24 May 2013
According to a news release from Tom Hedderson, tenders are due to go out on May 25 for the final phase.
Read the release and the one thing you will notice is that there’s no description of what the provincial government is actually doing to reduce the environmental risk to residents from the mine tailings and other debris from the old mine.
There’s likely a reason for that.
23 May 2013
If you are still mulling over the British Columbia election result and the polls, take a look at this post by Eric Grenier at threehundredeight.com. It includes a link to his piece in the Globe on Wednesday on the same topic.
Pollsters tend to weight their samples to match the population as a whole. Problem: that isn’t the same as the demographic profile of voters.voters.
Grenier shows how Ipsos, for example, weighted a poll equally across three age groupings. In the 2013 election, those age groupings didn’t turn out equally. The over-55s made up half the total voter turn-out, not one third.
All this talk of Senator Beth Marshall and her hefty annual stipend for chairing a committee that has met once in two years brings to mind the good senator’s role in the House of Assembly patronage scam, a.k.a. the spending scandal.
Marshall is credited with first sniffing something was amiss when she went hunting for Paul Dick’s expenses in 2001-ish. She was barred from the House by the legislature’s internal economy commission. The members were Liberals and Tories and, as accounts have it, they unanimously wanted to keep Beth’s nose out of their files.
But if you go back and look, you’ll have a hard time finding any indication Beth thought something else was on the go. While we didn’t know it at the time, subsequent information confirmed that members had been handing out public cash pretty generously by that point. Yet Marshall has never, ever indicated she felt something more than a few wine and art purchases might have been amiss.
That’s important because of Marshall’s record once she got into the House herself as a member in 2003.
22 May 2013
21 May 2013
20 May 2013
The House of Assembly finished its spring session on Thursday after what appears to be one of the shortest sessions in the past 30 years.
The government presented only seven bills for debate, only a quarter of the normal load for the major sitting for the House. That seems to be a record as well, and not of the sort any government would wish to hold.
For good measure, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador could watch some of the most abysmal behaviour in recent memory, including a political lynching aided by a partisan and incompetent Speaker of the House.
What they are really watching, though, nothing as trivial as a finance minister Jerome Kennedy’s second session of embarrassing verbal attacks on other members. People are watching a government party that is in the advanced stages of stagnation and decay.
17 May 2013
As it turns out, Harris-Decima used household income not individual income for weighting the poll they did for NAPE. Keith Dunne, NAPE’s communications co-ordinator tweeted the correct information on Thursday morning.
Your humble e-scribbler thought it was individual income and therefore concluded – wrongly – that there was a skew in the poll toward higher income urbanites. That didn’t invalidate the survey results but it might have explained the strength of the rejection of the provincial government’s budget. The Tories might have had a chance to bounce back politically, especially among the lower income types out there.
Turns out that hope was pretty much dashed.
16 May 2013
Two thirds of tax filers in Newfoundland and Labrador report incomes of less than $35,000 per year.
The Harris-Decima poll released by the Newfoundland and labrador Association of Public Employees on Wednesday has only 27% of the sample with an income less than $40,000 per year.
Still, the results show that the provincial government either didn’t have a communications strategy or whatever strategy they had failed miserably.
In fact, it was a stunning, utter, complete, abject failure of their entire communications effort.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale said on Tuesday that the province will have problems now that it doesn’t have a federal cabinet minister from this province.
As CBC quoted her from a scrum outside the House of Assembly, Kathy said:
“It always makes it more difficult when you don't have somebody inside the tent,…”
This is not just a difficult position, it is a stupid position, but it is exactly the stupid policy that Kathy Dunderdale advocated.