31 July 2006

Another Danny nose-puller

CBC news reports that Danny Williams is off to do battle with Ottawa over Equalization and Hebron.

Good luck, sez you on the Equalization thing since the provincial premiers couldn't agree. If that wasn't bad enough the federal government has been scrambling to get away from its promise to pony up more cash to the provinces by excluding non-renewable natural resources from the Equalization scheme.

But the real nose puller in the CBC story is the bit where Danny Williams claims:
a. that he had the support of the provincial premiers for his Atlantic Accord thing; and,

b. that he has the endorsement of the premiers for his plans to get legislation that would give Danny Williams the sole power to force companies to develop oil fields offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Let's start by reminding everyone that at no point did Danny Williams have the support of the other provincial premiers on the Atlantic Accord. Sure Danny told us he did, but he has said a lot of things without evidence that turned out to be of dubious veracity.

Williams claimed he had letters.

He produced not a one.

So that makes Danny Williams' second claim suspect anyway even if we didn't have the actual wording of the "endorsement".
Given today's energy demands and markets, Premiers noted that economically viable energy projects should not be permitted to remain fallow but should be moved towards commercial production.
Now what that says - all it says - is that the premiers agree that commercially viable oil and gas fields should be developed.

At no point does the communique state that the provincial premiers believe Danny Williams deserves the power to force a field into development. The premiers' words could just as easily be taken as an endorsement of NOIA's position that Danny and the companies need to get back to the table and hammer out a fair deal.

So here we go again. There's another claim by Danny Williams that has no evidence to back it up.

We already know Stephen Harper has no intention of handing Danny Williams the powers of a low-rent Hugo Chavez.

So what do we have here? Well, aside from another piece of empty Danny-speak, we have the makings of a fine summer and fall entertainment.

Let's see Danny Williams go toe-to-toe with Harper on anything. Personally, I don't think we'll see Williams do squat to Steve. But heck, if he does, it will be fun to watch the fireworks.

And if Williams doesn't live up to his promise, it will be fun to watch Williams as he rationalizes his lack of action.

Wouldn't it be nice - for a change - to have a politician who just does something rather than talk about doing it, or reminding us of something that happened years ago?