12 August 2010

The Old Man, Old Habits and Old Chestnuts

labradore lays bare the foolishness that is the Old Man’s latest anti-Quebec tirade.

Score one for His Premierness’s crack research and intelligence team; after all it was just three weeks ago that Quebec’s intergovernmental affairs Minister — unlike some provinces, they actually have one — telegraphed his province’s opposition to federal subsidies for transmission lines.

Curiously, these nefarious Quebec plots seem to cycle at about three-month intervals; His Premierosity exposed the previous one back on May 12th.

And yes, ladies and gentleman, the last time the Old Man got in a back-risking lather was during the month his pollster was in the field collecting numbers.

Funny how that happens.

Regular readers of these scribbles will recall that the Premier’s foray into the anti-Quebec realm prompted this rather neat diagram of The World as the Old Man Sees It.  Thousands of you read it, no doubt laughed and – in a great many cases- downloaded it as the wallpaper for your computer desktop.

Perhaps it’s time to get some tee shirts made up. They’d go like hotcakes.

Levity to one side – and it is hard not to snort at this same old story being recycled yet again -  your humble e-scribbler would be remiss if there were not reminders of the following salient points:

  1. There is no Lower Churchill project the power from which would presumably course down these currently non-existent but hopefully federally-funded transmission lines.  NALCOR has no customers and doesn’t have the $14 or so billion the thing will cost.
  2. Not so very long ago, Danny Williams was working feverishly to get Hydro Quebec to take an ownership stake in the Lower Churchill, with no redress for the Churchill Falls contract included.  This would be – of course – completely contrary to his pre-2005 comments/commitments on the subject.  This is the biggest story of 2009, if not the entire Williams administration to date.  It remains one story that the conventional media in the province have steadfastly – and one must say now very deliberately – refused to mention for almost a full year. They have determined it is an “un-story” despite the evidence from natural resources minister Kathy Dunderdale’s own mouth.
  3. There is no Lower Churchill project.
  4. Your humble e-scribbler first discussed the whole idea of the permanent campaign and the quarterly poll goose in a series of posts in 2006.  There’s “The ‘Danny’ Brand”, “Playing the numbers”, “The media and the message” and “The perils of polling.”
  5. There is no Lower Churchill project.
  6. The bit from the CBC story after “particularly”  is false:  “Williams has had a tempestuous relationship with Quebec officials, particularly after regulators in Quebec in May dismissed Nalcor's bid to move power to U.S. markets on Quebec's transmission system.”  The Regie d’energie did no such thing. Anyone who read the decision in English or French would know that. Your humble e-scribbler’s challenge from May remains unanswered.
  7. There is no Lower Churchill project.
  8. This bit is absolutely true:  “when we have a situation when one province is deliberately trying to thwart at least two other provinces, and indirectly affect four other provinces, that's sad."  And the Old Man should know since the last time it happened, he did it.

- srbp -