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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


David Murray of Toronto writes to the National Post.

Editors of the future edition of the DNE take note:
A company that cannot sell enough newsprint to cover its costs year in and year out cannot stay in business, even under socialism or Danny Williams-ism.

Monday, August 30, 2010

File under plus ça change

The Evening Telegram of May 3, 1890, reports on the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of April 22. Morison, Blandford, and Morine were the three Members for the district of Bonavista, which had triple representation in the Assembly. Blandford was the only member of the Liberal government, while the other two were members of the Reform opposition. The "late election" was that of November 6, 1889, in which the Reform government of Thorburn had been soundly defeated by Whiteway's Liberals.

Does any of their language sound familiar?
Mr. MORISON presented a petition from J.H. Edgar and others, of Ship Island and Newell Island, on the subject of a ferry. The ferry in question was necessary to the people of Newell's Island, to enable them to get to church and, also, that their children might get to school; as now circumstanced, the inhabitants have to cross by whatever chance-boat should offer. The petitioners recommend the appointment of Mr. William Cross as ferryman, an elderly fishermen worn out in the pursuit of his avocation, but fully able to do the duties of his office. He hoped that the Government would grant a small sum for the purpose.

Capt. BLANDFORD supported the prayer of this petition, and believed in its necessity. To the people of Newell's Island it would be of great convenience, and he trusted, before he went out of power, to see a bridge connecting Ship Island with Newell's Island. He could assure hon. members that he was sorry to find, on his first acquaintance with politics, that allocations and road moneys were much more confounding than being out in a sealing vessel. He was sorry to find things in the state in which they were in his native district; but now that there was a Government in office, whom he was proud of, he believed that things would be remedied. The hon. members for his district, on the other side of the House, were always sending men to him. If a man from the district came to them for anything, their answer was, "if we were in the Government we would help you, but we are not; go to Captain Blandford, he is in the Government;" but he trusted that Captain Blandford would do what he had promised for his district. He was always ready to go with hon. members in the Opposition in anything, that was for the good of his district; but when it came to money matters, and to giving it away for selfish purposes, he could not agree with them. In his district he was sorry to say that the main line grant was very much in debt. There had been no work done on roads for the past four years until two days before the late election, and then the money was spent unfairly. In different places, to his certain knowledge, the main lines had not been touched for the past year at all, and the money had been squandered for election purposes. But, now that he was on the Government side of the House, and allied to a party that, to-day, he had more confidence in than when he joined it four months ago, he trusted that his district would receive her rights.

Mr. MORINE rose to support the petition, but he was sorry to see that the hon. member, Capt. Blandford, did not know enough about his district to be able to separate main lines from special grants. The main line was not in debt, as the hon. Captain had asserted. As regarded what had been done in the district, the hon. member said there had been no work there during the past four years, but he (Mr. M.) would venture to say that there had been more public work performed in the district during that time than had been done since the granting of responsible government. The special grant had been overdrawn, but a large portion of it could be found in the public wharf in King's Cove, and in a number of new school-houses that had been erected around the district. With regard to money being spent on the local roads a few days before the late elections, he would remind the hon. member that that was the usual time for spending the road money in the district, because the men would then have come home from the Labrador.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

From a Bob Wakeham perspective

Bob Wakeham translates from the Dannese:
The premier’s denunciation of any proposal to introduce online games of chance to Newfoundland is interesting from, well, from a couple of “perspectives,” to utilize that word the premier manages to include in every second sentence, a subliminal way of downplaying his authoritarian personality. (“From my perspective, he’s a blah, blah, blah” — in other words, it’s just his opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Sure it is.)

And the thumbs-down to on-line gambling is a palpable example of what happens when one person is running the affairs of our “happy province” — the premier, who rules with an iron fist despite his denials, is offering anything but his “perspective” or opinion when he speaks publicly about any issue under the sun.

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Friday, August 27, 2010


Danny Wiwwiams is vewy vewy mad at the National Post:

I am disappointed, yet not surprised, by the nasty attacks on me in the National Post ( "From Newfoundland, another tantrum," editorial; and "The Cuckoo of Corner Brook," by Peter Foster; both of Aug. 26). I certainly can take the criticism. Where I draw the line is at mean-spirited insinuations and inaccuracies about our province and its people.
Slight problem for the rest of Fearless Leader’s polemic: neither the masthead, nor Peter Foster, make “mean-spirited insinuations and inaccuracies about our province and its people.”

Between them, the editorial and Foster’s comment mention Danny Williams, by name or by title, 26 times. There is only one reference — that in the editorial — to the people of the province:

Many resident [sic] of Newfoundland complain that Canadians in the rest of the country take a patronizing attitude to their province. But given the way their tantrum-prone Premier depends on the adults in Ottawa to keep bailing him out of his self-made problems, is it any wonder?
But, hey, when the Sun King says, as he did, “I think I represent, in my heart and soul, the hearts and souls of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians”… he means it. Somewhere in his weird little parallel universe, he honestly means it.

When His Premierosity, bizarrely, goes to verbal war to defend the reputation of the province and its people from criticisms, fair, accurate, or otherwise, that are leveled at Himself in personam, it isn’t obvious which flaw is at fault.

It is his genius reading-comprehension skills, so awesome, yet still not powerful enough to detect the blatant mistakes which were (passively) made during Our Dear Expropriation? Or is it the megalomania?

While we are on the topic of Our Dear Letter to the Editor, he repeats the claim — perhaps he took it from the many totally spontaneous CBC or VOCM web comments — about the nature of Abitibi’s expropriated assets:
There is no doubt that the pulp-and-paper industry is facing difficult times globally. However, Abitibi broke its covenant with our government under the original terms of its operations in the province. We could not simply allow it to desert the workers while keeping rights to our timber, hydro and lands; valuable natural assets that were entrusted to this company based on certain terms and conditions. Our expropriation of those natural resources was the right thing to do for our people.
If Abitibi had broken this “covenant” which governed the “terms” of its operations… why on earth was there any need to expropriate those “rights to our timber, hydro and lands”? If those “certain terms and conditions” had been breached, according to the orthodox theory, didn’t those rights automatically revert, escheat, or otherwise terminate? If so… what was the expropration all about?

Perhaps someone can pick up the phone, and call His Premierosity — 709-729-3960 — and finally ask the Great Lawyer about this rather obvious contradiction in legal theories.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Moley moley mole

In Our Dear Scrum on Wednesday morning, the NDP Premier of Dannyland said:
We make a huge contribution to Canada, I’ve said it time and time again, through our natural resources, and through everything we do.

The Government of Canada has to deal on a national basis. Y’know, there’s a lot of interesting discussion of where provinces like Quebec or Alberta or other provinces, y’know, should be dealing in international negotiations. It’s always been the position of the Premiers of the country that they should have some representation there and should be heard. However, y’know, the Government of Canada is the one that has to properly deal in NAFTA. So if in fact there’s a dispute, well that can go both ways. So if there’s a breach or a violation by the Americans, well, then, of course, then if the compensation gets paid, then does that compensation then filter down to the provinces that are affected? Easiest thing to do is have them deal on just a national government basis.
Shortly thereafter, the notional NDP leader went to the mic, where she succinctly re-iterated what her Premier had just said:
I think that we give a lot to this country. The resources that we have here in this province benefit the country on a whole in many, many ways. And it’s part of being a federation, there’s no doubt about that. And when you’re dealing with an issue that has an international connection to it, as this one does, then that is what a federation does.
It's almost as if Our Dear Internal Talking Points are getting leaked to the NDP opposition offices. Quick! Call the OCIO!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mistakes were made

Another great line from Our Dear Scrum. In response to a question as to whether We would do it all over again:
I wouldn’t expropriate the mill, but, I mean, that was a mistake that was made internally.


Newfoundland and Afterthought

From Our Dear Scrum on Wednesday morning:
We don’t expect the government of Newfoundland, and Labrador, under any circumstances to be paying a cheque over to Abitibi for the assets.

From our perspective, the Newfoundland contribution, and Labrador contribution, is there.

There’s also an application, of course, now, by Abitibi in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland, and Labrador, as well …

Danny Williams: Federalist

In Our Dear Throne Speech 2007, We intoned:

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. … Our people are proud nationalists who believe it is only by affirming our identity as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that we will realize our goal of economic equality within the federation. Our people are ready to take charge of our future and, under My First Minister’s leadership, our province will achieve self-reliance by becoming masters of our own house.
And in 2009, we expanded Our Dear Autonomist, self-reliant bent to the international level:
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.

Today, in the same week that it was revealed We are looking for another $375 million in federal funding to becomee self-reliant with, We emerged in the lobby, with Our tail between Our legs, and extolled the newly-rediscovered virtues of federalism. As We said in Our scrum this morning:
We’re very very pleased that the Government of Canada has stepped in here, and done what it felt it had to do, and, y’know, from our perspective this is a good ending to this matter. Now, it’s not completely concluded, but from my perspective it is…

The Government of Canada has to deal on a national basis. Y’know, there’s a lot of interesting discussion of where provinces like Quebec or Alberta or other provinces, y’know, should be dealing in international negotiations. It’s always been the position of the Premiers of the country that they should have some representation there and should be heard. However, y’know, the Government of Canada is the one that has to properly deal in NAFTA. So if in fact there’s a dispute, well that can go both ways. So if there’s a breach or a violation by the Americans, well, then, of course, then if the compensation gets paid, then does that compensation then filter down to the provinces that are affected? Easiest thing to do is have them deal on just a national government basis.

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The road ahead (or not)

So, Quebec, how's that Route 138 project going, anyway?

Oh. Not that well, actually.



According to Radio-Canada Côte-Nord, talks are going well between the Innu of Matimekush and Uashat mak Mani-utenam, the federal government, and the governments of both Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, concerning revenues from the potential new generation of iron ore mines in the Schefferville area.

"What talks?", you might understandably ask, if you do not read or understand French, or if you live in the province where the potential mines are located, or both.


Launch scrubbed

Abitibi's out-of-tribunal settlement of its NAFTA claim, arising from Our Dear Expropriation, means the Premier won't be travelling to Florida any time soon... at least not to Cape Canaveral.

As Spaceman Spiff rashly promised the legislature back on April 21st:
PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member opposite thinks we are going to pay $500 million to Abitibi she must be losing her mind. Under no circumstances do we have any intention of paying out any 500-million-dollar lawsuit. Now if they want to rely on her questions to the House when they present their NAFTA argument, that is all very fine, but it will not carry any weight or any water, I can tell you right now.

The chair of Abitibi himself at one point in time indicated that this was worth $300 million. At another point in the negotiation, they agreed to negotiate for less. At another point, the federal government had been involved in trying to get this resolved, because the federal government are the ones that are on the hook for this at the end of the day. They have indicated that they are prepared to put some money up to get it resolved. What we are trying to do, and we have throughout this negotiation, is protect the interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador because Abitibi owes us anywhere from $200 million to $300 million in environmental liabilities for the mess that they left us, in addition to the severance for the workers that have paid, in addition to what we as a government have put into Grand Falls-Windsor and the Central Newfoundland region.

So we have done, if I might say so myself, an exemplary job of protecting the interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and they can take it to The Hague or the Supreme Court of Canada, or whatever court in the world or in the galaxy they want to take it to, and we will fight them to the very end, I can guarantee you that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Confidence game

Russell Wayne-Gretzky makes an observation about His Premierosity’s recent ex-cathedra pronouncement on intertubes gambling:
If the Internet wagering does go ahead, Williams has basically said it’s not his fault — it’s the fault of the other cabinet members, who, as a result of rules of cabinet confidentiality and cabinet solidarity, wouldn’t even be able to say what the discussion at the table was, or how they personally voted on the issue.

Once a cabinet decision is made, all cabinet members are supposed to support the decision, despite any personal misgivings. And they have to button their lips to boot. Or is that to butt?
True enough, despite coming from His Premierosity, who in opposition railed against cabinet secrecy and vowed to abolish it.

But while it is true that it would breach cabinet confidentiality to talk publicly about what has happened in the cabinet room in the past, retroactively, on a go-backward basis, it is evidently not a breach of that confidentiality to talk publicly about what will happen in the cabinet room, prospectively, on a go-forward basis.

The authority for this, of course, is His Premierosity’s burbling on the Oracle of Randy [totally stealing that – ed.] in which he, urm, talked publicly about what will happen in the cabinet room, prospectively, on a go-forward basis.

Based on this precedent, it is now fair ball for some enterprising media outlet to canvass cabinet members and ask them how they will “vote”, in advance of this or any other cabinet decision.

Their hard-working communications gophers will surely be glad to set up interviews on the subject.

Mmmmm.... cheese

Peter Jackson makes a pop-culture reference:

[Danny Williams’] “preference” for the route no doubt stems from frustration with Quebec. Last spring’s ruling by Quebec’s energy regulator sent a maddening mixed message — a proclamation of open access combined with rejection of every proposal submitted by Nalcor. It was a little like Monty Python’s cheeseshop sketch, where the customer is assured there is cheese in stock, but told each requested variety is unavailable.
Indeed it was a little like that Python sketch.

Except that, unlike in the rational, practical, and not crazy universe populated by Monty Python characters, Danny Williams marched into the cheese shop but never actually ordered any cheese.

He then stormed out of the shop, feigned indignation that he didn’t get any cheese, and hurled ethnic invective against the cheese merchant, all the while being met with cheers from most of the chattering classes, and awkward silence from those discomfited by the demagoguery.

Great fighter, that Danny Williams.

He’s gonna get us that cheese we deserve.

He’s gonna get us that cheese.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

With or without you

The Western Star editorialist joins in the fustigation:
In the meantime, if Ottawa knuckles under like it usually does and kowtows to our sister province, then so be it.

The Lower Churchill project will go ahead on its own merits with or without Ottawa’s help.

No problem, then. In other words, the imaginary Lower Churchill project will go ahead just as Fearless Leader imagined it would four years ago.

On our own. Go it alone. Masters of the Universe (on a go-forward basis).

All the while, we'll demand the cash and security, from Ottawa, to go it alone with.

(To say nothing of spending five years, going it alone back and forth to Montreal, pleading with Quebec to go it alone together.)

But sure, there probably still is an on our own go it alone masters of the universe on a go-forward basis scenario still open to build the Lower Churchill project, even without pawning off the costs and risks to some poor sucker stupid enough to cough up the billions.

It's almost entirely irrelevant that such a scenario involves a unicorn race to the end of the rainbow to get to the pot of gold before the leprechaun does.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Are we there yet?

In Ed Martin's own words, everything you need to know about the state of the imaginary Lower Churchill project in 2010, a year after — snicker — the energy-planned "project sanction" date of 2009:
There’s nothing in here saying we’re locked down... We can’t say this is the most likely scenario … this is a scenario... When we land on a configuration finally — we’re not there yet, but when we do...


Thursday, August 19, 2010


Treasonous Ed Hollett tweets a question:
Inuit succeed in lifting Eu seal ban. Will the Old Man try and claim credit as with trade talks?
Late on an otherwise conspicuously very slow news day at ITAR-DAN, comes the answer.

One-stop news shop

VOCM reports:
Premier Danny Williams says he is opposed to introducing online gambling in the province. On VOCM Open Line with Randy Simms Wednesday morning, the Premier said when the idea is brought before cabinet, he will vote against it. According to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, $50-million in potential revenue is currently flowing out of the province via online gambling websites. Williams says the taxes that are in place to generate revenue from alcohol and tobacco sales are already enough.
Meanwhile, VOCM reports:
Premier Danny Williams said Wednesday that he's against online gambling and added that he'll vote against it when it comes before the government's cabinet.

"From my perspective I'll be voting against it. It's not going to happen," Williams told VOCM Radio Thursday.
And over at VOCM, Rob Antle reports:
Government-sponsored Internet casino gambling does not appear to be in the cards for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Premier Danny Williams said it will be a cabinet decision, but he doesn't think his cabinet will support it.


Williams first threw cold water on the plan during an open-line radio appearance earlier in the day.

"Newfoundland and Labrador's position, if Atlantic Lotto wants to do that here in this province, then from my perspective, it's not going to happen," Williams said on VOCM.


All around the circle

The decidely left-wing Council of Canadians is in bed with the Reform-based Conservative Party of Dannystan.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How quaint!

According to a VOCM story on Wednesday, cabinet minister Danny Williams is under the impression that the Danny Williams-Government cabinet is a democracy:
Premier Opposed to Online Gambling

Premier Danny Williams says he is opposed to introducing online gambling in the province. On VOCM Open Line with Randy Simms Wednesday morning, the Premier said when the idea is brought before cabinet, he will vote against it. According to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, $50-million in potential revenue is currently flowing out of the province via online gambling websites. Williams says the taxes that are in place to generate revenue from alcohol and tobacco sales are already enough.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Readin' and 'ritin'

Darrel Dexter hasn't read The Letter yet, either, but that doesn't mean he's not outraged about it.

So that makes two of them.

Premiers writing letters to try and influence energy policy outcomes in other provinces is a bad thing, apparently.

His Premieritude was outraged by the Régie de l'énergie decision back in May, too. Without even having to read it, he knew he was outraged, and his outrage honestly had absolutely nothing to do with CRA being in the field at the time.

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Medical miracle

Excellent news! Our Dear Back is doing so much better in August than it was in July.


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Lower Churchill clause

BondPapers highlights last week's revelation that Himself, Nova Scotia, and an un-named third party, have cooked up a deal to build a submarine line to transmit imaginary hydro-electric power from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia. Having reached this deal to Go It Alone Together, all it awaits now is the funding from Ottawa to Go It Alone with.

The mystery surrounding this blockbuster deal is not only curious for its own sake. It is also curious in light of the long-held convictions of Danny Williams, a deeply spiritual man. As he told the House of Assembly, during debate on amendments to the Access to Information Act, on December 3, 2001, quoting Himself:
MR. WILLIAMS: What I would like to do, first of all, is share with some of the hon. members opposite. Now I do not know if any of them were in the room at the time, but 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.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: I think it is important that you know - that anniversary, actually, is in two days time. We will have a cake if you would like to have a cake.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: My anniversary is on Wednesday, December 5.

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.
He went on:
[MR. WILLIAMS:] Then comes the important [clause] as well, one that is equally important: information about negotiations carried on by or for a public body for the government of this Province. That is the Voisey’s Bay clause. That is the Lower Churchill clause. That is the one that this government can use to prevent disclosure of negotiations. Their answer to that is: Well, you cannot disclose the negotiations. If negotiations are going on in private, it is not right to get out and disclose those negotiations. You cannot do that.

Well I submit, Mr. Speaker, we should do that. The people of this Province have a right to know what is going on. It should not be done behind closed doors. It should not be a fait accompli. It should not be signed, sealed and delivered and then rammed down their throats after it is all over. That is too late.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: That is wrong. It is these kinds of clauses that are dangerous to the public. Access to information is extremely important, but denial of the right to know what is going on in those negotiations affects our future and affects the future of the children of this Province. If those resources are given away, forever and a day, when hon. members opposite are long gone, who pays the price? It will not be any of us in this House. It will be our children and it will be our grandchildren. They are the ones who are going to pay the price when it is all over.


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.
The following day, he continued on this theme during Question Period, pilloring the then-Premier:
MR. WILLIAMS: Premier, I can tell you that if I was in your seat I would make sure that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador had a full debate on this issue before any deal was ever signed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: That would be my guarantee and commitment to the people of this Province.

Mr. Speaker, when I was elected to represent the good people of Humber West I understood that my role in this Legislature would be to debate issues of importance to the people.

Premier, why are you denying the members of this House the right to debate an issue of such importance to the people of this Province? What are you trying to hide?

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

For the record

The 2006 Danny Williams-Government announcement of the Lower Churchill project, an announcement which, with the benefit of very little hindsight, started reading like an obituary three years ago:
May 8, 2006
(Executive Council)
(Natural Resources)

Newfoundland and Labrador will lead Lower Churchill development

In keeping with the provincial government’s agenda of developing resources for the maximum benefit of the people and continuing on the road to self-reliance, Premier Danny Williams announced today the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) will take the lead on the potential development of the Lower Churchill hydroelectric resource. The decision was made following the assessment of the proposals short-listed from the Expressions of Interest and Proposals (EOI process).

"Just over a year ago, we embarked on a process to identify the best approach to develop the Lower Churchill hydro resource that would ensure maximum benefits and returns to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Premier Williams. "Our team has thoroughly assessed and evaluated all of the proposals that were received through our EOI process, and today we are pleased to announce that the province in partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro will lead the development of the Lower Churchill. It became clear that a Newfoundland and Labrador-led development presented the best option to realize our objectives to develop this tremendous, clean source of renewable energy."

Premier Williams said the decision was approached from both a public policy and business case perspective.

"Never before has such serious consideration been given to the province leading the development of this resource," added Premier Williams. "Previous development was always contemplated in the context of an external partner joining with the province. This typically resulted in Newfoundland and Labrador being left with less than acceptable benefits and profits from the development of our own resource. Today marks a turning point in our history as we acknowledge that we as a province are capable of leading and having full control of this process.

"We know that we are capable of executing this project in a way that will ensure we maximize the returns while mitigating the risks," the premier continued. "We have the experience, knowledge and capacity to take on a project of this magnitude and we are recognized as world leaders in hydroelectric operations and development. This is about doing it by ourselves, for ourselves. We are on a path to be masters of our own destiny and the successful development of this project will be a significant step forward in reaching that ultimate objective for this province."

Premier Williams indicated the decision for a Newfoundland and Labrador-led development is only the next step in a long process. Further decisions will be made on the construction of the project in the coming months. There also remains further analysis of the various key elements and negotiations before a final decision can be made that will lead to the sanctioning of the project.

With Hydro leading the planning process, efforts will continue to determine the project’s financial, technical and environmental feasibility. At this point, all development options are still being reviewed including project configuration, transmission routes, and markets.

"Our government has clearly stated that our primary objective for the development of our natural resources is to optimize benefits for our citizens," said Ed Byrne, Minister of Natural Resources. "During the recent consultations on the development of a comprehensive Energy Plan in Labrador and on the island, I heard overwhelming support for this position as well as support for our approach to the Lower Churchill development. We will continue that approach by assessing and scrutinizing every aspect of this project to ensure we make informed, responsible decisions on behalf of the people of the province."

While Hydro will take the required time to complete due diligence on the feasibility of this project, a planning schedule has been developed that will see a project sanctioning decision by 2009 and potentially first power by 2015. Therefore, activity is taking place on several fronts including negotiations with the Innu Nation of Labrador on an Impact and Benefits Agreement (IBA) and laying the groundwork for the comprehensive environmental review process leading to the filing of an Environmental Impact Statement by the fall of 2007. Furthermore, Hydro continues to assess all market access options including monitoring the progress of its application to Hydro-Quebec TransEnergie that will allow power from the Lower Churchill Project to be transmitted from the Labrador/Quebec border to markets in Quebec, Ontario, U. S. northeast and the Maritimes.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to potentially develop the Lower Churchill project on behalf of the people of this province," said Ed Martin, president and CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. "We have much work ahead of us leading to what we hope will be a positive decision to proceed with the project."


Friday, August 13, 2010

RIP Go It Alone, 2007-2010

In Captain Autonomy Goitalone’s 2005/06 Christmas election wish-list to Uncle Ottawa, he asked:

Does your party support efforts to develop the hydro-power resources of the Lower Churchill River System for the primary benefit of Newfoundland and Labrador, including the provision of a Federal Government guarantee to proceed with the project?
In 2008, Captain Autonomy Goitalone asked:

If returned to government, will your party support efforts to develop the hydro-power resources of the Lower Churchill River System for the primary benefit of Newfoundland and Labrador, including:
• commiting to the provision of a Federal Government loan guarantee to proceed with the project; and
• commitment of funds and legislative and regulatory measures to develop a truly national electricity transmission system, in particular funding for transmission in Labrador, to Newfoundland, and, if necessary, to the Maritimes?
In 2009, Captain Autonomy Goitalone cleverly tried to greymail the federal government to compensate the province for the, um, cheaper construction costs of taking a shorter transmission route across the island of Newfoundland, around Gros Morne National Park rather than detouring through it.

(This was around the same time that Natural Resources Minister, and notional Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale revealed that Captain Autonomy Goitalone had spent five years trying to get Hydro-Quebec’s money into the goitalone project.)

And in 2010, Captain Autonomy Goitalone, going it alone with sidekick Dexter, applied for federal funding for a transmission line from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia. (What on earth ever became of Ed Martin’s idea of running the line from the Bill to New Brunswick?)

So that makes it official.

There is not one component of the great Go It Alone project, supposedly the Best hydro-electric project in the solar system, whether the dams and powerhouses, or the transmission line across Labrador, or the transmission line under the Strait of Belle Isle, or the transmission line across Newfoundland, or the transmission line under the Cabot Strait; there is not one component which, by the very admissions and actions of Captain Autonomy Goitalone himself, can be accomplished without federal (or Quebec!) financial assistance, including cash freebies.

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About that embassy

The Embassy of Dannystan in Canada/Ambasáid na Talamh an Éisc i gCeanada has now been vacant the second time around, longer than Bill Rowe occupied it the first time around.

Transparency — la transparence

Some comments on Radio-Canada's coverage of the Quarterly Outburst would suggest that, even from a distance, across a boundary, and over a political and linguistic divide, there are now almost as many people in Quebec who can see through Danny Williams as there are in Dannystan itself:
Envoyé par Homoquébecus
12 août 2010 à 21 h 03 HAE
On vient de découvrir pire que Jean Charest : Danny Williams.

Envoyé par jesse_a_b
12 août 2010 à 19 h 38 HAE
Rien de nouveau sous le soleil, Williams crache sa haine pour le Québec et s'invente des ennemis imaginaires, méthode électorale de base...

Envoyé par Chasse-Galerie
12 août 2010 à 18 h 18 HAE
Ce dont on parle peu, c'est la gestion des dossiers par l'administration de Danny Williams.
-L'expropriation unilatérale d'Abitibi-Bowater risque de couter des centaines de millions aux contribuables de Terre-Neuve.
-Nalcor, le "hydro-Québec" Terre-Neuvien ne peut garantir la viabilité économique et même la faisabilité d'une ligne sous-marine entre Terre-Neuve et la Nouvelle Écosse.
-Nalcor est incapable de s'entendre avec Hydro-Québec tellement le dossier est contrôlé par la politique hostile de Danny Williams.

Alors, que fait Danny Williams pour voiler son incompétence? Du Québec bashing, recette rentable au Canada.

Envoyé par Mario Goyette
12 août 2010 à 17 h 53 HAE
Danny Williams a prétexté un mal de dos pour ne pas assister à la rencontre du Conseil de la confédération à Winipeg la semaine dernière. Il n'y a pas de doute, lei séparatiste, c'est lui!

Envoyé par benoren
12 août 2010 à 16 h 41 HAE
À quand les élections à Terre-neuve/Labrador? Un peu de changement ne ferait de tort à personne. Il est là depuis 2003 et depuis c'est la chicane perpétuelle! Je ne sais pas si les citoyens de cette province se rendre compte que l'attitude de leur premier ministre avec le reste du Canada et surtout le Québec n'est pas payant pour eux???

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Williams to resign?

His Premierhood, during the course of the totally-not-CRA-related scrum on Thursday afternoon, drops a line and drops an h:
I’m not gonna put up wid’ it.

The exchange of a voiced dental fricative for an voiceless alveolar plosive, according to the talking points and website comments that are absolutely not orchestrated by anyone, completely disqualifies anyone from holding the office of Premier.

We can therefore expect Premier Williams, repenting of his sins against standard English phonetics, to resign first thing Friday morning.

The terrible unmitigated gall of it all

The unmitigated gall of the province of Quebec, to not stick to their own business, to basically stick their nose into the affairs of Atlantic Canada with regard to electrical power transmission, is terrible.

— The Word of Our Dan, August 12, 2010


Guess our back must be better

Himself emerges from His annual æstivation for yet another installment of The Hate:

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams accused the government of Quebec on Thursday of trying to block two provinces' plans to transmit hydroelectric power.

Williams told reporters in St. John's he has learned that Quebec has filed a written complaint with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about an application by Nova Scotia and Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador's Crown-owned energy corporation.

Williams said he was astonished to learn that the Quebec government is trying to halt any such support, which he said could be tantamount to trying to kill it.

Score one for His Premierness’s crack research and intelligence team; after all it was just three weeks ago that Quebec’s intergovernmental affairs Minister — unlike some provinces, they actually have one — telegraphed his province’s opposition to federal subsidies for transmission lines. Admittedly, Minister Béchard was sneaky about it, making his remarks in what they call “French”, but His Premierosity, with his stellar language and cryptography skills, made short work of that, and already, in the middle of August, he is in a position to blow the cover off the plot.

Curiously, these nefarious Quebec plots seem to cycle at about three-month intervals; His Premierosity exposed the previous one back on May 12th.

The reason for the cyclical nature isn’t known with any great certainty. There are some who hypothesize that is tied to lunar cycles. Others may have more cynical explanations in mind, but of course Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth™.

Incidentally, when His Premierificiousness says:
The two provinces submitted a request to the federal government in late June, Williams said, for federal infrastructure funding to defray the cost of landing a power line in Nova Scotia from Newfoundland. The line could potentially handle power generated from the proposed Lower Churchill hydroelectric megaproject in central Labrador.

does that not inspire someone, somewhere — like, say, at the scrum — to ask Him whatever became of Our Dear Go It Alone attitude?


Dogs and cats

In response to the VOCM Question of the Day, "Do you agree with the prime minister's latest push for an elected senate?" commenter Leonard, rather than expressing puzzlement about when this "push" is rumoured to have happened, plants himself in the Triple-A Senate camp — Abolish, Abolish, Abolish:
I agree, get rid off those fat cats for doing nothing.Just spending tax payers dollars. They show up for a day out off 365 And get paid, what a joke.
Out of the past 24 years, including 2010 to date, the Senate has sat for more days in the year than the House of Assembly in all but six of them. The last year in which the Bow-Wow Parliament out-sat the Fat Cat Senate was 1995.

For your local MHA's sake, don't tell Leonard.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Perhaps appropriately for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Terry French has had to do a lot of heavy lifting this summer, making HappyMoney™ announcement after HappyMoney™ announcement after HappyMoney™ announcement.

Of the 282 full-fledged releases by Ministers between June 1 and August 9 inclusive — releases by arms-length agencies, and mere media or public advisories, excluded — fully 102 have been issued by the guy who dreamed, as a boy, of growing up to be Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Recreation.

That’s a staggering 36% of the summer’s total to date; trailing far behind in second place is the Minister of Pavement, Tom Hedderson, with 23 releases, for 8%. TCR’s output is larger than Executive Council, In-Turd, Municipal Affairs, Natural Resource, Fish, Government Services, Education, Justice, Finance, Business (Whatever That Is), Childrens, and Joan Burke as House Leader, combined.

Why the Tourism, Culture, and Recreation overload?

Well, for starters, as the former Minister of Walking Trails discovered last year, you don’t get nearly the same bang for other people’s buck when you set off one big firecracker, as when you set off a whole bunch of little ones. Lesson learned.

For two, a whole lot of little funding announcements, of a few thousands to tens of thousands of dollars at most, keeps the public mind dutifully associating Danny Williams-Government with the expenditure of money, in a wide variety of geographic locales, without the sticker shock of using roads, schools, or hospitals to generate happy headlines.

For three, there really isn’t anything of substance going on inside Danny Williams-Government that can be used to keep the flow of HappyNews flowing in a pre-pre-election summer. Anything big and important that can be delayed until calendar year 2011, will be. That leaves the smaller stuff.

So here’s Terry French announcing funding under the Cultural Economic Development Program (CEDP).

And here’s Terry French announcing funding under the Community Recreation Development Grant (CRDG) Program.

And here’s Terry French announcing funding under the Community Capital Grant Program (CCGP), which, sadly, no one thought to christen the Community Capital Contribution Program, for the high-larious potential retro-humour value of the acronym.

(And here, for good measure, is Terry French simply, and vaguely, “investing” money in some stuff without having to resort to another slurp of bureaucratic program-acronym alphabet soup. It is unclear if the proponents even had to resort to any kind of application process.)

But one of these things is not like the other.

CEDP press releases contain the standard boilerplate:

CEDP applications are considered based on the strength of the business plans, vision and potential for development within the sector. For more information on the CEDP program for heritage organizations, and application guidelines, visit:
CRDG press releases contain:

For more information on the Community Recreation Development Grant Program, and criteria for application, visit:
And CCGP press releases claim:

The Community Capital Grant Program is an application-based program that provides funding of up to $15,000 to assist municipalities and recreation commissions to improve their recreation and sports infrastructure.
Catch that?

Unlike the other two, there is no link to further information on the program, nor to the criteria and application guidelines. Which is just as well, because when you visit Minister French’s department’s otherwise very useful Forms and Applications page, you discover that there aren’t any.

This cleverly colour-coded graph shows the CCGP funding by district for 2010, according to Minister French’s barrage of press releases, in chronological order (oldest at left.)

Curiously, there has been a CCGP announcement this year for almost every ruralish electoral district in the province, while at the same time, there have been none for any district in St. John’s, Mount Pearl, or anywhere else in metro other than Cape St. Francis. It’s almost as if no one in Town (or in Humber West) thought to “apply” for this “application-based program”.

Curiouser: of the 29 districts receiving CCGP projects, each has received exactly one project, although that in Grand Bank was awarded – on an application basis, no doubt – to the three communities of Lord’s Cove, Lamaline and Point May which constitute “Greater Lamaline”.

Curiouser still: of those 29 projects, 20 have been approved for the exact maximum amount, $15,000, that is allowed under the undoubtedly rigorous application-based program guidelines.

Curiousest: of the six ruralish districts which either did not get CCGP funding, or for which a grant three just happen to be represented by traitors. The only opposition district to have had a CCGP announcement is the recently-treasonous Straits and White Bay North.

Perhaps no one in Cartwright–L’anse au Clair, Port de Grave, or Burgeo–La Poile, or, for that matter, in Torngat Mountains, Lewisporte, or Burin–Placentia West, thought to “apply”, either.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Passive alert

A curious claim today by Environment Minister Charlene Johnson:
In July, a post-calving census was conducted in partnership with the Government of Quebec, Laval University, the Nunatsiavut Government, Torngat Plant and Wildlife Co-Management Board and the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research.
A census "was conducted"... by whom? Quebec lovers?

She continues:
In July 2009, the Provincial Government announced plans to conduct a census in the summer of 2010 to determine the current status and health of the George River caribou herd, and review caribou harvest management strategies in light of the census results.
Why, yes, indeed: in July 2009, the Provincial Government announced plans to conduct a caribou census in the summer of 2010.

In July 2009, the Provincial Government announced other agencies' plans to conduct a caribou census in the summer of 2010:
In collaboration with the Newfoundland and Labrador Departments of Environment and Conservation, and Natural Resources, the Nunatsiavut Government and the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research, the survey will be lead by biologists from the Government of Quebec in co-operation with the University of Laval.

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If it's August...

... that means it's Fire Truck Month.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Dismal Science

Barry Nabatian of Market Research Corp. — whoever they are — has a theory:

The HST and people re-entering the job market are to blame for a sudden jump in unemployment in Ottawa and Ontario last month, an economic analyst says.

The psychological effect of the new tax — which went into effect July 1 — makes people reluctant to spend as much money because they see yet another drain on their finances, said Barry Nabatian, general manager of Market Research Corp.

In light of the still-fragile economy, “the timing couldn’t have been worse,” he added.

The unemployment rate rose by 0.4% to 6.3% in Ottawa according to July job data released by Statistics Canada on Friday. Though Ottawa actually gained 500 jobs, another 2,800 people starting looking for work.

Slight problem: the HST also came into effect in British Columbia on July 1st.

That would be the same British Columbia which posted job gains in July. Perhaps British Columbians are made of psychologically sterner stuff.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Dust my credenza

Really, how very hard must it suck to be a cabinet minister in Danny Williams-Government?

First, Himself bows out of the annual Premierrific shop talk — for the second year in a row — with the substitution announced not in an official advance statement like this one, but in a Crackberry communiqué after the ringer's flight's nose was already up.

Curiously, said ringer is neither the Deputy Premier (like last year) nor the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

And finally, it emerges that the latter, said Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dave someone, was, in fact, part of the two-man tag-team dispatched to Winnipeg. (Danny's awesomeness being so awesome, it takes two regular humanoids to substitute for him.)

Where do we all learn this bit of intelligence?

Well, still not from Executive Council, whose latest release concerns the Garnish Bakeapple Festival.

Nope. It comes from, of all places, a reply comment on Bondpapers.

Danny Williams runs the most open and transparent government in the universe, and he's also six-foot-three.

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Council of the Assymetrical Federation

A late communiqué from the — say it in your James Earl Jones voice — Council of the Federation:

Premiers are encouraged by the pace of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations and will remain actively involved as negotiations move forward. Premiers agree on the importance of improving trade relations between Canada and the European Union (EU) and believe the CETA between Canada and the EU presently under negotiation has the potential to benefit all parties by creating substantial and reciprocal economic gains, more cooperation in a range of sectors, and an opportunity to address outstanding trade irritants.

Newfoundland and Labrador still has substantive issues with the content and process of CETA, and does not acknowledge any consensus position arising from the discussions of Premiers today.

There used to be this crowd who'd cry pink, white, and green tears into their beer, while musing about tearing up the Terms of Union and running off to join Ireland in Yurp.

Wonder who they'll turn to now?

Friday, August 06, 2010


An interesting development in the ongoing protests in the Schefferville area — a story strangely under-reported in English-language media outlets whose names don't rhyme with Buntreal Nazette — via Radio-Canada:
Les gouvernements du Québec, de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador et du Canada signifient leur intention de rencontrer les conseils de bande de Schefferville et de Sept-Îles-Maliotenam, qui maintiennent la barricade au site minier de Labrador Iron Mines.


Les Innus devraient donc rencontrer les autorités terre-neuviennes, à Schefferville, les 20 et 21 août prochains. Par la suite, ils souhaitent entamer les discussions avec Québec, notamment afin de proposer des arrangements avec une autre compagnie minière qui projette d'exploiter un gisement du secteur dans environ trois ans.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Kremlinology: international relations edition

Danny skips out on a Premier's confab. Seen that movie before.

Sending the Deputy-Deputy-Premier, though? That's kinda new.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Right on red

Dear Leader tells the National Post, without any obvious sense that he’s pulling Adam McDowell’s innocent leg:

We have a Reform-based Conservative Party which is probably ideologically more right-wing. I’m very fiscally conservative. What I wanted to do in Newfoundland and Labrador was get our fiscal situation under control. We were headed to bankruptcy six years ago. Now we’re a have-province. That’s the fiscally conservative side.

On the other side, I’m very socially conscious. Our poverty reduction strategy has been nationally acclaimed. We’ve doubled our health-care budget. We’ve put a lot of money into education. I felt our transportation and communication infrastructure was very important. I’m trying to give us all the basics to succeed after a non-renewable oil [resource] moves on.
Let’s see… a province whose biggest employer is itself, where the minister once in charge of doling out large swathes of that “socially conscious” side described his own spending as “unsustainable”, where the notionally-arms-length state energy corporation intervenes ever more into the shell of what used to be the private-sector economy, and where the government modestly leads its own parade to celebrate a massive intergenerational transfer payment, that’s a “very fiscally conservative”, “Reform-based Conservative Party” that is “ideologically more right-wing”?

Idealogically more right-wing than what?

What “fiscally conservative” side does Danny Williams have, besides the impeccable timing to sweep into office on a wave of mania and demagoguery just as all those “giveaways” of the past are flushing the provincial treasury with cash?

Somewhere, poor old Liam O’Brien is rolling in his grave.

[Or, he would be, if he weren’t happily still alive. – ed.]

Or, he would be, if he weren’t happily still alive.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

For the record

An object lesson in why the phrase "at this point in time", as well as the curiously popular impersonal construction "there are...", are big red flags.

From the proceedings of the Bow-Wow Parliament on May 27:

MS JONES: On April 10, 2008, the former Minister of Education informed the House of Assembly that the government had no plans to close the School for the Deaf. I ask the minister today, if that is still the case?

MR. KING: Mr. Speaker, our intentions for the School for the Deaf have not changed since the previous minister spoke in this House. The School for the Deaf still operates and we still offer governmental support to the same degree that we have in the past couple of years. There are no changes at this point in time from government.
MS JONES: Government has announced its intentions to build a new school for the west end of St. John’s.

I ask the minister: Will the School for the Deaf and the adjacent properties be the site of this new school, and if so, will the current buildings be renovated or incorporated into the new school design?

MR. KING: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is asking me to draw a lot of conclusions and make a lot of assumptions. The future of the School for the Deaf – as I said before, we have no intentions and have not laid any plans to do anything with that school at this point in time. The member opposite knows full well that as demographics change and student enrolments change and parent choices change, we will react accordingly. I am not going to speculate on where that will be at any time in the future.

* Really, though: Cf. Bill Clinton, "there is no relationship."

Monday, August 02, 2010


As per the headline — Russian planes intercepted near N.L. — on this story, herewith, for the benefit of the CBC, a list of some other places that are "near N.L.":

  • Rimouski, Forestville, and the entire Gaspésie region, Quebec.
  • Campbellton, Bathurst, Caraquet, Tracadie, and Moncton, New Brunswick.
  • Most of Nova scotia and all of PEI and the Magdalen Islands
  • Kangiqsujuaq, Quebec, and Iqaluit, Nunavut, along with most of the Nunavik region and large swaths of Baffin Island.
But, hey, "Russian planes intercepted in international airspace nearer to Greenland than to Labrador or any other part of Canada" doesn't have quite the same oomph, does it?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dansportation and Williams

Now seems like as good a time as any to take a retrospective look, on a go-backwards basis, at the theory and practice of personality cultism.

This clever bar chart shows the number of releases, by primary* department, which have dropped the phrase "Williams Government" or "Williams Administration", since the dawn of time:

Executive Council, of course, includes the Premier's office, but Exec not infrequently takes it upon itself to announce stuff that would, in a sane universe where cabinet and other organs of government actually mattered, be announced by a line minister and his or her department. (Exhibit A.)

We obviously enjoy having Our Good Name associated, as often as possible, with the Big Three: roads, schools, and hospitals. TW, Exec, Health, and Edu between them account for 60% of all the WilliamsGovernmentalness to date. The Department of Highroads alone has dropped Our Good Name over 130 times, for fully one quarter of the total.

* The department that did the announcing, or the department in whose sub-site the press release was published, if more than one department was involved in the happy news.

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