19 January 2012

Kennedy slices into NDP’s Muskrat falls hypocrisy #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy belled the NDP cat on Wednesday for the provincial party’s flip-flop on Muskrat Falls. As the Telegram reported in its Thursday edition,

… Kennedy was particularly hard on criticism coming from the NDP, saying the current tone represents a break from deceased federal leader Jack Layton.

“The NDP has been making a lot of noise in the last little while, but it’s my understanding that Jack Layton supported the project,” Kennedy said. “Does the NDP still support the project? They’re not answering that.”

Jerome is right, of course. 

And not only about Jack Layton’s support. 

Bloc-NDP members of parliament Ryan Cleary and Jack Harris campaigned on a pro-Muskrat Falls ticket during last year’s federal election, as did provincial party leader Lorraine Michael who joined them on the campaign trail.

Enterprising news editors will no doubt be scrambling for shots of Lorraine cheering Jack’s visit here as she cheered Jack on and looking through Lorraine’s old news releases.

Lorraine supported the Lower Churchill project.  Her only criticism at the time it was released is that the deal was not as big as the original promise.

But make no mistake:  Lorraine backed Muskrat Falls.

However, she’s been shifting her position as public opposition to the project mounted.  You could say she’s trying to pull an Aylward.  Former Liberal leader Kevin Aylward shifted his potion almost 180 degrees on the project during the latter days of last fall’s provincial election. 

Now Michael is trying to sound like she isn’t backing the plan to deliver cheap electricity to her New Democrat pals in Nova Scotia.  Here’s how the Telegram quoted her from another Muskrat story from Thursday’s paper:

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael said she’s open to being convinced that going ahead with the project is a good idea. Nothing Locke said moved her, though.

She said she’s hoping to see independent, in-depth examination of alternatives to Muskrat Falls before the project gets sanctioned.

“If there was an in-depth analysis that was done on an alternative like the wind power — an in-depth analysis — then I’d like to see it,” she said. “My understanding is that no in-depth analysis has been presented.”

The spring session of the legislature should be interesting if only for the political cat-fighting among members of three political parties all of which support Muskrat Falls to one degree or another.

The Liberals back the project as well.  Their only objection, as described by natural resources critic Yvonne Jones is that there is no guarantee any power will go to Labrador.

Power could go there, of course, but Jones apparently wants some other guarantee. her objections are best described as superficial or trivial.  She’ll fold up and back the thing when it comes down to it.

But a crushing public debt?

The enormous cost piled on the backs of ordinary people of this province while others get a free ride?

Not a worry for Jones and the Liberals apparently.

Kennedy will have an easy time of it in the House lined up against the likes of the NDP and the Liberals.

- srbp -