Monday, 25 November 2013

WHY DERRICK DALLEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN NAMED

The Government should always be alert in the House of Assembly.  They ought to be careful not to ‘mislead’ for fear one of their number will endure the penalty arrant misbehaviour exacts in the tradition of British parliaments.

Then too, Opposition Members must be vigilant, ready to ‘spot’ an errant Minister or Premier engaging in an economy of the truth. 

Getting caught uttering a falsehood can lead a Member to be ‘named’.  Naming is a procedure whereby the Speaker proposes a vote on the suspension of a Member if he believes that person has broken the rules of conduct of the House.

Embarrassing the Government is one of the jobs of Opposition Parties. In so doing, they simultaneously magnify the Government’s incompetence and the Opposition’s attentiveness and skill.      

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Thursday, 21 November 2013

MARITIME LINK: THE UARB HEARS AN INCONSISTENT TRUTH

The Nova Scotia UARB has just completed hearings to review the Nalcor/Emera deal on the Maritime Link.  That Agency is determining whether NL has committed enough “surplus” or “market-priced” power to Nova Scotia on terms that will allow it to approve the Link as the lowest cost option. The UARB outlined its conditions in a July 22, 2013 Decision.

The Government and Nalcor need the UARB's approval; it is essential to obtaining the Federal Loan Guarantee. Some of the information given the UARB is different than the version told in NL. 
 
Nalcor and the Government are having a tough time keeping their story straight.

Monday, 18 November 2013

DWIGHT BALL CLEARS PATH TO PREMIER'S OFFICE

Now that the name Dwight Ball is no longer prefaced with the tentative title, “interim”, he has all the political and moral authority needed to clear a path to the Premier’s Office. 

It is reasonable to state that the Liberal Party has given the people of the Province a real political alternative; one badly needed in the land of Premier Kathy Dunderdale. 

The new Liberal Leader deserves the congratulations of the whole Province. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

DON’T GET NALCOR TO SELL YOUR HOUSE

If you are selling your house, and you want to be left with your shirt in the bargain, don’t ask the senior people at Nalcor to negotiate on your behalf.  Here's why.
In a ‘normal’ negotiation, if you give something, you expect to receive something in return. The Energy Access Agreement (EAA) between Nalcor and Emera, on the matter of ‘surplus power’, have the rewards going one way.  They aren’t small either.

The original agreement on the Maritime Link, negotiated many months ago, was rejected by the UARB. Why?  Simply put, the Agency said it failed to meet the test of “lowest cost option” for Nova Scotia.  The UARB stated the Agreement was deficient by roughly $1 billion and that deficiency could be satisfied only with a further commitment of virtually all NL’s ‘surplus’ power.

From the perspective of Nalcor, or even of Emera, the original Agreement must have been thought fair; otherwise, no agreement would have been concluded. No suggestion was ever uttered, by anyone including by Emera, that it was coerced. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

MY ABC CAMPAIGN: WHY I CAN’T SUPPORT CATHY BENNETT

The Liberal Party is in the midst of choosing a Candidate who will lead it into the next election.  It is an important choice; the Province badly needs an alternative to the Dunderdale Tories.

The Contest has been a very civilized affair, almost too civil, given how fractious such events can become.  I have been amused from the start that Tory Cathy Bennett was allowed to join the race.  Usually a leadership contender establishes political pedigree well before being allowed to compete for the top spot.  The Liberal Party has decided there is wisdom in the crowd and who can argue.

When I discussed the idea of an ABC Campaign (Anyone But Cathy) with Uncle Gnarley he thought the idea sound.  “Don’t go getting all caught up in big words or sarcasm”, he suggested.  “You are not very good at that stuff.  Just state the facts”, he counselled. “The public aren’t stunned you know.”    I looked at him with a grin and agreed to state my case, straight up. So, here goes.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

TROUBLED WATERS: NALCOR SPILLS $MILLIONS

When you consider the Muskrat Falls Project will produce 824 megawatts of electricity, 176 MW (almost 22%) is not a trifling sum.  It is a huge block of power. Measured against current cost estimates for Muskrat it represents a $1.3 billion asset.

176 megawatts of “stranded non-thermal power capacity” is a lot of power.  It is now being wasted, “spilled” is the acronym, in Central Newfoundland while we continue to pay for the fuel burned at the Holyrood Generating Plant. 

Where is the power and why would Nalcor waste 176 MW capacity even for a single day?

Monday, 4 November 2013

GENDER POLITICS AND KNEEJERK REACTIONS

Those concerned over how many City Council seats are won, by women, ought to sound alarms well before the ballots are counted.  By then, how many (or how few) women ran and what percentage are elected, is merely a point of history.

Following completion of returns, Sheilagh O'Leary the Mayoral contestant in St. John’s, was quoted, saying, the failure of St. John’s to elect a single woman was “disgraceful”.  NDP MHA Gerry Rogers called it “shameful”. 

Just possibly these responses, to the exclusively male Council, were ill-considered. Words like “unfortunate”, “disconcerting”, “upsetting” or even “disturbing” might have been more measured and more appropriate, too.  But, I would not over emphasize anything said within minutes of a mentally and physically draining, foot slogging, and unsuccessful election result.