24 August 2010

Mr. Premier, what are you trying to hide?

Opposition leader Danny Williams would have a field day with the Old Man he’s become as Premier.

The younger Danny would be kicking the Old Man’s ass all over the political map.

Take, for instance, the billion dollar secret deal with Nova Scotia he decided not to tell anyone about and that both provincial governments are still not talking about.

The Chronicle Herald managed to find out from NALCOR that the application to a federal funding program is for $375 million. But…

The Dexter government declined to release the amount last week, but Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland’s Crown power utility, did disclose it.

Nancy Watson, spokeswoman for the Energy Department here, confirmed the figure. She said the province wasn’t going to release it because it’s preliminary and the project would eventually be subject to private bids.

She said officials here thought it "more sensible to not talk about things before we had the details in place."

Maybe what they are trying to hide is that this line to Nova Scotia is a lot less than the Old Man tried to make it sound like.

Details not in place.

“Preliminary” cost estimates.

Maybe the whole thing is just a ploy.

Maybe it’s Danny just setting up a pre-emptive excuse when the feds turn down this half-baked, incomplete “preliminary” application.

No matter how you slice it, the whole thing just makes you want to scream at Dex and Danny:

“Mr. Premier, what are you trying to hide?”

- srbp -

59 comments:

Wm. Murphy said...

She said officials here thought it "more sensible to not talk about things before we had the details in place."

Maybe that's the reason? But then again you suggest something sinister is going on. Maybe it would be better to wait for details instead of flying off on paranoid fits.

Simon Lono said...

Sorry Mr. Murphy but by the time we get the details, the deal has been signed, sealed and delivered.

Give your head a shake.

pig said...

That's right Simon. Before any tenders have been put out or costs fixed the provinces and their private partner should announce how much they will spend and all other configurations. Will that put the parties in the best position when it comes time to tender? Can we trust contractors to not take advantage of such knowledge?

Anyong said...

This forth coming deal if there is one, needs to be out in the face of Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians. If there isn't anything to hide why hide? This needs to be on the table after all, it is the Newfoundland people who put P. Williams where he is and we do supposedly live in a Democracy tah.

WJM said...

Sorry Mr. Murphy but by the time we get the details, the deal has been signed, sealed and delivered.

And we don't get the details: Hebron and GWAC III are "confidential".

pig said...

You're right Anyong. We do live in a democracy. But that doesn't mean that government has to put every issue to the people. We elect politicians to lead and to make decisions - for better or worse, that is the reality of a representative democracy.

This deal is essentially for an intertie between two provinces. Neighbouring jurisdictions and utilities build interties between their electrical systems regularly without the general public getting up into arms about it, or provoking controversy. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia recently announced plans to increase the transmission capacity between them but people in those provinces aren't demanding the fine detail of that detail be released. QC and ON completed a large intertie in the past couple of years and no one gave a whiff. This isn't a deal for the Lower Churchill project itself but a deal on a piece of infrastructure that would be utilized to transmit Lower Churchill power. The two projects might be connected but they are not one and the same.

It's not a matter of hiding anything on this one. This project hasn't even been tendered yet and you believe governments should negotiate with each other and private companies in public? Yeah, that will surely get us the best deal.

WJM said...

Pig, you might then want to go down to the time-machine dealership, buy a good one, and fly back to 2001 and alert Danny Williams to the dangers of negotiating resource deals that aren't secret.

For some reason, Fearless Leader doesn't like being held to his own standards on such matters.

pig said...

WJM, I'm not a PC or a Williams fan as you've assumed. I know that for you and your friends the world is one of absolutes. You're all Liberals and you consider everyone else who isn't, and who doesn't share your vitriol, to be simply stupid, corrupt and misguided.

I don't care what Williams claims his standards to be. I have my own standards of what I expect from politicians and government generally. My position is that governments need to be transparent and forthright about everything they do. I also believe as important as it is to act in this manner that governments shouldn't be bound to negotiate in public or disclose information that is sensitive to negotiations. I understand that your merry little band of partisan haters, including Ed, Simon, Ursula, and others, believe that government should lay its guts out on the table for all to view but I'm happy such is not the case when government is trying to get the best deal it can in industrial or corporate ventures.

WJM said...

WJM, I'm not a PC or a Williams fan as you've assumed.

Care to point out where I assumed that?

I'm happy such is not the case when government is trying to get the best deal it can in industrial or corporate ventures.

And how do you know this to be the case?

pig said...

Care to point out where I assumed that?

When you referred me to comments by Williams, as he is an authority for me. I was talking about governments in general, and common infrastructure investments, so why would you refer me to Williams' comments? I don't have the fixation on him that you do but you assumed I did. My point is/was any government shouldn't have to show its card when negotiating - who gives a shit what Williams said when I'm speaking generally.

And how do you know this to be the case?

Ideally, you would know this to be the case when government discloses details once a deal is sufficiently prepared that it could be signed off on, NOT when government is still in the midst of negotiating or hasn't tendered anything yet.

WJM said...

Ideally, you would know this to be the case when government discloses details once a deal is sufficiently prepared that it could be signed off on, NOT when government is still in the midst of negotiating or hasn't tendered anything yet.

That doesn't answer my question: how do you know, in the present, that the governemnt is trying to get the best deal it can, in the present progressive, when said government is the most secretive and paranoid provincial government in the history of ever?

Wm. Murphy said...

Didn't Grimes negotiate a perfectly good deal in private without disclosing the facts first?

Wm. Murphy said...

I'm happy such is not the case when government is trying to get the best deal it can in industrial or corporate ventures.

And how do you know this to be the case?

and how do you know it isn't?

WJM said...

Didn't Grimes negotiate a perfectly good deal in private without disclosing the facts first?

Perhaps, but — sit down, this may shock you — they didn't cover up the fact that they were even negotiating at all.

WJM said...

and how do you know it isn't?

Exactly. Who knows? With Mr. Accountability, you don't know that any talks are going on with anyone, until Kathy Blunderdale gets all gabby in front of the microphones.

Ursula said...

Williams made this statement in the National Post in Feb. 2007 ~~

"We remain determined to become masters of our own destiny in Newfoundland and Labrador". ~Williams~

Apparently in the year 2010 , we need a little help from Nova Scotia to be independent and free to do as we wish .

When all is said and done , Nova Scotia signs on , assumes some liabilities and commits the province to a long term partnership with NL.

Nova Scotia would be well advised to dot the i's and cross the t's ,because this is only a business transaction for their province .

For Williams' this is a cherished LEGACY project.

Shannon Reardon said...

Ursula, your last statement there is EXACTLY what this is all about.

Wm. Murphy said...

Perhaps, but — sit down, this may shock you — they didn't cover up the fact that they were even negotiating at all.

I just shook my head and came to the conclusion that maybe there is a reason for not letting us know.

Did you ever think of that? Or maybe you are reading from the same book as Eddie that there are BAD things a foot and something nefarious happening in the land of OZ.

Relax and let things play out before you guys get your chicken little suit geared up

Ursula said...

Sorry about the change in subject Mr. Hollett .

I have been watching the slight but steady decline in oil prices and I have a question for George Murphy .

1.Are the current oil per/barrel prices under the influence of supply-side or demand-side economics ?

2.Is the slide in price a reflection of futures trading or actual consumption contracts ?

I was just wondering why oil prices have taken such a curious turn .

Anyong said...

pig said... "I understand that your merry little band of partisan haters, including Ed, Simon, Ursula, and others, believe that"
You are assuming that I am something I am not and I certainly am not a partisan hater...you do like to take liberty with your words pig...maybe that is why you call yourself "pig". And........as a matter of fact, what I was saying in my comment had everything to do with transparentcy. bye-bye

Ed Hollett said...

What has been most entertaining in this exercise is watching pig and Murph make all sorts of comments none of which hang together.

For example, Murph criticises me and then essentially gets around to stating there is no deal and therefore nothing to worry about. The only logical conclusion therefore, is that the Premier talked about his non-existant in public for some purpose other than advancing negotiations or being open, accountable and transparent.

Since it's polling season, that must be as part of his propaganda efforts.

Silly me for believing the Premier when he says things. Leave it to one of his most loyal defenders like Murph to argue that in fact the Premier is a king bullshitter.

Once again, Murph proves that own goals are the most painful.

Meanwhile pig projects his own prejudices on everyone else.

The he tries a funny line of reasoning: I believe in transparency except when my hero is involved.

When he isn't doing that he gives examples that reinforce my point about this deal being a secret one.

In the two interties he mentions, the governments actually announced the deals when they were struck and gave the public information about them.

I raised the concern with the complete lack of information of any sort at all, followed by only a tiny smidgen beyond the acknowledgement that there was some sort of agreement.

But ultimately what both Murph and pig do is rely on supposition and that, much like assumption or any other form of speculation, is no basis for anything worthwhile.

But with all that said, surely no one here - least of all Murph and the pig - have missed the delicious irony that they now deploy in defence of their hero the very same arguments Roger grimes used in 2002 about the Lower Churchill negotiations.

At the centre of this story is exactly the sort of hypocrisy that comes of the blind partisanship pig, that you rightly decried but wrongly accused me and others of displaying.

All I have done and all that is obviously going up your backsides sideways is that I have measured your guy by his own yardstick.

Wm. Murphy said...

What has been most entertaining in this exercise


This is an "exercise"?? Who knew?

Ed, my issue was with your contention that there is something sinister going on because gov't has not laid out rhyme and verse on what's going on. I am of the contention that this is probaly the way to go when in these types of negotiations.....afterall, it worked great for Grimes.

And then you have Wally going on about how at least Grimes "didn't cover up the fact that they were even negotiating at all.".....like this has anything to do with this. What a load of shit!!!

As well..I don't give a rat's ass what Williams said in Opposition. Like I said... and what was referenced by Pig..."that government shouldn't have to show its card when negotiating"... is probaly the way to go as it relates to these types of negotiations

Once again you think that there was something untoward and sinister happening from the get go!
Maybe there is Eddie...but it must get really tiring always peeking through the curtains.

Ed Hollett said...

Well, Murph, "exercise" was my polite way of referring to what is essentially a honking great pile of shite like this remark of yours:

"your contention that there is something sinister going on because gov't has not laid out rhyme and verse on what's going on."

This is complete, utter and total fabrication on your part since I never said anything even vaguely like it. Of course, such delusional ravings have never stopped you before; you make things up just to have something to say.

But, look, rest assured that anyone reading your comments gets it all very clearly: you don't care what your hero does or does not do. He is always absolutely right and everyone else is utterly wrong. You believe it so fervently that you are willing to make things up or run around in all sorts of logical circles to prove his rightness.

I guess it was your running in circles that seemed to me like exercise. The fact you pile crap around your knees as you trot is just a humorous bonus for those watching you carry on.

And when you kick yourself in the goolies, as you did earlier in this thread, the rest of us can only try not to spit our tea at the screen.

You and your sock puppet friends could have your own TV show. A kind of Benny Hill thing but obviously with more slapstick and bigger boobs.

Wm. Murphy said...

Whew!...are you tired after that?
Going on about goolies, crap piles and boobs. I wonder if Simon would be interested in your services for the High School Debating Team"....brillant comeback...just brilliant

You are absolutely right Ed...you never said those things...you are absolutely right!

I said it was your "contention"...a big difference.

Show us that the tone, inference and suggestive prose of your Post never gave the contention that there was something sinister going on...Let's forget the childishness Ed...and try and show us that this was not the case in your post...I dare you

Ed Hollett said...

Well, Murph, I already made my point in my post.

Since you are claiming to state what my argument was, why don't you show us all where I stated, suggested, implied, hinted, insinuated, sent coded messages, tapped out in Morse Code, waved semaphore flags around, intimated, or nudge-nudge-wink-winked that there was "something sinister going on".

Of course I am under no illusions on this. Every time in the past I have challenged you to back up one of your wacked-out claims, you have run from the challenge faster than - the image again - of a Benny Hill chase sketch on high speed fast forward.

Wm. Murphy said...

why don't you show us all where I stated, suggested, implied, hinted, insinuated, sent coded messages, tapped out in Morse Code, waved semaphore flags around, intimated, or nudge-nudge-wink-winked that there was "something sinister going on".

Well Ed ..when you state in the title that the Premier is "hiding" something ..one would make the connection that you stated, suggested, implied, hinted, insinuated, sent coded messages, tapped out in Morse Code, waved semaphore flags around, intimated, or nudge-nudge-wink-winked that there was "something sinister going on.


How's that Benny Hill??

Ed Hollett said...

Aside from the fact those are the Old Man's words from pre-2003 related to the Lower Churchill, where in that title do you find the basis to claim I said something sinister was going on?

Where in the rest of the post do you find the basis for claiming I said something sinister was going on in the post or in the title?

Wm. Murphy said...

"Maybe the whole thing is just a ploy"...he said in his best Rod Serling voice.

That two times Gryph!

Ed Hollett said...

Evidently, you have no idea what the word "sinister" means.

Wm. Murphy said...

That ladies and gentlemen is the sound of someone backing up....BEEP>>>BEEP>>>BEEP

Ed Hollett said...

There you go again making stuff up.

You quite obviously do not know the meaning of the word sinister or you simply do not care. The former would be mere ignorance; the latter is another issue altogether.

Nonetheless, once again you have failed to provide the evidence to back up one of your claims.

I reject absolutely your complete and continued misrepresentation of my remarks.

I accept entirely the admission you make implicitly in your misrepresentations that you really don't have an argument at all.

willie langdon said...

What is the public private partnership fund under the Green initiative that Danny Williams and Dexter are applying for. Are Canadians aware of where this fund comes from and what processes are in place for determining who receives funding.
I wouldn't under estimate Danny Williams.
Greg Alyward in NB, where public private partnerships are abundant, was quoted in the Daily Gleaner, as referring to a shadow government in NB who are being listed as consultants and being paid large amounts. Wonder where the funding comes from.
Perhaps, Williams and Dexter are making a point.

Ed Hollett said...

They might be making a point Willie but so far it's hard to see what yours is.

Information about the P3 Fund is readily available on line along with the criteria for evaluating the project. I included links to the fund website in a post on August 15.

willie langdon said...

If you want bad politics come to NB. I've tried unsuccessfully to redeem my payroll Canada Savings bond for over a year. I was told that my bond was simply continued last year and never received a new ceetificate in the mail but money was deducted every 2 weeks and listed as CSB.
I spoke with MLA's, Jack Harris' office, and Keith Ashfield after 6-8 months correspondence with banks, payroll, and CSB. I was told that no one could help due to privacy laws.
Today, I received a call from a Kevin Price, of Keith Ashfields office who told me that there was no.problem and that is what I'd been told by all the aforementioned politicians.
I also asked why HSBC bank provided me with a "loan payment history " rather than an annual statement for my mortgage and why Equifax had not followed through with an updated credit history and credit score.

willie langdon said...

Let me make myself clearer, Ed.
In NB, I was told that some of the schools are involved in these business partnerships. As a Canadian I have always liked the public school system funded by tax payers money....an equal and fair system for all.
I am not at all certain that this should be conglomerated into a business partnership. If companies wish to make a donation to a school or to volunteer time or expertise ....that's wonderful but beyond that raises some concerns. I believe in equal education for all and I don't see our children as a business.
I am reading constantly that the federal government wants the public to take more responsibility. It is as if this government sees taxpayers money, our revenue, as their own..and it's now time for us to pay. Think of it as double dipping.

willie langdon said...

Incidentally, Keith Ashfield refused to comment on my mortgage or Equifax refusing to do an investigation.
He also would not comment on me being denied the right to take an early retirement... I'm a teacher....50 years old with over 20 years of experience.
I doubt this is happening in Newfoundland.

willie langdon said...

You know Ed, I don't understand your nit picking with Danny Williams. The man is well supported in Newfoundland and Labrador with ratings in the high 80's and even 90 at one point. He has fought tirelessly for his province and doesn't receive any personal gain. The majority of people in Newfoundland show great pride and even love for Danny Williams. He is passionate about his province and can therefore be provoked to show anger when facing injustice but he can also bring tears to the eyes of a man who requested a letter about Canada for his grandchildren.
I think he's very transparent.
You are fortunate in Newfoundland and Labrador to have him......wish he was here.

willie langdon said...

Still there, Ed?

Ursula said...

Willie , cute name , we call our Husky -Willie .

Careful what you wish for Willie !

Funny , I wish he was there also ,anywhere but here Willie anywhere but here .

Wm. Murphy said...

Evidently, you have no idea what the word "sinister" means.

Here's one of the definitions Eddie...unfortunate; disastrous; unfavorable.

I think you stated, suggested, implied, hinted, insinuated, sent coded messages, tapped out in Morse Code, waved semaphore flags around, intimated, or nudge-nudge-wink-winked that there was "something unfortunate; disastrous and unfavorable...going on in your Post.

How 'bout that for making stuff up
I now have the funny feeling this is where things get conspicously quiet!!

Ursula said...

Morning Murphy , sounds like someone had a restful night .....

Simon Lono said...

To Murphy:

You said "As well..I don't give a rat's ass what Williams said in Opposition."

If nothing said by Williams (or any PC) in the Opp period is relevant to their govt stands then why is anything done/said by Wells/Tobin/Grimes relevant to the current Opp?

At what point do people and parties take responsibility for their own actions and words?

Wm. Murphy said...

At what point do people and parties take responsibility for their own actions and words?

When they are in position to advocate change

Simon Lono said...

@ Murphy

*All* politicians are in a position to advocate for change. Even conservatives advocate for change (albeit backwards, but that is still change from the status quo.)

Any politician who declines the postion to advocate for change is a mere playa and should go home.

Or do you mean they take resp only once they are in a position to initiate or carry through change? That means the only politicians who can be held accountable are in govt while the opp get a walk. It's been a while since I've run across a point of view quite this cynical.

Needless to say I disagree.

Let me offer an alternative view. . . *ALL* politicians should be responsible for their deeds and words at all times whether they be in government or be they in opposition. Ask Loyola Hearn who advocated for rediculous things in Opp only to regret and repent once in govt.

If Opps can't or won't adopt the philosophy of acting as a responsible alternative to the government of the day then they too should just go home.

Wm. Murphy said...

Let me offer an alternative view. . . *ALL* politicians should be responsible for their deeds and words at all times whether they be in government or be they in opposition

Absolutely..Simon I couldn't agree more if we lived in a society that does not change and does not adjust to current conditions.

As you well know, the comments made by politicians while in Opp., are mostly based on naive and self centred motives. As well, the reality of Party based democracy and big picture thinking are areas that most of the time preclude things from coming to fruition when these same politicians are in Power. Is it right...absolutely not...and this is one of the main reasons why the general public has such a distain for Politicians.

As well, the comments made by most of Opp members are based on the fact that they have no idea how gov't or bureauacracies operate in our Party system. Yes, they should be responsible for their words, but things do change. It would be interesting to see how politicians that were in power and are now in opposition, rant on about promises and things they would do to change the world.

When I said I don't give a rat's ass what DW said in Opp...I still maintain that, because I base my assessment on how politicians are dealing with the issue at the time...not by what was said years earlier. Some people will always trot out what was said while in Opp and somehow use this as the definitive course of action. It is also interesting that these same people who will peruse Hansard for the "smoking gun", are the same people who realize the limitations and the constraints that gov't has in carrying out things that were "promised" years earlier

But yes...I agree completely that they shoud be responsible for their words...if they are not responsible, I will chalk it up to the fact that in the scheme of things this means nothing to the task at hand

Ed Hollett said...

Three things, Murph:

1. As the latest news shows, I was right when I suggested that this whole NS deal was in fact no deal at all but was merely a ploy of some kind. (read my post again)

Nothing sinister in that by any definition, but then again I never said there was.

Hysterically funny that you criticize me and yet say the same thing or, as in this case, I turn out to be right.

2. If opposition politicians are rubes and egomaniacs, to paraphrase your view, how are they suddenly blessed with genius and altruism in government?

Heck, how do you decide to put an opposition politician in government based on your world view?

3. in your whacky world of sweeping generalizations, are there politicians in government who remains stunned as me arse or do they all beocme brilliant once they take the oath?

Wm. Murphy said...

There you again...I will chalk it up to you missing the point because you may not be bright enough to figure it out

...my comments had nothing to do with the whether your are RIGHT...absolutely not! I commented on the fact that your Post sounded like there was something "sinister" or nefarious going on as it relates to this issue.

And then we have this bit:

"....to paraphrase your view,

That's the problem Ed...you paraphrase people and that's what gets you focused on the shiney and glittery things. Stay with the debate and take a deep breath

Ed Hollett said...

The only thing missing from that, Murph, was the Yackety Sax theme music from Benny Hill.

Ursula said...

"As you well know , the comments made by politicians in Opp.,are mostly based on naive and self-centred(spelling correction)motives".

Can it then be construed that Williams' ,paraphrasing , "The loopholes in the Voisey Bay deal are so big , you could drive a mack truck through it" ,was simply the musings of a naive , self-centred politician ?

Simon Lono said...

@ Murph

Sorry to say that you have ensured that no discussion of the Opp is relevant to any discussion and that ONLY discussion of GOVT is relevant.

You have taken any Opp supporter off the hook and put yourself, and other govt supporters, on the hook exclusively. If that's the spot you want, you are welcome to it!

You are way too smart for me in your clever rhetorical positioning; I concede defeat. Revel in your victory

Wm. Murphy said...

Thanks Simon...victory is sweet

I think I will revel....,
Unfortunately, I am becoming impatient waiting for staffers to provide talking points to make the discussion relevant.

Simon Lono said...

Never mind, Murph, because nothing we say is relevant, right? On the other hand, Danny's remarks yesterday are fair game! :)

(just playing by your rules, Muphkin)

Polly said...

"Staffers"... yours Murphy , Danny's, or are they one and the same ?

Wm. Murphy said...

Never mind, Murph, because nothing we say is relevant, right?

Not true Simon...I think most of your comments are relevant...don't sell yourself short.
Speaking of relevant...I did like your comments about George Street...I agree completely. Maybe municipal politics is the way to go. It seems like you would take reponsibilty for what you say.

Wm. Murphy said...

By the way Simon...who are the "we" you refer?
I am thinking it means you and Ed. You are a team?...how sweet is that!

Who knew?

Ed Hollett said...

Geez, Murph that has got to be the most juvenile comment yet in a string of incredibly juvenile comments.

Simon Lono said...

As should be self-evident by the fact that I use my full and public name to assure accurate attribution, I'm always keen to take full responsibility for my remarks. I can't help that; I was a competitive debater for too long and that form never allows for sliding from what you say. (I think you would have enjoyed doing that and I think you would have done well.)

I'm not keen on the current (and I will include the last Lib admin ) prov govt strategy of defensspeak where all statements include the obligatory "I love my province" and controversy is avoided at all times. There are occasions where hard truths must be spoken and you just have t take it on the chin. Yet in some areas (and I'm thinking specifically of the fisheries), deception and false hope is preferred.

Thank you for your kind review of my municipal remarks. . . it's a level of politics which seldom receives the attention and effort it deserves.

Polly said...

Murphy ,are you displaying "TRAITS" of the "GREEN-EYED MONSTER" ??

Polly said...

@Simon :

Beware the "flattery", especially that given to further the interests of the "flatterer"