30 October 2007

National Velvet Astroturf

Strange things turn up in the Bond Papers e-mail.

Like the following letter published in the Edmonton Journal online edition extolling the virtues of the far East's energy policy. It's odd for a few reasons which are in bold print.

Odd things like reference to the Council of the Federation's energy plan. Odd because few Canadians know of or care about the Council, let alone keep track of missives like the energy document. That document, incidentally, was produced by a committee headed by Danny Williams.

Then there is the repeated use of the phrase "Newfoundland Labrador". That phrase doesn't appear in the CP Stylebook but it does appear in the local PC Style Guide.

Newfoundland Labrador.

It's the name of the new province re-born under Danny Williams.

Think about it for a second. Aside from provincial government advertising, which includes VOCM stuff and Tories, do you know anyone who says "Newfoundland Labrador"?

Everyone else has no trouble using the word "and" in between "Newfoundland" and "Labrador".


It's right there.

Heck even the Tories aren't consistent in it, as their campaign platform shows. There are references to the province with the "and" there and in other places, you'll see Newfoundland Labrador Housing. Still, though, when it turns up in a letter to the editor, there's just something odd enough about it to make you wonder.

Could be nothing at all, of course. But given this administration's love of artificial turf, there's a good possibility this letter is part of a concerted effort to spread The Word far and wide, especially in "Steve" Harper's backyard.

You can find more of Don Abbott's stuff at cbc.ca, for example on the same subject.

More Letters
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Section: Cityplus

Energy development is slowly assuming a new, more comprehensive direction in Canada.

In recent months, among other initiatives, the Council of the Federation outlined its first-ever action plan for a sustainable and secure energy future for Canada.

And, Alberta and Newfoundland Labrador released positions that grapple with the thorny issues of royalty reviews and the development of future energy projects.

The federal government's reaction has been unsurprisingly mute. Ottawa appears incapable of forging a complete and credible policy that combines energy growth and prosperity with enhanced environmental and social responsibility.

Industry reaction to Alberta's ongoing royalty review has predictable. Energy company officials protest the sky will fall and billions in investment will be withheld.

Newfoundland Labrador has had years of similar reaction. Despite the critics, it has enhanced royalties and agreed to a five-per-cent ownership share in new, and 10-per-cent share in undeveloped, offshore oilfields.

It also has stated its determination to go it alone, if need be, on the Lower Churchill hydro project, which leaves the fate of a promising East-West power grid at Quebec and Ottawa's doorsteps (where it has been for 40 years).

A completely new attitude and set of principles is emerging that reinforces the call for sounder planning and stronger leadership for future energy policy in the country. These principles currently are being driven at the provincial and territorial level.

They incorporate a myriad of factors including spiraling energy needs, ownership, administration, pace of development, equitable returns, greater efficiency, less destruction, the full economic cost of research, human resources and infrastructure, the changing face of the North, and human and ecological necessities.

At almost opposite ends of the country Premiers Ed Stelmach and Danny Williams are helping initiate foresight in future energy development.

Their principled stand, for a more inclusive energy policy for Canada and Canadians, resonates well across the length and breath of the land.

Don Abbott, St. John's, NL