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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Your open and transparent government at work

Paving season officially started on Friday. This press release was the starting gun:
Road work is scheduled for the districts of Trinity North and Bellevue this summer as the Department of Transportation and Works rolls out its annual Provincial Roads Improvement Program.

“This government is committed to maintaining our more than 9, 000 kilometres of provincial roads to a high standard,” said the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works. “Our Provincial Roads Improvement Program ensures the quality of our highways every year by making priority maintenance and improvements possible.”

The department is set to call a tender for the rehabilitation and repaving of sections of Route 204 between Long Beach and Butter Cove. A tender will also be called for the realignment of the intersection of Arnold’s Cove Road and Refinery Road.

“I am pleased to see this work happening in our region,” said Calvin Peach, MHA for Bellevue. “Every improvement we make to our highway system enhances our overall network of roads.”
Conspicuously absent?

Any mention of the dollar value of the work to be done in Trinity North and Bellevue.

Stung with (entirely true) accusations that highways work was being doled out under partisan electoral considerations rather than highways engineering ones, in 2009 Danny Williams-Government simply stopped releasing the figures, and even either stopped keeping them, or, if kept, started denying that such records exist.

This is a practice which Kathy Dunderdale and her gormless cabinet have inherited holus-bolus. They almost seem proud of their opacity.

Which makes it almost hysterical, Mr. Speaker, if your sense of humour bends that way, Mr. Speaker, to hear Kathy Dunderdale say, Mr. Speaker, as she told the House of Assembly the other week:
Mr. Speaker, anybody who is concerned about access to information and the practice of this government only has to compare it to the kind of access to information former Administrations had for the people of this Province. Mr. Speaker, it was little or nothing. There is more information available to the people of the Province now, Mr. Speaker, than ever before in our history.


Mr. Speaker, I have no problem with people having access to information. The more information you can provide to people, Mr. Speaker, the better informed they are, the better they understand your rationale for doing certain things. Mr. Speaker, it also requires when you are in governance that in the best interest of good governance and good stewardship that you moderate some types of information as far as making them available to the public.

This government is more open, provides more information, Mr. Speaker, than any government in the history of our Province. We are very proud of that, Mr. Speaker. 

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