16 March 2008

Living in a lost episode of Star Trek: TOS

One of the basic ideas we've been pushing around these parts is that Danny Williams is merely continuing the general policy approach of his predecessor.

Yes, it infuriates the D o' D's  (Disciples of Danny), but then again they wouldn't be disciples if they didn't fervently believe beyond all reason and evidence that theirs is the true secular messiah sent down from Heaven to deliver things like 'Pride" which have been so long denied His Chosen, but sadly Long Neglected People.

Take a look at the string of Throne Speeches from 2001 to the present.

Notice the continuation of policies and even the similar language from year to year.

The only new words:  the sudden appearance of "My First Minister", usually in he context of heaping praise on MFM, a.k.a. ODP, for his spendiferously marvellous smiting of the evil giants in the Battle of Accord.

So for your consideration, on a snowy Sunday morning, here's a news release from no less a personage than Tom Hedderson.  At the time, Hedderson was education critic.  He was taking a strip off government for knowing about mould in schools and not doing anything about it.

Sounds more than bit familiar, doesn't it?

Government knowing about a problem and doing nothing about it, or delaying doing something about for one reason or another.

Like knowing about the hospitals and yet doing nothing year after year for some completely unfathomable reason. And not just hospitals  - mind you  - in St. John's but in seven or eight facilities at least in Eastern Health region and likely more beyond that elsewhere in the province.

And then when asked about when he knew of the problems, the Premier first gives a story which turns out to be completely false.

As in not true.

Like in the middle of the scandal in the media and polling period he was suddenly struck with a memory lapse about what he knew, and when he knew it.

Oh no, he says, I only learned about it this week. 

Turns out he knew about it at least last fall, by his own admission. 

Now, given that we know he has made one false statement on the subject already, what are the odds he has known about the state of the hospitals for some time before that and just isn't telling us an accurate version of it?  And open accountable and transparent version?

And it makes ya wonder what else has he said about other subjects which isn't accurate, correct or in keeping with established facts.

Anyway, for the record, here's Tom Hedderson when he wasn't a cabinet minister accusing those that were of knowing something and not doing anything about it.

Major difference though:  Hedderson was only accused of ignoring a problem for - get this - less than a year.  The reports on Eastern Health are three years old and even now that the Premier is directly involved, he's still not promising to actually deal with the issue thoroughly.

The New Approach evidently means the old approach but longer. If Grimes took five months,  the New Improved ODP Approach will take five years. 

The New Approach:  it's like living in a province run by  Mr. Scott from some backwards Star Trek universe.  Scottie tells you something will take hours to complete.  It really takes years, if it ever gets done.

Oh yeah and  - whenever he gets caught screwing up - he promises the screw ups will never happen again.

Over and

over and





Education department knew last spring of air problems at St. Thomas of Villanova

ST. JOHN'S, November 1, 2000 — Opposition Education critic Tom
Hedderson says the Department of Education knew last spring of air
quality problems threatening students and teachers at St. Thomas of
Villanova in Manuels, yet has left the decision to begin addressing the
problem until two months into the 2000-01 school year.

The school has now been closed due to mould problems, and arrangements
are now being made to relocate students to other schools, at great
disruption to them and their teachers two months into their school
year. Reconstruction will probably not be completed until some time
during or at the end of the next school year (2001-02).

Hedderson says, "Everything that is known to the Avalon East School
Board and the Department of Education now was known to government and
the board last spring. Despite a 1998 environmental study recommending
a schedule of constant air quality monitoring in this particular
building, obviously no further monitoring was done. In other words,
despite knowing there was an air quality problem at the school that
needed attention, they neglected to do anything about it."

"The Avalon East School Board has to take some of the blame for not
confronting the Department of Education more aggressively on this issue
and forcing a showdown so proper plans could be made to start fixing
the problem and firming up alternate arrangements over the summer to
ensure minimal impact on students," said Hedderson.

"The real blame, however, rests on the shoulders of the Department of
Education for second-guessing school boards, cherry-picking on a
political basis which schools get replaced or renovated, and ignoring
not only the priority list for renovations but also the glaring
evidence of problems needing remediation," said Hedderson.

"The government has been making decisions on capital expenditures in
schools on a purely political basis. St. Thomas of Villanova is just
the most obvious and dramatic example of many situations around the
province where Liberal political patronage takes precedence over
educational interests and the health and safety of students," he said.

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For more information:
Tom Hedderson, MHA Harbour Main-Whitbourne
(709) 729-6924