06 August 2007

Working the Hill the smart way

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has retained Summa Strategies to help with federal funding assistance on the Lower Churchill and on issues related to the development of an East-West national electricity grid.

Makes sense, if you consider that the provincial government has few if any friends in Ottawa these days and Summa is able to help overcome the personality clashes between the Prime Minister and the Premier.

The lead on the file - Tim Powers - is a Newfoundlander and, as much as it might be nice to have the dollars flowing in this province for the contract, the fact is there are very few lobbyists like Summa operating in this province. Of those that are here, not many of those have the kind of entrees in the Langevin Block available to people like Powers. He's a smart, well-connected guy.

Ordinarily someone from the Premier's Office would be able to take on the job. However, when the tone at the top is the hum of peeing on people's Nikes even over a visit to flooded areas, that pretty much makes it mandatory to engage some outside professional help.

That's the job Summa has apparently been hired to do: put the case for federal assistance to the places where the Premier just can't reach any more.

If it gets the job done, then it will be money well spent.

Makes perfect sense.

Just like it makes sense that in the registry filing Powers answered "No" when asked if the client is "funded in whole or in part by any government or government agency."

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is funded entirely by the sale of power to the private sector. It isn't funded by the provincial government or any agency of the provincial government.