05 August 2010

Coming or going?

Calamity Kathy Dunderdale, Danny Williams’ hand-picked choice for deputy premier, thinks the future of Corner Brook is built on manufacturing:

The minister said Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, despite its challenges, is a fundamental piece of the economy, thus has the support of the provincial government to help the company through these difficult times. She said both government and Kruger share a positive outlook of the mill’s future. Combined with that, the provincial government has created a new strategy to revitalize and diversify the forestry industry, particularly the integrated sawmill industry.

Quoted in the same article, finance minister Tom Marshall has another thought:

Marshall said it is important to create a knowledge-based economy in this area of the province to replace a declining manufacturing-based industry, something he contributed mainly to the competition of low cost producers around the world. He said the plan is to create an energy warehouse, utilizing the Labrador hydro and alternate sources such as wind, to offset that impact of lower labour costs of those competing manufacturers.

Now not only are these two ministers saying completely contradictory things at the same time, the finance minister is also proposing another nonsense.  Not only is Marshall’s future based on things that don’t exist – and likely won’t – but he is proposing to use cheap power as an offset to cheap labour costs overseas.

The Labrador hydro project is basically a fiction.

Wind power, and other forms of alternate energy, are basically a non-starter thanks to current government policy and the obsession with the Great White Whale.

As for giving away power, the last time that was tried, the people of the province wound up with Churchill Falls and the phosphorous plant at Long Harbour.  Given that the finance minister is advocating the use of public money for such a hare-brained scheme should cause a great many people to lose sleep.

Not the least of the bleary-eyed and stressed-out crew would be the people who believe the current administration is a Reform-based Conservative Party that wanted to “get our fiscal situation under control.”

- srbp -