04 June 2010

Physician heal thyself: Dunderdale version

Natural resources minister Kathy Dunderdale displaying her now-usual level of unjustified arrogance:

I advise the Leader of the Opposition to pipe down now and learn a few things. Hold your tongue and open up your ears and learn something so you can stop making a fool of yourself.

She was trying to explain something she clearly didn’t understand, namely open access tariffs for jurisdictions that sell electricity into the United States.

One thing Kath didn’t notice was a crucial part of the provincial government’s argument in front of the Quebec energy regulator. You see, the provincial government’s energy corporation argued that Hydro-Quebec Transmission didn’t follow the rules. 

And that was the sum total of their argument.

They said it.

As the Regie reported and as NALCOR’s lawyers dutifully translated the French:

[386]…NLH did not call any experts to testify on these technical questions or to contradict witness Deguire.

That’s right.  They did not present a single piece of evidence to support their claim or to refute HQT's witnesses.

Now you have to bear in mind that NALCOR’s argument on this was that HQT had failed to do a complete assessment of the five routes along which they theoretically wanted to ship power and five loads they wanted to ship using a direct current intertie as required by the open access transmission rules.  [paragraph 376]

At the last minute, just as NALCOR’s time to option a route was about to expire, they accused HQT of not doing a complete review because direct current intertie was just a NALCOR preference. [paragraph 379] HQT demonstrated pretty easily with documents signed by NALCOR officials that DC was more than just a preference and that it also made a huge amount of technical sense.

[388] NLH did not any tender [tender any?] technical evidence to contradict witness Deguire. In reply, it restricted itself to arguing that it was not required to submit evidence to establish that
the impact study was incomplete and that it sufficed to refer to the wording of section 19.3 of the OATT for a finding that the study did not contain the essential elements required by that regulatory provision.

Just saying it was supposedly good enough such that no evidence was required.

And what about when HQT was able to show that NALCOR’s argument on some points – like say the issue of DC intertie  - was more than a preference?  Well, that apparently really doesn’t require much comment either.  The foolishness of it is readily apparent.

At this point, sensible people are likely wondering not only why NALCOR was pursuing all this but who allowed the lawyers to make such a weak-assed presentation.

Well, that would be either the folks at NALCOR or folks like Kath and the Old Man or both.

Maybe the next time Kathy gets some idea about keeping mouth shut and learning something, she might want to take her own advice.

Quite frankly, that display of breathtaking incompetence in the Regie hearings has succeeded only in making the people of this province out to be complete idiots, not just mere fools.

And she’s ultimately responsible for it.