19 January 2007

Williams to Ottawa: More handouts please

There's something fundamentally wrong about any politician who is proud of walking away from billions in economic development (Hebron), applauds an incompetent minister who neglected to act on a major economic opportunity until after a decision was made and then cancelled the project altogether, but who focuses instead on getting more hand-outs from Ottawa.

Danny Williams is the first premier in Newfoundland and Labrador history who preferred increasing the provincial government's dependence on Ottawa in lieu of economic self-reliance.

Danny Williams' sole victory to date - by his own calculation - was in securing a $2.0 billion hand-out from Paul Martin.

Bond Papers discussed this already, in a post titled "Haec tibi dona fero". For those who don't know, the phrase is the motto taken from the old badge of Newfoundland. Before someone discovered the provincial government had right to the current coat of arms (originally granted in the 1620s), the official flag of Newfoundland was a red ensign with the Badge in the fly.

Translated, it means: "We bring you these gifts."


NL-ExPatriate said...

And lo, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians led all the rest

Cross Examination by Averill Baker
The Charter
The last line in the poem Abou Ben Adam reads, “And Lo Ben Adam’s name led all the rest.” Amen.
Figures were released three weeks ago identifying the provinces that contribute the most to the Canadian economy in exports to foreign countries and lo Newfoundlanders and Labradorians led all the rest – again. But, this time, it’s in spades, as the gamblers say, with the one-eyed-jack-of-diamonds-and-the-devil-close-behind way.
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now contribute more to the Canadian economy per capita than any other Canadians to such a remarkable degree that it makes one feel sympathy toward Canadians from other provinces.
Other Canadians who look at these recent figures must feel embarrassed that Newfoundlanders are, in economic terms, contributing so much more than they are to the Canadian economy.
Canadians in Ontario and Alberta must feel like they’re on unemployment insurance with Newfoundlanders paying the bill. Quebecers and Maritimers must feel they are on welfare with Newfoundlanders paying the bill.
In economic terms each Newfoundlander is now worth four Canadians from other provinces.
It’s becoming embarrassing.
And what is just as embarrassing is that historically, since 1949, this province, on average, on a per capita basis, has led all other Canadians in contributions to the Canadian economy.
Of course, the billion dollars of power that we export indirectly to the United States shows up as Quebec’s power on the official figures. That’s one billion dollars of exports that must be taken from the Quebec column and counted as coming from this province.
Oh yeah, says the economist, we lead every other province on a per person basis with just over a half a million people - of course Newfoundlanders and Labradorians lead the rest of Canada. Also we have always exported practically everything we produce - wood, pulp and paper, minerals, fish, and now oil. That is why we have always contributed more to the Canadian economy than any other Canadians on a per capita basis.
And that is why some people sometimes suggest that we would have been better off had we not joined Canada or if we were today to separate from Canada. On the economic yardstick this province is in a far better position to separate and print its own money – just like we did prior to joining Canada.
The Export Development Corporation in releasing its figures last month claimed that this province is now exporting about $4 billion of crude oil to the United States. It points out that Statistics Canada figures, used by the provincial government, are incorrect.
Those incorrect figures, used by provincial governments and Ottawa, show that most of our exports of crude oil are going to other Canadian provinces for refining. The Export Development Corporation claims in their end of July report that in fact most of our crude is being shipped to the United States for refining and not to Canadian refineries. I believe the Export Development Corporation.
Together with the power through Quebec, these adjustments are necessary to get to the truth about our exports to foreign nations.
Some of our offshore crude and all of Voisey’s Bay nickel are shipped within Canada for processing and cannot be counted in values of exports. Voisey’s Bay nickel and Duck Pond copper and zinc, and iron ore, will lead exports of minerals next year. Where is Duck Pond you might ask? It’s around Trout Pond, which is next to a smaller pond called Goose Pond.
The Newfoundland separatist makes a valid point in saying that if we were not a part of Canada all of our exports would be to foreign nations.
Then look at the fantastic economic position we would be in.
Maybe Major Peter Cashin and Malcolm Hollett were right in 1948.
The only thing missing today is the quality of politician we had years ago - from the records of the National Convention and Hansard, quality politicians like Peter Cashin, Malcolm Hollett, Gordon Bradley, Joey Smallwood, James Chaulker, Dr. Jim McGrath, Dr. Fred Rowe, Bill Rowe, Charlie Ballam, C. Max Lane, Ed Roberts, John Crosbie, James McGrath, Clyde Wells, Nathaniel Noel, Bill Marshall, Dr. Noel Murphy, Ambrose Peddle, Jack Pickersgill, Dr. Frecker, Tom Hickey, John Lundrigan, Jim Morgan etc. etc.
Yes, today we do have some outstanding politicians, like Danny Williams, but they are like hen’s teeth – they’re hard to find.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Thankfully AJ is a lawyer and not an economist.

it's a fine thing to play to the galleries but unfortunately - as with her foreign fishing post a couple of summers ago - Baker's information is not accurate or, more likely, her interpretation is faulty.

But hey...since you sit in her gallery...soak it up and believe what you want.