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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

From the Memory Hole, XI

The ever-astute Bill Thomas notes on the twitters:
Bill @BillThomas_NL
Funny I can't seem to find a copy of either of these reports anywhere. They used to be on MF web
At some point in recent history, The Most Open And Accountable Government Ever (TMOAAGE), a Nalcor subsidiary, saw to it to bit-bucket the entire contents of the former rah-rah website, including the two reports referred to in the tweeted link. These were an in-house one by the Department of Natural Resources entitled "Labrador mining and power: how much and where from?", and a report by Our Dear Economist, commissioned for the same department, entitled "Economic Impact Analysis of Iron Ore Mining Industry in Labrador 2011-31".

Here's what you get when you follow a fossilized link to that formerly-active content:

Obviously, TMOAAGE, the government which produced the information-improving Bill 29, and gave Steve Kent the job of opening all of the government, must have removed these files from the internets by mistake.

So here they are, in case you missed them the first time around.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

N'oublions jamais

Saturday, June 11, 2016

On the settling of scores

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act provides:

9. (1) For the purpose of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social origin, religious creed, religion, age, disability, disfigurement, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, source of income and political opinion.  

11. (1) A person shall not, on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination,
(a) deny to a person or class of persons goods, services, accommodation or facilities that are customarily offered to the public; or
(b) discriminate against a person or class of persons with respect to goods, services, accommodation or facilities that are customarily offered to the public.
The Code of Conduct of the Newfoundland and Labrador Law Society provides:

6.3-1 The principles of human rights laws and related case law apply to the interpretation of this rule.
6.3-2 A term used in this rule that is defined in human rights legislation has the same meaning as in the legislation.
6.3-3 A lawyer must not sexually harass any person.
6.3-4 A lawyer must not engage in any other form of harassment of any person.
6.3-5 A lawyer must not discriminate against any person.  

[1] A lawyer has a special responsibility to respect the requirements of human rights laws in force in Canada, its provinces and territories and, specifically, to honour the obligations enumerated in human rights laws.

Thursday, June 09, 2016


Great, another "comedian".

1. "NL" does not stand for Newfoundland.

2. Babiche ("babbish") is not a Newfoundland word; it is a Labrador one. A Newfoundland and Labrador one, even. But not a Newfoundland one. It is a loanword from Innu-eimun, via the French (hence the giveaway -che spelling).

3. Babiche is not "like, snowshoes". It is what the webbing of snowshoes was traditional made with.

4. Call me old-fashioned, but aren't comedians supposed to be, like, funny?


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Govsplaining is bad, mkay?

Some choice govsplaining quotes from the former Hon. Member for Virginia Waters while she served as Premier:
If it would help the members opposite understand what we have agreed to with Emera better, then I am prepared, Mr. Speaker, to talk to Nalcor and to the Department of Natural Resources to prepare further briefings for the members of the Opposition. (December 6, 2010)
Mr. Speaker, I am embarrassed for the Leader of the Opposition. She does not even understand the kind of process that is required to settle a boundary dispute. (March 31, 2011)  

Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to commit that outright here today because, first of all, it is not affordable power. This is a $6.2 billion project that has to be paid for by ratepayers. You see, Mr. Speaker, that is the problem, that is the problem we have here in the House of Assembly. They do not even have the fundamentals of hydro or electricity generation down. They do not understand what they are talking about. (April 6, 2011)  

Mr. Speaker, these are serious accusations that are being tossed across the House by the Leader of the Opposition, and I do not know quite where they come from. I am not quite sure if she is not aware of the facts, that she does not understand how the transmission of electricity works in this Province, and that there is a regulated rate of return when people invest in utilities in this Province, and that is what Emera has taken advantage of, Mr. Speaker, or there is some other plan afoot. (April 12, 2011)  

Mr. Speaker, we get good return through our royalties from our oil and gas. We are going to also get a return from our equity, through Nalcor, because of what we are doing in oil and gas, Mr. Speaker. Electricity is a regulated activity in this Province, something we are well aware the members of the Opposition do not understand, Mr. Speaker. Anybody who has been listening to the debate on Muskrat Falls must be scratching their head in wonderment that three members who are part of a government, two part of a Cabinet, do not understand the regulation of electricity in this Province. (May 18, 2011)  

Mr. Speaker, this is the kind of foolishness that one has come to expect in this House of Assembly on questioning around Muskrat Falls. When you understand how a utility operates, how debt is incurred, how that debt is paid down, and the responsibilities of rate payers, Mr. Speaker, then we understand what the cost of electricity is to the people of the Province. We have spent the last year explaining that. You tried to commission this project twice under your own Administrations. You think you would have understood that. Perhaps if they were not trying to give it all to Hydro-Quebec to do, they might have been a bit more successful and they might have understood some of these processes better than they obviously do. (April 26, 2012)  

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I encouraged the Leader of the Third Party to read the MOU. Mr. Speaker, I am going to give her the same advice today. Yesterday, we heard the former Minister of Fisheries speak about the fact that he was twenty-three months in that portfolio without a question from the Leader of the Third Party, Mr. Speaker. Now we know why, because she does not understand about the fishery. (May 8, 2012)  

Mr. Speaker, one of these days I would be absolutely delighted to hear from the Opposition Parties – both the Liberals and the NDP – what their issues are around Old Harry, because I do not believe either one of them understands the project. (November 26, 2012)  

You might not understand all the engineering decisions and all of the market complexities: selling on the spot market; selling high and selling low; that you blend power out of Bay D'Espoir with power coming out of Muskrat Falls; that your transmission system can only integrate so much wind; that you have backstop wind; tidal energy is not sophisticated enough yet to be fully commercialized; and whatever else is out there, Mr. Speaker. People get up and they throw things around. (December 20, 2012)  

He clearly does not understand the difference between capital, investment, and current. I truly, sincerely invite you to a briefing where we can explain the difference or you will stop pretending that you do not know the difference, because it is not good enough, Mr. Speaker, for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to be subjected to these kinds of false arguments. (March 12, 2013)  

Mr. Speaker, I find the position of the Leader of the NDP absolutely incredible. Obviously, she does not understand again the structure, or she pretends she does not understand, although she claims to represent a significant portion of the labour movement in Newfoundland and Labrador. (April 18, 2013)  

It is nothing short of incredible, Mr. Speaker, that we are at this stage in the development and the Opposition does not understand that the court case in Quebec is about continuous power under the 1969 hydro contract, Mr. Speaker, and not about water management. (November 14, 2013)  

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe the members opposite understand anything about the ATIPP legislation. Fifty per cent of the requests, by the way, that we get at the ATIPP office come from the Opposition Parties; 24 per cent come from the media. There is only one-quarter of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians looking for information, Mr. Speaker. (November 19, 2013)  

Mr. Speaker, more information on this project has been released than any other project in our history. I get that the Opposition does not understand that, Mr. Speaker, because they still think that Muskrat Falls falls under the ATIPP legislation, and it does not, Mr. Speaker. (November 20, 2013)

On the cost of filibusters

Tom Marshall, before his brief stint as Premier, speaking on June 12, 2012 — so long ago, and just the other day — during the opposition filibuster on Bill 29:

MR. MARSHALL: Thank you, Mr. Chair. 

Once again we are here debating amendment 124 to section 6 of the act. I do not know how many amendments have been brought forward – I am sure there is plenty – over and over, bringing in amendments to the same piece of legislation and wasting the time of the Legislature of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a filibuster and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are looking on television to see what is happening in this House, and looking at the waste of money and waste of resources on this.

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Friday, June 03, 2016


Forget meaningful reforms to private member's business; cast aside any idea of a functional committee system... the House of Assembly has turned its attention to that most pressing of issues: the intersection of the Standing Orders and Twitter. From the proceedings on Thursday:

However, just because a comment is tweeted or retweeted by a Member does not mean that the comment is not offensive. I remind Members that they are not only bound by the Standing Orders and precedents of this House and of other parliaments, but are also bound by their Code of Conduct. In particular, clause 1 of our code states, “Members shall inform themselves of and shall conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions and spirit of the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly, the House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity and Administration Act, the Members' Resources and Allowances Rules, the Elections Act, 1991, the House of Assembly Act and this Code of Conduct and shall ensure that their conduct does not bring the integrity of their office or the House of Assembly into disrepute.”

Clause 4 states, in part, “… there will be occasions on which Members will find it necessary to adopt more stringent norms of conduct in order to protect the public interest and to enhance public confidence and trust.”

Members are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with higher standards of ethical practice while holding public office. I call on all Members to respect the integrity of the office they hold and not violate the principles and intent of our rules and precedents, even if not violating the actual provisions. As indicated, we must be held to a higher standard.

There is no prima facie breach of privilege here, and while I could rule today that the statements made are out of order, it is more appropriate that I address the issue of our Standing Orders. Our Standing Orders are very old and were meant to address parliamentary behaviour and conduct of business in this House at a time when social media was not even contemplated. It is my hope that the Standing Orders Committee will commence consideration of the Standing Orders and our practices after the House rises this spring.

Social media can present a great challenge to procedures followed in this House, so I ask that foremost amongst the Committee's considerations should be the use of social media by Members of the House as it pertains to the proceedings of the House in order to ensure that our existing parliamentary practices and conventions adapt to social media use.

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