple of things there which were very glaring, and Premier Williams has already identified these, but I think it is important for the people of the Province so that they can hear them again.

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Called to order

From Wednesday's proceedings in the Bow-Wow Parliament:

MR. KENNEDY: In fact, Mr. Speaker, the heading of the petition was: that we the residents of Labrador ask to have the air ambulance stationed in Labrador; 3,000 people signed that. In fact, the Minister of Labrador Affairs had to affect - the misleading effect, Mr. Speaker, put forward by the Leader of the Opposition, where she had –

MS JONES: (Inaudible).

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

For the final time, I ask the hon. the Leader of the Opposition to refrain from shouting back and forth across the House.

The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services to complete his answer.
Last warning for Ms. Jones.

No. 26 gets no warnings at all, however, for using the M-word. Perhaps he forgot it's not Parliamentary.



Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Train 'em early (XIX): Kevin Pollard

The current legislature's first by-election victor named Kevin P. makes his maiden speech on December 8, 2008, invoking, for perhaps the last time, Our Dear Campaign Slogan from 2007. Sadly, his rhetorical flourish came at a price for his larynx:

I was delighted and honoured to have several MHAs and ministers, along with Premier Williams, visit the district during the by-election. They injected confidence, spark, energy, and flavour into my rigorous campaign. Knowing how busy they really were, I thought they made a big sacrifice. It meant a whole lot to me. It meant that I was not alone in this race. It demonstrated to me and to the entire District of Baie Verte-Springdale, that I had a team who was cheering me on, for which I am sincerely grateful. It gave me the assurance that I, should I be elected, would have a supportive and a helpful team, a team led by a strong, visionary, capable leader. That leader, Mr. Chair, is none other than Premier Williams.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. POLLARD: Thank you, Premier, for accepting me as part of this formidable team, a competent team, a winning team, a proactive team, a solid team.

I believe that we are indeed bold, strong, proud and determined people. With every ounce of energy, with every fibre in our being, with the strongest voice possible, this government, under the strong leadership of Premier Williams, will continue to implement sound fiscal management practices that will continue to take us through not only the good times, but also the hard times.

I am proud to be a part of this government, Mr. Chair. I am proud to be a voice for the people of Baie Verte-Springdale. I am proud to be a Newfoundlander and Labradorian.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am losing my voice.

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Sycophant of the month: May 2010

Total number of ProvGov press releases issued in May: 202 (+39 from April).

Total number with the phrase "Williams Government": 28 (+17 from April).

Sycophancy index: 13.9% (+7.2% from April).

The output at ITAR-DAN was up significantly in May compared to April, as were both the raw sycophancy count, and the calculated sycophancy rate. In fact, things are pretty much back to where they were in March, a budget month, traditionally the WilliamsGovernmentiest month of the year.

Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that the uptick in sheer output and in cult of personality happening during a CRA polling period is anything other than coincidence. Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth™.

Great Lawyer Felix Collins got things started on the third, in a release which is curiously credited to a department that isn’t Justice.

Clyde Jackman got on the board the next day, followed in short order by Tom Marshall and Susan Sullivan, in a Ministerial-Statement-qua-Press Release.

A week into the month saw incumbent monthly champ Tom Hedderson finally hammer one in, only to be answered promptly by Sullivan for the short-lived lead, who was promptly answered back by Hedderson for the tie.

And then along came Jerome.

Jerome, Jerome, Jerome, Jerome, Jerome.

Felix Collins knocked in his second on the 13th, followed by yet another from Kennedy, to take a commanding five-point lead over Collins, Hedderson and Sullivan.

Hedderson found his feet again on the 17th, answered by Jerome, answered by Hedderson again.
And then, again, it was all, like, Jerome, Jerome, Jerome, Jerome, Jerome, Jerome.

Hedderson put in one more on the 25th, only to be schooled again by Jerome.

Kevin O’Fairity gets his lone mark for the month on the 27th, and Hedderson closes out the game on the 28th, but by now it’s purely academic.

There could have been an epic battle between the titans of totally-not-tied-to-CRA-polling-period district-by-district funding rollouts, Hedderson with the Provincial Roads file he inherited from Stephen Dinn and Jerome with his Voter-Friendly Grants program. But it was not to be.

This month’s sycophant of the month, in a fifteen-six blowout over defeated April champ Hedderson, having been co-winner in March is Jerome Kennedy, who owns sole possession of the podium for the first time December 2008.


Addendum: Don't tell Liz about the Gloucester Ultimate Mercy Rule.

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