11 April 2012

So then what will they do? #nlpoli

Let’s make no bones about it. 

Even at the deepest darkest moments after the death of Meech Lake, federal-provincial relations were never as bad as they are right now between the crowd in Ottawa and the crowd in Sin Jawns.

Danny Williams put all his political credibility into his anything but Conservative campaign.  He pledged to campaign across Canada to defeat the federal Conservatives.

Williams lost.

Big time.

Sure he changed his goal at the end – as his failure became painfully obvious - and all the local media just repeated his reimagined version of the ABC campaign, but the truth is Williams screwed himself and the rest of us politically with his little ego-stunt.

Kathy Dunderdale decided the best way to fix that was to campaign for Harper in the next election.  Okay, well she thought it best to say she would campaign.  Whether she did or not depends on who you talk to.

And that worked out so well that the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador can’t get the Prime Minister of Canada to return her phone calls.

The latest idea Kathy had was to give the deputy minister of the intergovernmental affairs secretariat a new job.  He will spend an unspecified amount of time “conducting a horizontal review of federal-provincial agreements to determine their efficiency and effectiveness.”

Does that mean Sean will lie down while he studies?

Seriously.

WTF is a “horizontal review”?

Now this is such an important initiative that the only word of it is in a news release announcing yet another shuffle around of members of the senior public service.  Sean gets this new gig.  Meanwhile, someone will fill in for him. 

No word on what criteria Sean will use to determine efficiency and effectiveness or indeed what federal-provincial agreements they are including in the review.  Most likely it is the deals that shift federal cash into provincial hands so the hands can hand it out to other provincial hands.

These agreements cover things like the federal gas tax transfer to municipalities,  money for bridges,  and big transfers for health, social assistance,  and education.

We are talking big money, too. Last year, federal transfers to the provincial government totalled more than $1.0 billion.

No word on how long Sean will take.

And there’s no word about what the government will do with Sean’s report once he gets it done.

Perhaps Kathy will call Steve and…

Errr… maybe that might not be such a good idea.

- srbp -

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