01 December 2009

No fluff from Dean

Newbie member of the House of Assembly Marshall Dean didn’t waste any time in putting his stamp on things.

While other politicians quickly learned the art of “on-a-go-forward-basis” bafflegab, Dean gave a short and highly accurate comment in reply to a statement by Shawn Skinner.  The innovation minister made a formal statement which restated  events since the seizure of hydro assets in central Newfoundland and then finished with this insightful comment:

I would like to thank the members for their contribution and I look forward to continuing our relationship and working together into the future. Together, we can identify and realize opportunities that lead to a stronger, more diversified central region.

Here’s Dean’s reply:

Thank you, Minister, for providing me with an advance copy of the statement. It is noteworthy that there is nothing new in this statement. It is commendable to acknowledge the people who are involved in this community, who are concerned about their future. The reality is there was a failure by government to secure the mill when it ran into trouble, and what people are clearly worried about now is the long-term security of the area, and this needs to be addressed in a long-term strategy.

Thirty-five million has been paid out to the workers; however, government will be claiming this back through AbitibiBowater. This would never have happened in the first place if government had not reacted into the relentless pressure from the Official Opposition. The question now, Mr. Speaker –

The question now, Mr. Speaker, is: what are they going to do for the people to gain some benefit from the resource, a resource that is earning government millions of dollars with nothing going back to the people?

Citizens of Central just want a fair share on their hydro power. Another question we have, Mr. Speaker, is what about pensioners who will be losing approximately 30 per cent of their pensions if the company is declared insolvent.

Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is much of the statement is fluff, sorry. We need more of a real investment of money in Central and the people of that area need it and deserve it.

Read enough Hansard and you’ll realise how atypical that sort of blunt  - and accurate - talk is.