20 July 2005

Does this sound like Andy Wells to you, Norm?

For those who may not be familiar with the issues involved in Danny Williams' attempt to foist Andy Wells on the offshore board, just take a look at the qualifications description Danny Williams approved for the ad Robertson Surette placed for the offshore board job.

It's really important to notice too that what Danny Williams called a mainland company is actually the local office of an internationally respected head-hunting firm.

It's the firm he approved.

Here's the list of qualifications:

"Candidates will have an in-depth knowledge of Newfoundland and LabradorÂ’s offshore oil and gas activities, along with a demonstrated ability to manage an organization with diverse technical and regulatory responsibilities, and to work effectively with senior industry and government officials. Qualified individuals will also have a good understanding of the structure and operation of the Canadian and international petroleum industry. Applicants will have extensive experience in the operational aspects of offshore petroleum activities, including full knowledge of related business, financial, safety and environmental matters, and of federal and provincial government legislation and operations. In addition, candidates will have experience in dealing with industry associations and a wide range of non-government organizations. This position requires exceptional communication skills."

Ok. Leave Andy Wells out of this for a second.

nowheree does the description say the person should have extensive experience in negotiating benefits for the province. It doesn't even hint at that. That's because the chairman and chief executive officer doesn't do that job. Danny Williams does.

As for Williams' comments about the existing list being "too close to the industry", I'd like to know how anyone would acquire the skills to run a regulatory body as described above and not actually know some people in the oil business. Again, the Prem's claim about "too close" is bogus: it isn't the real issue.

Now think of Andy Wells and see if you can see which of the above qualities Mr. Wells possesses.

Personally, I can think of a few other jobs related to the offshore where he might be better suited than asCEOo of the offshore board.

If Danny is so amazed by Andy Wells abilities, maybe Danny would appoint him minister of energy and let Andy actually handle the negotiations on Hebron.

What this all comes down to is credibility and while local media have been avoiding asking the Premier any tough questions on the Wells issue, I think this is another matter where a little caution is merited before we climb back on any bandwagons.

Go back and see what the Prem wanted from the offshore in January 2004 and see what he accepted in 2005 while proclaiming it "100%". The Prem will be quite happy to retell the war story again and again, but here's the kicker:

Compare the claim against the facts.

Notice the huge gap.

Now ponder the Premier's most recent offshore foray.

Ponder that until tomorrow's megapost which will wrap the whole thing up in a neat package.