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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Skin stew

Not so very long ago, Dear Premier would boast about his dermatological health, telling the Telegram's Craig Jackson in 2006:
Before I got into politics I had a really thin skin and I was reactive and I realized pretty quickly that the only way you can survive on this, is to have a thicker skin.

And CP in 2003:

People were concerned that I had a thin skin and that I was going to explode as a result of that.

In 2009, a certain someone sent Him an email that He didn't take too kindly to. Last week, we learned that said email was raised at a cabinet meeting, for some bizarre reason that has not yet been given. Indeed, in the words of chief hatchet-wielder Kevin O'Brien, Dear Premier has been "stewing" — hatchet-man's word — about said email for nearly twenty months.

And how hot is the stew?

Really hot, as we learned this weekend via Russell the Traitor:

The premier or members of his staff have mentioned Westcott’s inquiry about the premier’s mental health in my presence on at least three different occasions. In fact, it has been used every time Westcott’s name has been mentioned.

Until Westcott became a more public figure, the email wasn’t exactly a news story. But it has been used to discredit Westcott, and probably the two small newspapers he’s been running, for a good long time.

So it's a good thing that Dear Premier grew that thick hide of His after He entered politics.

Just imagine the fireworks show we'd all have been treated to if he hadn't.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Pease in a pod (XX)

Toothiness edition:
The Prime Minister stood here to dismiss this. “Mr. Speaker, of course, nothing could be further from the tooth,” he shrugged, quickly correctly himself to say “truth.”


What it's really about (I)

A fascinating glimpse into the entirely sane and rational mind of the Premier, via his comments to the press on Thursday:

“From my personal perspective, it became quite obvious to us late last week or earlier in the week that Mr. Westcott had indicated that he was going to be directing the communications, he was going to be actively involved in policy for the Liberal party and his own personal agenda was against me, personally, and that’s been ongoing for some time, so that wasn’t new news to me,” he said. “But I did feel it was important that the people of the province know who they’re dealing with and what they’re dealing with when this man is now an integral part of the official opposition in this province.
There's the nub of the issue. Or one of them.

Westcott would be an opposition who — contrary to a number of people who have moved in notionally-opposition, notionally-Liberal or -NDP circles in recent years — actually opposes Danny Williams and wants to work towards his defeat.

Imagine that, if, after eight years, you even can. Imagine that!

After eight years of notional "opposition" who have tried to be Danny Williams, co-opting so much of his jingoistic rhetoric and policy without a second thought, or notional oppositions who have openly and unquestioningly supported Danny Williams, on matters like the Abitibi expropriation, equity stakes, or opposition office resources, the possibility, however remote, that there might be an opposition who will oppose, is almost too much to bear.

Offensive, vile, and mean-spirited

Once again, Danny Wiwwiams is suffewing fwom huwt feewings:

“His behaviour has been vile, for want of a better term. You know, the statements that he made in the email were very, very offensive. Not only offensive to me but offensive to a lot of people. Then, when he and the Liberal party came back and said that this was really a joke, that just made it worse.

Williams called the comments “mean spirited” and said he felt it was important to point out Westcott’s previous actions.

“I don’t want the caucus members in my party subjected to this kind of vile behaviour.
You see, gentle reader, here’s the funny thing.

There is no small number of people who would think it vile — for want of a better term — when the Premier of a province says of certain public health-care employees, “It's disgraceful. They should be shot over there."

There is no small number of people would would think it mean-spirited to refer to members of the legislative opposition as “Quebec lovers”, and belittle the Leader of the Opposition by sarcastically calling her “mademoiselle”, one of the four French words he knows.

There is no small number of people who would think it offensive to call refer to the leader of the NDP, given her former career, as “holier than thou”.

There is a huge number of people, a huge, silent number of people, who thought it gravely offensive for an officer of the court to suggest that a Supreme Court Justice “got up on the wrong side of the bed” for making a decision that did not meet Our Dear Approval.

There is an even huger number of people who thought it offensive when the heard, live on the air, the same man berate a radio journalist, whose mind was insufficiently blown by some announcement or another, that “we don't need that kind of crap and pessimism coming out of your mouth”

There is at least one person who was offended when he sneeringly dismissed a member of his own caucus with “Pfff. Anyway, for what it's worth, he's entitled to his opinion.”

There’s at least one person who could have torqued it as a threat of violence, when he threatened a municipal election candidate with a “shit-knocking”. And, invoking the new Westcott precedent, even though this episode was before he entered into his current job, it still matters.

There are some people who find it vile and offensive when he refers to domestic political opponents, or even private citizens, as “traitors” who “betray” us with their “betrayal”.

And there are people who still remember the patronizing, bordering on sexist, comments, by the leader of a party and a government, who expressed his “disappointment” in female leaders of other parties for having the temerity to question or oppose him; for snotty references like “Miss Guy can do her 'Dear Diary' notes alongside of her, whassername”; or for using the phrase “Joyce Hancocks of the world” as a pejorative.

Vile, offensive, and mean-spirited.

And those kinds of things are bad, apparently. At least when they directed at Him.

Which is, of course, why He apologized for all of those comments.

Oh, wait. No it isn’t.

In fact, on one occasion, when expressly offered the opportunity to apologize for one of His dantrums, He was offended at the very suggestion:

"No are you kidding, apology?" a visibly upset Mr. Williams scoffed to reporters Thursday, defending his government and Health Minister Ross Wiseman's role in an Eastern Health press release boondoggle this spring.

"There will be no apology. Why should I apologize for protecting the health and the safety of the people of this province?"

In the matter of Westcott vs. Williams, it’s no trouble to see who is the bigger man.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cabinet government

In the 2003 election campaign, platform Danny Williams pledged to make government more accountable, including by expanding Access to Information laws to allow the release of cabinet documents.

That, of course, didn't happen. Indeed, he has made government more open and accountable by making it less open and accountable.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Government by Opposites.

But despite the clampdown, these past 48 hours have offered an unprecedented, and bizarre, look into the cabinet room.

This is what His Premierosity, and his hapless, hopeless, government, spend their time on.

The Telegram also spoke to O’Brien Wednesday.

The minister said the email was discussed at the cabinet table in March 2009, and he’s been “stewing” about it ever since.

The Email.

This is what they burn up cabinet time talking about.

That is, when cabinet isn't interrupted by an urgent message from outside the room that someone said Something Bad about His Premierosity on the talk radio machine, and so He rushes out of the cabinet meeting to the nearest phone to respond before the host signs off.

This what they spend time and money on.



No — eminently believable.

A person's mental health is there own business.

But there is something — for lack of a better word — crazy, going on inside the machinery of his government, for something like this to have ever been brought to the cabinet table of a province of Canada whose Premier isn't named Maurice Le Noblet Duplessis.


Toronto: Revenge of the Amalgamated

The Toronto mayoral election, cleverly colour-coded.

Can you spot the former, pre-amalgamation City of Toronto?

Can you identify mayor-elect Rob Ford's former council ward?

BONUS QUESTION: Can you identify George Smitherman's former provincial electoral district?

There are no prizes.

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The ward-by-ward results of the Ottawa mayoral election, cleverly colour-coded. (The rural wards are cropped at the edges on this map, which zooms in on the urban and suburban wards.)

Former mayor of the pre-amalgamation City of Ottawa and former Ontario Liberal cabinet Minister Jim Watson won a majority (dark red) or plurality (light red) in all but three rural-exurban wards. Watson did better in the east (more-francophone, more-public-sector) than in the west (less-francophone, more-private-sector).

Incumbent Larry O'Brien squeaked out narrow pluralities in the three southern and western rural-exurban areas. Ward 6, home of the West March Senators, was the only other where O'Brien polled more than 30% of the vote.

Watson's margin was reduced to a plurality in city-centre Wards 15 and 17, the latter being third-place mayoral candidate Clive Doucet's old home ward, which, at 33.5%, was his strongest ward, but which he still didnt' carry. Wards 17, 14, and 12, all central areas, many with heavily gentrified or gentrifying neighbourhoods, were the only ones where Doucet took more than 20% of the vote.

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How to negotiate properly (II)

From the same October 25, 2002 article quoted here, some more sage advice from Great Negotiator on how to negotiate without quitting:
[Williams] also said the agreement in principle [on the Lower Churchill] fails to address the Upper Churchill deal.

"The Upper Churchill power project must be the most lopsided agreement ever signed in the history of Canada," Williams said.

While prominent Newfoundlanders have urged that any Lower Churchill deal address the Upper Churchill, Williams said Grimes views them as separate entities.

"I don't accept Premier Roger Grimes's position," Williams said.

"It's something you would expect to hear from quitters and we are not quitters."


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spin, doctored

What He said:
Would… could… potential… could… would… would… would… would… would… would… would… should… prospects… hopeful…
What the headlines read:

Lower Churchill energy plan coming: Williams

Lower Churchill in view

NL Close to Bypassing Quebec in Lower Churchill Development (VOCM)

Lower Churchill to Be Done in Two Phases (VOCM)

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How to negotiate properly (I)

In response to this Telegram article, one of the usual suspects retorts, in a comment on the newspaper's Facebox page:
Well, with the big mouths and loose lips of the Liberals, I wouldn't tell them anything to make sure they don't pooch the deal. When they can keep a secret and negotiate properly, we'll let them sit with the adults.
Which is high-stericly funny, because not so very long ago, the complaint from the usual suspect's personal hero was that certain mouths and lips weren't big and loose enough. Like on this occasion:
MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, in his leadership campaign, policy statement number six, in January of this year, the Premier told the people of the Liberal Party who placed him in office as Premier, and I quote him: The new Freedom of Information -

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR. WILLIAMS: - should not be used as a vehicle to frustrate or prevent the quick dissemination of public information. I would ask the Premier: If he is so interested in providing the public with information, why does section 23(1)(e) of the bill prevent disclosure of information about negotiations carried on by your government?


MR. WILLIAMS: The negotiations that are before the people of this Province are very, very important to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Premier. Isn’t is a fact that Section 23(1)(c) of the act gives you and your government virtual veto power to deny the public information about any negotiations which your government carries on, including Voisey’s Bay and including the Lower Churchill?
Or this one:

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.


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

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

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

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: Because the mindset was wrong for twelve years; hidden agendas, secrecy. Open it up, give them the information.

Or this one:
MR. WILLIAMS: Our legitimate concern is that if the ore leaves the Province and there is nothing to bring it back to, then it will not come back. That is the fundamental issue on Voisey’s Bay. This clause hides negotiations. It was not in the old Freedom of Information Act. We are trying to have a more open act, and now what we have, is a more secretive act. That is what we have accomplished, which is sad. The people have a right to know. They have a right to know what the government is negotiating on their behalf.

If we allow this clause to go through as is, without the amendment that is presented by the Opposition, then government can continue to have secret negotiations. So if the Minister of Mines and Energy wants to have secret negotiations about oil and gas, well, then he can do so. If he wants to have secret negotiations or negotiations in private about the Lower Churchill, our hydroelectric power, then he can do that as well. They can basically negotiate all the resources of this Province away, have the deals done and the people will never know what happened, what the reason were or why they did it. That is why this amendment is so very, very important to this legislation.
Or this one:
MR. WILLIAMS: I find it quite interesting that we received this update about - well, I guess it is an hour ago now - thirty minutes before we came into the House and have received nothing since August 1 when the original principles were announced. Now that the Premier has to provide some information to this House, he is providing it.

He originally said the deal would be done by the end of September, by the middle of September. We are now into November. Why now? Do you know why now? Because he lost a by-election in July. He has now gotten hammered in another by-election and these are the desperate actions of a desperate man and a desperate government.
Once again, we are in the dark. It has all been done in secret. Negotiations are completely in secret. We get a two-page update today on what is going on. That is all he has provided.

Voisey’s Bay all over again. Everything is done in secret. No information provided. I call on the Premier to make all the information available, to have a full debate, but let’s do it before that agreement is signed and let’s have a real shot at it this time around.
Or this one:
MR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, with each passing day we learn more and more about the terms of the secret deal on the Lower Churchill, which appears to be a very, very bad deal for Newfoundland and Labrador and a very, very good deal for Quebec. Now we all know why it is, in fact, a hidden deal and why the Premier will not answer any questions on the terms.
Or as the Telegram reported eight years ago this past Monday:
Opposition Leader Danny Williams wants to be in the know about the Lower Churchill deal being negotiated with Quebec.

Pledging that a Tory government would consult with its Opposition, Williams said Thursday he wants to help Liberal Premier Roger Grimes reach the best possible deal for Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Unfortunately, because (the deal) is being negotiated in secret, we know very little about this deal and therefore are not able to provide constructive thoughts and suggestions as to how it can be improved," he said.

"It is fundamentally different from the principles agreed to with Quebec in 1998. In fact, this entire arrangement sprang out of nowhere just days after talks between this province and Alcoa fell apart. There has not been a single update provided to the House of Assembly."

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

There ain't no flies on some of you guys...

... but there's plenty of flies on us.

Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, publishes the Annual Reviews of the Access to Information and Personal Privacy Co-ordinator for 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Yes, that's correct, 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Felix Collins was not appointed to cabinet, let alone to that portfolio, until October 2009.

Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General during the years covered by the reports were Tom Marshall, Tom Osborne, and Jerome Kennedy.

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The road ahead

The strange chimeric "corporation" charged with building a road along the Lower North Shore has a change of heart, and will now, um, start to build a road along the Lower North Shore instead:
The Corporation has determined that the $73 million that is still available from the $100 million budget will make it possible to pursue the development the road System Connecting Kegaska and La Romaine, along with Pakuashipi and Chevery. This means that close to $4 million will be invested in 2010-2011 in order to build 2.5 km of roads, starting in La Tabatière and heading west.

According to Minister MacMillan: "The new orientations determined by the Corporation Pakatan Meskanau de la Grande séduction are in keeping with our government's vision. Our joint objective is to complète thèse road links, which will be adapted to the realities of the Lower North Shore and, when completed, will improve the quality of life of citizens."

Minister Simard added: "I am very pleased with the Corporation's new priorities, which will make it possible for us to take another step toward opening up access to the municipalities on the Lower North Shore."

The Corporation has decided to remove the bridge across rivière St-Augustin that was included in the original contract. The project for this bridge is not being cancelled altogether. Instead, it will be listed as a priority in a future contract.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to the present?

If you think you've seen this movie before, you have. As the Financial Post reported on June 15th —

June 15th, 1974, that is:
Power lines will cost more than power plant

Transmission systems are becoming a much-discussed and expensive aspect of electric power planning in the Atlantic Provinces.

In the most extreme cast, figures recently released by the Newfoundland government show that transmission from the proposed hydroelectric development on the Lower Churchill River will cost more than the generation facility itself.

The cost of hydro facilities at Gull Island is estimated at $494 million. Associated transmission costs come to $547 million.

The Newfoundland government is asking Ottawa to foot the transmission bill.


Why didn't anyone think of that before?

His Premierosity tells various gullible people assembled at The Party's The Convention:

With this potentially new and mutually beneficial partnership with Emera Energy, which builds upon our existing partnership with them on our recall power from the Upper Churchill, we are collectively embarking upon an exciting journey that has never before been seriously contemplated and pursued by those seeking to develop the Lower Churchill.

We are saying, "thank you, Quebec, but we simply don't need you to develop this project."

Is there nothing Danny Williams can't do? He not only came up with the totally novel concept of transmitting imaginary Lower Churchill power to the Maritimes, but he travelled back in time, and planted the same idea in the head of a Frank Moores cabinet minister, who then, sage advice received, placed this ad in the Financial Post in February 1978:


Jekyl meets Hyde

Pray for Yvonne, the Shepherd tells his flock:
Pray for Jones to Beat Cancer: Williams

October 24, 2010

It's a year in which Dianne Whalen lost her battle with cancer and Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones is in a battle with it. While the premier says now is not the time to hand over the reigns of power to those who mismanaged it, namely the Liberals, he wants everyone to pray for Jones to beat cancer.
So We can thump her:
He doesn't want all 48 seats next October, but Premier Danny Williams wants to give the other parties a good thumping in next year's general election.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Real subtle

Himself proposes:
The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today called upon Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited and the United Steelworkers Local 9508 to make one final effort to resolve outstanding issues in the ongoing strike. The hope is to achieve bargained resolution prior to the commencement of an Industrial Inquiry.‬
‪‬ ‪
Susan Sullivan -- on behalf of the Provincial Government, not the Williams one, naturally -- disposes:
The Provincial Government confirms today that an Industrial Inquiry Commission into the ongoing labour dispute between the United Steelworkers Local 9508 and Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited will proceed and that a review into the matters impacting this strike shall commence immediately. “The Provincial Government is profoundly disappointed that the United Steelworkers and Vale have failed to resolve this dispute,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Minister Responsible for the Labour Relations Agency. “Parties have been given full access to the conciliation and mediation support of the Labour Relations Agency and the assistance of an independent mediator, and yet they have been unable to put aside their differences and find a solution that is satisfactory to both sides.”

How hard must it suck to be a Williams Party cabinet minister?

Promises to keep

His Dannyosity is displeased.

As usual.

The Telegram:

Premier Danny Williams says the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association broke a promise to government.

During his leader’s annual report at the PC Party convention Saturday morning, he said Rob Ritter ensured government that raises given to attract and retain pathologists and some oncologists in May 2008 would not be used as a bargaining chip during general negotiations between the province’s doctors and the government.
That agreement reached in 2008 meant some specialists in this province went from the lowest paid in the country to among the highest, according to the health minister of the day, Ross Wiseman.

But Williams said Saturday that Ritter has not kept that promise and suggested that’s what has lead to prolonged negotiations with the association.

Premier Danny Williams is accusing the top official of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association of going back on his word. It all stems from the situation a few years ago where government stepped in and gave oncologists and radiologists a big raise to head off what was percevied then as a dire situation. The Premier was under the impression that the monetary injection would not be used against government in future negotiations with physicians. However, the Premier says it is one of the things holding up a deal on a new contract for doctors.

He says NLMA executive director Rob Ritter has gone back on his word.
Unfortunately for Mr. Ritter, the NLMA's bargaining position is utterly untenable in the face of such stinging criticism from Danny Williams, Mr. Decency, who has never ever ever broken a promise or gone back on his word in his life.

Wilt, Ritter, wither! in the face of such upstanding and decent consistency.


Lamest. Reverse. Psychology. EVER.

VOCM reported Saturday:
Williams to Speak at Tory Convention

He doesn't want all 48 seats next October, but Premier Danny Williams wants to give the other parties a good thumping in next year's general election.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is there a tweeting badge?

His Former Worship could have added "on a go-forward basis", and it still wouldn't have bumped into the 140-character limit.

Viva Saskatchewan libre

Terence Corcoran of the National Post compares Brad Wall's Saskatchewan to a banana republic:
Did we miss the constitutional change — the one that created the Peoples’ Republic of Saskatchewan, with Brad Wall as el presidente?


The President of Saskatchewan also played the Venezuelan nationalist card: “It’s our government’s belief that the people of Saskatchewan deserve nothing less than a potash industry inequivocally managed, operated and marketed for the benefit of Canada and Saskatchewan.” Or is that a line Danny Williams used in his economic war with AbitibiBowater, the one that ended up costing the federal government millions of dollars in trade fines?
Expect demagoguery in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly; vitriolic letters to editors, domestic and Canadian; talk-radio switchboards lighting up like a Christmas tree; questioning of whether Saskatchewan is even part of Canada, or whether Saskatchewan should have ever joined in the first place.


The cone of silence

Russell Wangersky — he's not even one of the Newfoundland Wangerskies — takes long-overdue stock of the Premier's many outbursts:
There’s any number of opposition politicians who have been publicly jeered and derided. There are judges who dared to make rulings in cases, only to have their measured and considered verdicts dismissed as being the result of waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

There are private citizens who have been phoned directly after they had the audacity to exercise their freedom of speech and write letters to the editor criticizing government policy.
Such is the behaviour of Tim Powers' old pal Mr. Decency, to which catalogue, CFA Wangersky could easily have added the Wade Verge Friendly Fire Incident of 2009.

However, isn't it a bit odd — more than a bit odd, in fact — that other than in this and another elliptical editorial reference two years ago, there has been no follow-on coverage, and no attempt to hard-report, that curious phenomenon of phone calls to private citizens.

In the nine provinces of Canada where such Duplessistic tactics have not, in the 21st century, become tacitly accepted through the silence and acquiescence of the media, civil society and the public at large, that kind of thing, from any of their provincial premiers, would attract hard-news attention from their corresponding local political press galleries and elected opposition.

And lots of it.

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Friday, October 22, 2010


And herewith, the slightly-belated visual results of the Edmonton mayoral election, held last week on the same day as the more-watched Calgary race.

Incumbent Stephen Mandel carried all twelve wards with at least a 40% plurality, and an outright majority in eight of them. The closest race with his nearest competitor, Dave Dorward, was in Ward 7, where Mandel led by 40.4% to 37.5%. Third-place Daryl Bonar had his best showing in downtown Ward 6, with 16.6%.

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What's on first?

Some hitherto under-noticed and under-appreciated intelligence concerning possible, significant, changes to the imaginary Lower Churchill Project, by way of environmental documentation filed with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in late September by the Innu Nation. (.pdf link)

Innu Nation is concerned that decisions of the Regie de l’energie, new policies in the potential markets, and evolution of the marketplace since the date of filing of the Project Description in 2006 have changed the development context to such an extent that, if approved, the Project will not be developed in the manner described in the EIS. This likely change involves a change to the development sequence such that Muskrat Falls is constructed before Gull Island.

[p. 2]


Our review of the response to this JRP focuses on issues related to the potential and implications of developing Muskrat Falls prior to Gull Island.

Considerations Respecting the Timing of Phases and Components of the Project

Nalcor identifies three important considerations respecting the timing of Phases of the Project: market access, sales, and financing.

With respect to market access, Nalcor indicates that “Greater available transmission capacity will favour Gull Island first, and lesser available capacity will favour Muskrat Falls first.” Based on our earlier analysis in relation to JRP.146, it appears that transmission through Quebec, if it is possible at all, will be delayed for some time. This tends to suggest development of Muskrat Falls first.

Regarding sales, the current low prices in the markets suggests slower as opposed to stronger sales, again supporting the development of Muskrat Falls first.

Lastly, considering that financial markets continue to remain tight, this also tends to support development of the smaller Muskrat Falls development first.

Further to our comments above in response to JRP.146, it appears that there is an 1800 MW limit to the capacity that can be developed and transmitted to potential markets at this time. This quantity (even presuming sales contracts of 1800 MW) appears to be too low to permit the development of the Gull Island project, which also suggests that Muskrat Falls would more likely be developed first.

As noted by the Proponent, if Muskrat Falls is developed first, “the cash flows from Muskrat Falls then could be used to help finance the more costly Gull Island phase of the Project.” This is theoretically true, but in practice it seems unlikely that sufficient cash flow could be obtained in the first several years of the production phase for the following reasons:
  • the capital cost of Gull Island includes the costs of the 230/735 kV switchyard (est. $130M), communications infrastructure (est. $70M) and other costs associated with construction of the first of the two projects – these costs would need to be borne by Muskrat Falls if it is constructed first;

  • cost savings, such as reuse of the construction bridge and construction camps, and staged mobilization from Gull Island will no longer be available to Muskrat Falls and must be added to its capital cost (est. $50M total);

  • construction costs at Muskrat Falls could potentially increase for other reasons as a result of Gull Island not being in place during construction, including costs for larger diversion facilities and cofferdams (est. to be determined);

  • based on the information in Table 23 of the Supplemental Report, the capital cost of Muskrat Falls is $2682/kW compared to $1902/kW for Gull Island meaning that it has a lower rate of return and will generate less cash flow; adding an estimated $250M to the capital cost of Muskrat Falls results in an estimated capital cost of $2985/kW.
Innu Nation suggests that the lower cash flow resulting from initial development of Muskrat Falls as opposed to Gull Island would contribute to:
  • a consecutive development sequence (as opposed to a staged overlap) where Gull Island is not developed for several years following completion of construction at Muskrat Falls;

  • temporarily or permanently raising the crest elevation of the Muskrat Falls dam to create a larger reservoir and more head and/or operating the reservoir to take advantage of higher market prices during peak periods;
[p. 10-11]


Thursday, October 21, 2010

14% off

A fun bit of research, just for the big happy PC family who will be congregating this weekend in St. John's:

In 2008, a third party called the “ABC Campaign”, headquartered in Newfoundland, was registered under Elections Canada’s rules for the conduct of such third parties during federal electoral campaigns. The application for registration was submitted in the name of one John Babb, which is also the name of the President (then and now) of the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador (and potential future Chief Electoral Officer.)

The financial report of the “ABC Campaign” was authorized by its financial agent, one James Oxford, who shares a name and postal code with one Jim Oxford, who was, at the time, treasurer of the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The ABC Campaign disclosed advertising expenses of $81,389.62, which, coincidentally enough, was also the exact amount of its one and only financial contribution, which came from the Progressive Conservative Association of NL. And that is almost, but not quite exactly, the same amount ($81,145) that the Progressive Conservative Party disclosed as an expenditure, under the interesting head of “ABC Campaign”, in its 2008 disclosure under provincial electoral finance rules.

The PC Party collected $594,569 in financial contributions in 2008. Large swaths of this amount would have come from Good Old Tories: the party faithful who can be counted on by the PC Party to donate, year after year, just as there are similar sets of reliable donors for the provincial Liberals and NDP.

And just as there are for the federal parties.

Which is where it gets especially interesting, since many of those good old PC donors (provincial) are also good old Conservative donors (federal).

Dividing $81,145 by $594,569, it works out that anyone (hi!) who was a Good Old Tory both provincially and federally in 2008, effectively paid fourteen cents on their provincial PC contribution dollar towards undoing whatever support, financial or otherwise, that they might have lent to the federal Conservative Party of Canada.

Have a nice convention!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Are graphic designers in Newfoundland genetically incapable of showing both parts of their province at the same relative scale in graphics such as this?

Ask and ye shall receive

Nottawa asks.

CBC obliges, at least in part. Audio link.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Purple people-greeter

Calgary votes. Nenshi wins. Here's the map, showing the winner and vote-share by ward:

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The showboat must go on (II)

The parade of showboating continues:
An Anglican minister in eastern Newfoundland says Igor relief money isn't getting to people hit by the hurricane quickly enough.

Rev. Eric Squires is organizing construction projects now to get families back in their homes in Catalina and neighbouring towns, on the Bonavista Peninsula.


"We're not waiting for the government, we're not waiting for the Salvation Army, you know, we can't wait," he said.

The showboat must go on

The Hurricane Igor fundraising concert gets a last-minute addition to the playbill:
Premier Danny Williams and the cast of “Republic of Doyle” have been added to the list of those who’ll take to the stage at the concert, a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Igor.
Danny Williams couldn't have heard Danny Williams' recent pronouncement: Showboats don't count. Boo!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Popular science

Meaford, Ontario, develops a case of the Middle Ages:
Parents are asking an elementary school in Meaford, Ont., to shut down Wi-Fi internet access over health concerns despite authorities saying there is no scientific evidence that the technology is harmful.

"After learning the whole story about how risky Wi-Fi is, parents voted to protect their children's health and plug the computers back in with hardwires," said Andrew Couper, a member of Saint Vincent Euphrasia Parent Council, in a statement issued Monday.
There is no word yet on whether the Saint Vincent Euphrasia Parent Council will be putting other so-called "science", like the Periodic Table, the Copernican Model, or the sphericity of the Earth, to a vote.

Hair trigger

Commenter David W. is not happy with Geoff Meeker:

David W - October 17th, 2010 at 07:15:07

So Geoff returns after a long absense and when I see the tilte I know excatly what the column is about before I read it. "Meeker on Media" is a laughable name for your column. Whether you like Danny Williams, hate him or are an "objective journalist" just change the name of your column so it apllies to what you do, which is take every opportunity possible to bash Danny while making a feeble attempt to relate to some faint "media" angle. Unbelieveable.

For the record, and for David W.'s benefit, Geoff Meeker's twenty most recent postings have been about a satirical video using audio clips of Danny Williams, CBC coverage of Igor, VOCM/Jerome Kennedy, VOCM/Rogers TV, media coverage of a crime story, an expat at CBC Calgary, a documentary film, CBC technical problems, the Telegram website, media coverage of the lottery, Ryan Cleary on VOCM, CBC Radio Talkback, Kathy Dunderdale's epic fail as a media mouthpiece for the government, accusations about an un-named journalist, CBC coverage of an economic story, Jerome Kennedy's boycott of the Northern Pen, Atlantic Business Magazine, the cover story of the Herald about Danny Williams, the War of 1812, and media awards.

All but the War of 1812 one have a "media angle". The only other posting, besides the parody video, which directly involves His Dear Name is the one on the Herald's cover over the summer... which is neutral to favourable about the media issue in question and its subject.

You have to go back even further by an unspecified amount of time*, to late spring or early summer, to a posting entitled "All Spin, No Traction" to find the last posting directly critical of Glorious Leader.

If Meeker is taking "every opportunity possible to bash Danny", boy, he sure is doing it wrong.

* Transcontinental's website "improvements" over the summer oh so cleverly bit-bucketted the very important information on the date of website content, as well as pre-existing comments, many of great value to posterity.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh noes! Crimes!

A strange and contra-factual statistical claim in a James McLeod piece in Saturday’s Telegram:

Homicide rate on the rise

The province’s chief medical examiner said the number of homicides here is on the rise.

There were 70 homicides in the province between 1997 and 2009.

Stop. Right. There.

The phrase “70 homicides in the province between 1997 and 2009”, comprises thirteen calendar years if counted inclusively, which means an average of about 5.4 homicides per year. (“Homicide”, in the criminal law sense of the term, includes first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, and infanticide.)

And that is about all the phrase “70 homicides in the province between 1997 and 2009” can tell you. It says absolutely nothing about whether the number or rate of homicides are increasing, decreasing, or stable.

So, what is actually going on?

Well, with a note of caution since the local year-over-year numbers are almost too small to play with in the first place, the answer would seem to lie somewhere between “stable” and “decreasing”. This chart* compares the homicide rate per 100,000 population for Canada, the province, and the St. John’s metropolitan area, since 1961 at the national and provincial level, 1981 for metro St. John’s:

A few things worth noting:

First, despite the widespread popular belief to the contrary, the homicide rate in Canada has been on a relatively steady downward trend since the peak of around 3 per 100,000 was reached in the mid-1970s.

Second, with the exception of a few outlying years, the homicide rate in the province and in the St. John’s metro area is consistently at, or much below, the all-Canada figures.

Third, while there are some years in which the homicide rate in the province or in St. John’s spike upwards, there is no pattern to the spikes. “Spike” years are followed, thankfully, by “crash” years, such as 1999 and 2004 when there were just two homicides reported in the province, 2001 (just one), or 1990 (none).

In case you are having (understandable) trouble spotting any local trends in such blippy figures, here is the same data, averaged out over ten years so as to make long-term trends visible. For example, the figures for 2008 are the trailing averages for the ten calendar years from 1999 to 2008 inclusive:

While there was a long-term increase in the homicide rate in St. John’s through the 1990s, that trend reversed itself a decade ago, to the point where the long-term figure for St. John’s recently dipped below the provincial rate.

And the provincial rate is stable.

There is absolutely no support to be found in the official crime statistics for the assertion that homicide is on the rise in Canada, in Newfoundland and Labrador, or in St. John’s.

It’s a good thing though, that innumeracy isn’t a Criminal Code offence.

[Data source for charts: Statistics Canada CANSIM Tables 253-001 and 253-004.]

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pease in a pod (XIX)

But remember, kids, showboats don't count.

Unless they do.

Federal showboat:
Stephen Harper is trading the Punch and Judy show of Canadian politics for a Victorian-era crime drama today, making a cameo appearance on a hit TV series that’s beloved by his daughter.
And provincial showboat:

Friday, October 15, 2010

The anti-bullying campaign

MediaGeoff engages in a spectacular bit of local political culture-jamming:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prompt public access

As recalled, ad nauseam, around these parts, in 2003, the Danny Williams Party wrote the following funny words in its Blue Sheet:
A Progressive Conservative government will ... release to the public every government-commissioned report within 30 days of receiving it, indicate the action government will take on a report's recommendations within 60 days, and ensure prompt public access to all government reports in hard copy and on the Internet.
The reports — the bloated, re-scanned, non-native PDF reports — on overbilling at the Qatar campus of the College of Whatever It's Called This Year, which were released on October 12, 2010, are actually dated June 10, 2010.

Apparently, it takes four months for the censors and scanners within The Most Accountable Government Ever to work their special brand of Orwellian magic.



For some pre-Halloween eeeeeriieee fun, and quickly, before the audio gets removed in the rapid-fire world of VOCM website updating, visit this page.

Play the audio.

Now, close your eyes, and play the audio again, and, for a couple of seconds at the beginning of the clip, ask yourself: am I listening to Danny Williams in 2010, or Joey Smallwood in 1963?



Here’s an interesting exchange, made even interestinger in light of subsequent and recent events, from CBC Radio’s The House, which aired on February 7, 2009, in which host Kathleen Petty sat down with Dear Leader to deconstruct the “ABC campaign” of 2008:
PETTY: But perhaps you alienated [Harper], and that's why you're seeing these measures in the budget. Do you look back and wonder whether this "Anybody But Conservative" campaign in the federal election was such a good idea?

DEAR LEADER: I would shudder to think so. I mean, I live in Canada. We live in Canada. It's a great country. It's a democracy. Freedom of speech, our right to vote as we see fit, and, you know, if the people of Newfoundland and Labrador disagree with the fact that Stephen Harper made a very express, strong written commitment to them for ten-billion dollars and turned his back on us, then we have a right to vote against him in the next election and... or the past election, so for him, on a go-forward basis [That’s quite enough – ed.]

Freedom of speech.

On a go-forward basis.

Shudder to think that, in a democracy, the governing party might mete out petty retribution for an electoral outcome.

Shudder to think, that in a democracy, in Canada, in the 21st century, citizens might have their freedom of speech and expression; nay, their very citizenship and loyalty, put into question, by such a great lawyer, such a great civil libertarian, such a great defender of the common man.

Shudder to think.

Shudder to think.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Enemies, domestic and foreign

Dear Premier doesn’t like threats:

I don’t respond very well to threats. I don’t listen to threats. Nor will We honour those threats. So its up to nurses to do what they wanna do there… We’ll deal with it. We’ll just deal with it. ButIgottatellya, threats of mass resignation in order to extort benefits or extra salaries or extra leave from government, it’s not on for Us.
No, He really doesn’t like threats:

This Government does not respond favourably to threats or misleading information.
Well, he doesn’t like receiving threats, anyway.

Making them – that’s sumpin’ else, as we learn, again, today. This time, the target is one Sam Synard:

If only the Mayor would watch what he’s sayin’ down there, We’d be a lot happier.

He added, minutes later:

That’s Sam, he doesn’t count.

It’s pretty well inevitable: when, for a variety of reasons, internal and external, you can no longer go to war against Ottawa every ten days, you have to find your enemies somewhere else.

Quebec, the Burin Peninsula. Whatever. They’re both near St. Pierre, aren’t they?

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Unformation (II)

Ross Wiseman, Minister of Business, whatever that is, and Terry French, Minister of Playgrounds, “release” a report entitled Taking Flight: An Air Access Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Oddly enough, the Minister of Transportation and Works is nowhere to be found. For the record, “air” is a type of transportation.

From the backgrounder attached to the press release, said report sounds vapid and platitudinous. Par for the course, in other words, from Williams-Government’s cleverly-programmed report-writing macro.

And you’ll have to take the backgrounder’s word for it: the good Ministers “released” the report without actually, um, releasing it.

Perhaps the tech.gnomes haven’t finished running it off the printer and through the scanner.



Vanessa Racine, Peter Cowan, and Mathieu Thériault of CBC and Radio-Canada do a joint and bilingual feature on the impact of the Trans-Labrador Highway... with impressive results.

Additional coverage from Radio-Canada Côte-Nord.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aggressively passive

This curious turn of phrase makes its appearance — again:
The census of the herd was conducted in partnership with the Government of Quebec, Laval University, the Nunatsiavut Government, Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board and the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research. The final results and analysis of the census will be available later this fall.
Who did the "conducting"?

Hint: not the provincial government of which Labrador is supposedly a part.

Perhaps Ireland has some useful experience in caribou-counting...

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Rube Goldberg

Important born-digital documents, which the Regime could have converted to PDF at the press of a button, are instead run through a scanner, turned into bandwidth-hogging graphical documents, and then have OCR performed on them — poorly — which has the effect (if not the intent) of making keyword searching less than 100% reliable.

Welcome to the brave new world of government openness in Dannystan.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Only 365 more sleeps

Friday, October 08, 2010

The tradition continues

The 2009 political party contribution disclosure lists another $2,000 donation to the Progessive Constabulary party from the Royal Newfoundland Conservative Association.

This brings to $14,450 the total amount of disclosed contributions made to the PCs by the RNCA since 1999, along with two other donations totalling $700 to the provincial Liberals.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Freudian slip?

A funny in Deana Stokes Sullivan's piece in the Wednesday Telegram on the supposed baby boom:
He said his calculations suggested that 93,000 births between 1989 and 1996 could be attributed to the program, but while the pro-nationalist child benefit paid up to $8,000 to a family, the cost per additional birth was about $15,113.
Appropriate, perhaps, given that the guy who brought in the policy did so because he was worried about race suicide or something, but the term is actually pronatalist.



Some places where you won't find union-side information about proposed whistleblower legislation:

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour website

The Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses Union website

The NAPE website, where it's still, like, 1997 or something

Whose side are you on? De quel côté êtes-vous?

Perhaps it is a job best left to the political scienticians to figure out what, precisely, is the deeper significance of the fact the the Parti Québécois in one province, and the Progressive Conservatives in another, resort to more or less identical rhetoric.

From debate in the House of Assembly, December 12, 2009:
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Premier stated that the Department of Justice has completed a review on the Upper Churchill deal and had received some legal opinions from Quebec lawyers. These legal opinions have since been forwarded to CF(L)Co, as we know, and they have asked Hydro-Quebec to have discussions around renegotiating the deal.

I ask the Premier today if he is prepared to table those legal opinions so that they are available to the public.

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, the level of betrayal of the hon. member opposite to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador never ceases to astound me.

House of Assembly, May 20, 2010:
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, the difference here is that in 2008 the Premier stated that the expropriation action would not cost the taxpayers of this Province. Yet, Mr. Speaker, this is what we know so far, that we will have to pay for the brick and mortar assets of Abitibi. We know that we have to pay out millions of dollars in legal fees for lost challenges in the courts. We know that we are paying millions of dollars for maintenance and security. We are paying millions in compensation as far as we know at this stage, probably even for Fortis and Enel. On top of that, we have a $500 million NAFTA challenge, and we could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

I ask the Premier today: Why not come clean with the people of this Province and tell them the amount of money that we are on the hook for as a result of this expropriation?

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, and I ask the Leader of the Opposition: Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, or are you trying to build the case for Abitibi so that they can go to NAFTA and say the Leader of the Opposition said this is worth $500 million or $600 million or $700 million? That is what you are saying; that is what you are doing.

MS MICHAEL: When his legal people were putting this legislation together, did they look at the implications of the CCAA and that ruling that would come into place when bankruptcy happened? Did he think about that? Did his legal minds think about that? If they did, why were they not ready for what happened in the courts in Quebec this past week?

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Absolutely, Mr. Speaker, we had opinions from the best people we could find in this particular field. They advised us on exactly what the consequences were of various options, whether it was a CCAA proceeding, whether there was a bankruptcy proceeding, whether there was no bankruptcy, whether assets were sold. We looked at every possible avenue, and we were provided with all those alternatives.

What we probably could have predicted but we would have thought hopefully would not have happened, is that Quebec and the Quebec judges and the Quebec courts would have shafted us once again, and that is exactly what has happened in every single decision that we have had out of that Province in the last month. That Régie decision, as I said in the House, was absolutely shameful.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Quebec lovers –

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WILLIAMS: If we could only keep the Quebec lovers quiet, Mr. Speaker, it would be nice.

House of Assembly, May 31, 2010:
MS JONES: I ask the Premier again if he will confirm to the people of the Province today that there are no technical issues that will impact upon the feasibility of the Maritime transmission option under the Lower Churchill project.

PREMIER WILLIAMS: There absolutely will be technical issues that will impact upon the project. Anybody with a clue at all would know that there is going to be some technical issues when you do a $6 billion to $12 billion project.

I can tell the hon. member opposite that there will be no technical difficulties that will be a complete obstacle that would ever prevent that project from happening. All she has to do is read the journals.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WILLIAMS: The problem is what the hon. member opposite is doing is reading the nonsense that is being put out by Hydro-Quebec, that is being put out through journalists that write articles in The Globe and Mail that say this technology is not available anywhere else in the world when there are all kinds of examples. Whether they happen to be in Europe, whether they happen to be in Tasmania, they are everywhere. So she should stop reading Quebec propaganda and believing in it, and believe in Newfoundland and Labrador.

And finally, an exchange between Quebec Natural Resources Minister Nathalie Normandeau, and PQ MNA Bernard Drainville, who represents a Montreal South Shore suburban district of Marie-Victorin, on Wednesday in the Quebec National Assembly:

Mme Normandeau: M. le Président, de notre côté, nous avons agi de façon responsable en s'assurant justement que les préoccupations des Madelinots soient prises en considération, et c'est précisément ce qui va...

Le Président: En deuxième complémentaire, M. le député de Marie-Victorin.

M. Drainville: M. le Président, la ministre ne comprend pas son dossier. Elle passe son temps à défendre Terre-Neuve, elle vient de le faire encore à nouveau. Elle n'a pas l'air de comprendre que, si Terre-Neuve commence à pomper de son côté, ils vont venir siphonner la ressource de notre côté également. Il n'y a pas de cloison, là, on boit dans le même verre, si je peux me permettre, c'est le principe des vases communicants.

Alors, au lieu de défendre Terre-Neuve, quand est-ce qu'elle va se mettre... quand est-ce qu'elle va commencer à défendre le Québec? Quand est-ce qu'elle va se lever en cette Chambre pour dire: Je vais défendre les intérêts du Québec parce que c'est mon travail non seulement comme ministre des Affaires inter, mais comme vice-première ministre du Québec?

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Happy News!

The story which moved earlier on Wednesday morning on the Ministry of Truth (Provincial) website:
No Luck in Search for Timber Developers: Dunderdale
October 6, 2010

It is back to square one for the Natural Resources Department in the search for interest in commercial development of the timber resources in central Newfoundland. Minister Kathy Dunderdale says the call for expressions of interest announced eighteen months ago for the fiber expropriated from AbitibiBowater is essentially over. Dunderdale indicates they intend to invite those who were originally interested back into the process.

She says the nine original proponents will be invited to resubmit modified proposals and they will also consider representations from other companies concerning the fiber allocation.
And the 72% positiver and upbeater "update" story which replaced it by mid-day:
Update: Central NL Timber Resources Must be Maximized
October 6, 2010

The Department of Natural Resources says there is a lot of interest in developing timber resources in Central Newfoundland, but Minister Kathy Dunderdale says so far, none of the proposals they have received would maximize the value of the resource. 280,000 cubic metres of wood has been set aside by provincial government for commercial development, and Dunderdale says they have received nine proposals to develop it. She says several of the proposals were for pellet production, which she says is not the best use of the fibre. Dunderdale says the mill in Grand Falls-Windsor had approximately 500 employees, but a pellet plant would only require a workforce of 30 people, at most.

Dunderdale also says government is not conducting a hard sell. She says while government realizes a company has to make money on any development, it is incumbent on government to make sure its value is maximized.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Someone is a little hazy on the whole concept of "distinctive":
Rescues at Sea (and the heroism associated with such events) - Distinctive Cultural Tradition or Practice (3 designates)

Apparently, in other coastal regions of the world, from Devon to Demerara to Van Diemen's Land, they just let the poor souls drown.

There are plenty of good reasons to historically commemorate Ann Harvey, William Jackman and the Truxton and Pollux rescues. Whole boatloads of good reasons. But rescues at sea and heroism are hardly a distinctive cultural tradition or practice to Newfoundland and Labrador, nor, for that matter, to any place else.

The Carbonear Declaration

There’d be no reason why we wouldn’t get it on. I’m personally strongly in favour of it. I have no objection whatsoever.

That was one Danny Williams, speaking in Carbonear, pledging to bring in “whistleblower protection” legislation, in response to NDP Leader Lorraine Michael’s dark suggestion, during the 2007 election campaign, of “calls in the night” from public-sector employees who were afraid to expose government wrong-doing for fear of retribution.

No reason. Strongly in favour. No objection. In fact, he promised to bring in such a bill in the very next session of the legislature.

The Word of Our Dan.

Three years ago Wednesday. Three years and three sessions of the legislature have intervened.

The last anyone heard, We were apparently researching how to make such legislation “tight”.

“Tight”, indeed. Pffff.

How hollow it all sounds now.

And how strange it is, that the hapless opposition parties, and the public-sector unions, have been so very unwilling to hold His Dear Feet to the fire over His Blatant Failure to keep such an important promise. Qui tacet consentire videtur.

For the record, here’s Recommendation No. 21 of the 2007 Green Report:
Recommendation No. 21

(1) A public interest disclosure (“whistleblower”) program should be implemented by legislation in the legislative branch of government;

(2) Under the program, members of the public service or MHAs who believe that wrongdoing, such as committing a statutory offence, gross mismanagement of public money, violation of a code of conduct or failure to disclose information required to be disclosed, has been committed by an MHA, the Speaker, persons employed in the House or its statutory offices, or members of the House of Assembly Management Commission should be provided with a mechanism to report such wrongdoing in confidence;

(3) The program should provide a means whereby the disclosure of alleged wrongdoing can be investigated in a fair manner and recommendations made for appropriate action to be taken;

(4) The Citizens’ Representative should be designated as the investigator under the program;

(5) The program should provide that no reprisals can be taken against any person making a disclosure in accordance with the program; and

(6) The Clerk should be tasked with undertaking at an early date the development of explanatory material relating to the program, and how it should be used, for approval by the Commission, and then for general distribution to members of the public service and MHAs, stressing the importance of the program and its full support by the Commission.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Cut-and-paste is your friend!

File under You Can't Make This Up. From the 2009-2010 Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat (pdf link):

Issue #1: 5 Wing Goose Bay

The Secretariat acts as lead provincial agency for matters related to defence; 5 Wing Goose Bay is a priority issue. Secretariat officials work closely with all provincial departments, federal officials in various departments, and the local community (e.g. the Town of Happy Valley–Goose Bay, the Goose Bay Citizen’s Coalition and other groups and organizations as appropriate) to advance the future viability of military presence and training.

Goal: By 2011, the Secretariat will have worked with the federal government, the community and other provincial departments and agencies to promote the military diversification and long-term operation of 5 Wing Goose Bay, including attracting foreign military flight and other military training.

Objective: By 2010, the Secretariat will have continued to work with the federal government, the community and provincial line departments and agencies to promote military diversification and long-term operation of 5 Wing Goose Bay including attracting foreign military flight training and other military training.

Measure: Continued to work with the federal government, the community and provincial line departments and agencies to promote military diversification and long-term operation of 5 Wing Goose Bay including attracting foreign military flight training and other military training.

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Newfoundland and Ecuador

Ecuador, 2010:
In 2009, Ecuador signed an agreement with the United Nations' Development Program, saying it would forgo developing a huge oil reserve in Yasuni National Park if it received compensation for at least half the lost revenue.


Earlier this week, Lenin Moreno Garces, Ecuador's vice-president, said his country could earn $7 billion if it produced the 850 million barrels estimated to be in the area. He then warned: Pay up or we drill. "By the end of 2011, if we haven't received at least $100 million, we will have to go to Plan B and extract the oil."
Newfoundland, 2009:
Transmission lines for the proposed Lower Churchill hydro project won't run through Gros Morne National Park, after all.


In July, [Danny] Williams said a transmission line through Gros Morne was not his preferred route, but it was the cheaper option.

He suggested it could cost an extra $100 million to bypass the park, and that money could be better spent elsewhere.

"We are going to go around it. We are not going through it, and on that basis we think it'd be appropriate for the federal government to provide some assistance," Williams told reporters Wednesday.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Collective contribution

The 2009 registered party financial contribution disclosure is out, and, as always, it’s a source of much of great interest.

For starters, a special for the good folks of Harbour Grace, Carbonear, and Marystown, and particularly the 1012 of you who voted Liberal, and the 873 who voted NDP, in the 2007 provincial election.

Of course, you guessed wrong, since the PC’s won the election. Together, you represented just 31% of the population of your communities who weren’t proud, strong, or determined enough to cast a ballot properly.

But don’t fret. You see, your municipal government has corrected your mistake on your behalf!

In 2009 the Towns of Harbour Grace, Carbonear, and Marystown saw fit to donate $400, $160, and $375 respectively to the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams, prop.

On the other hand, Corner Brookers (Corner Brookies? Corner Brookites?), your city council, having donated $750 to that same party for four years running, from 2005 to 2008 inclusive, took a pass in 2009.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Sycophant of the Month: September 2010

Total number of ProvGov press releases issued in September: 220 (+33 from August).

Total number with the phrase "Williams Government": 9 (-5 from August).

Sycophancy index: 4.1% (-3.4% from August).

Dilution, thy name is Igor. With a very large proportion of ITAR-DAN’s output in September being devoted to public and media advisories related to the historic weather disaster, it’s remarkable that the overall number only increased by 33. Either The Provincial Williams Government is running out of things to announce, or they have deferred the Happy News until closer to CRA’s field dates in November, or both.

Yeah, both.

Felix Collins started the month right, putting one in on the first to get things going early. But last month’s champ Kennedy wasn’t about to let anyone get to close to his trophy, and answered his Justice portfolio successor right away.

Danny Williams-Government himself muscled Kennedy away from the net to personally announce Happy Hospital Money on the ninth, followed right after by Schroedinger’s Minister

Felix Collins took a lead the next day, only to end up sharing it almost immediately, when His Premierosity, with nothing better to do, delivered more Hospital Happiness, this time in Labrador West.

Former perennial ex-officio contender Hedderson, who has lately fallen on hard luck, got himself on the board on the 13th.

And then it started to blow. And rain.

It would be another eleven days before anyone had the energy to resume the game, which Jerome Kennedy did, making it a three-way tie, on the auspicious date of September 24th.

And five days later, Kennedy would seal the deal, taking the lead, and taking the prize. Your September Sycophant of the Month, for the third month running, Jerome Kennedy!

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