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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Name game

In his column on Wednesday, the Telegram's Peter Jackson writes:

Furthermore, blurring the line between the ruling party and the government is not unique to this province. Just as the Harper Conservative brand has crept into core federal documents, this provincial administration has been rife with “Williams government,” “Dunderdale government” and similar partisan language.

In truth, this is not the Dunderdale government. It is the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The majority party may hold executive power, but the House of Assembly belongs to the people, and all MHAs have the right and the duty to debate and discuss the government’s business within its walls.
Criticism, if belated, of the "Williams Government" nonsense is always welcome — this corner beat that horse to death, and then beat the corpse — but, to her credit, Premier Dunderdale has quite conspicuously not adopted this particular personalissimo political "piece".


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lurching towards Smallwoodism

By way of some stellar research by the House of Assembly legislative liberry, here is a comparative chart showing the number of sitting days in each session of the House of Assembly since Confederation.

The chart is cleverly colour-coded by the party in power, with pale colours indicating sessions which ended in election calls.

(Click to enlarge.)

The Golden Era for legislative wonks lasted about 25 years, from the early Frank Moores years through to the Clyde Wells government.

The decline in (among other things) House sittings began under Tobin, and shows little sign yet of slowing down.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Census - Initial observation

Between 2006 and 2011, the census population of Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 9,067.

The population of the St. John's metro area increased by 15,853, offsetting a population decline in the rest of the province of 6,786.

In totally unrelated news, since the 2006 census of population was carried out, the provincial government direct civil service, provincial health boards, provincial school boards, the post-secondary educational institutions, and provincial crown corporations have added about 8,200 people to the public payroll.

[Source: CANSIM table 183-0002, 12-month trailing average]

Three guesses as to where most of that hiring binge has physically taken place.

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Ahem: Better late than never? (II)

A former Telegram reporter, in response to this corner's posting on January 18th, noted a story he had published on October 20, 2007. He wrote, in part:

The House of Assembly is on pace for the fewest sittings of all provincial legislatures in Canada this year.

The Williams administration issued a brief statement this week noting that the House would not reopen until the spring of 2008.

If that holds true, the provincial legislature will sit for only 33 days in all of 2007.

Only three provinces - Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Quebec - have been in session for fewer days this year, according to statistics maintained by the Parliament of Canada and a search of government websites.
Guess who.

Original post:

Rob Antle of CBC, January 18, 2012:

The Newfoundland and Labrador house of assembly sat for the fewest days last year since the Tories took office, dropping the province further down the list of active provincial legislatures.

The chamber at Confederation Building was open for debate just 33 days in 2011.

Other than 2003, that’s the lowest figure in at least a quarter-century, according to statistics maintained by the Parliament of Canada.
Ahem. 2011.


2010 again.


2009 again.