10 May 2012

The Difference Between Their Dippers and our Tories #nlpoli

When it comes to transparency and accountability for megaprojects, the New Democratic government in Nova Scotia is light years ahead of the Progressive Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador

“These are not our PC colleagues in Nova Scotia. We are not one big, happy family in the PC Party in this country, Mr. Speaker. In fact, we are probably more closely aligned with Premier Dexter’s vision of the future as an NDP Premier than we are with anything with the PCs.”

Natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy said that in the House of Assembly recently when someone asked him about the way the Nova Scotia Tories are hounding the Dexter NDP crowd over Muskrat Falls.

Leave aside for a moment the way the local Tories pound their spiritual provincial cousins in this province over every little thing these days.  Just consider for a minute the idea that the Tories in Newfoundland and Labrador are basically the same as the Bluenose New Democrats.  NDPCThat’s the logo Jerome will probably introduce when he takes over the local Tories following Dunderdale’s sudden retirement in 2014.

Our Tories are not the same as their Dippers in some things.  Accountability and transparency would be a big one.  Our Tories shipped their Muskrat Falls project off to the local public utilities board with a very restricted question designed to deliver a highly misleading answer.  They did everything in their power to fix the result. Thankfully  - for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador - the PUB didn’t play the Tories’ silly game.

In Nova Scotia, their public utilities regulator won’t have the same problem.  The Dexter government introduced legislation on Wednesday that will “make it certain that the Maritime Link will be reviewed by the Utility and Review Board (UARB).”

"This project is a game-changer for Nova Scotia, and the entire Atlantic region. It is a complex project involving multiple governments and corporations and Nova Scotians need assurance that it will be built in their best interest," said Mr. [energy minister Charlie]  Parker. "The UARB review process will do that. The legislation ensures there will be a clear and transparent review process."

Dexter committed to this last week.  The legislation arrived, as promised. Plus the government will introduce regulations developed in co-operation with the utilities regulator.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, meanwhile, the provincial government is sooking at the PUB.

There’s a huge difference between their Dippers and our Tories.  The biggest part of the difference is maturity.