23 May 2012

The Fairity of Regurgitation #nlpoli

Municipal affairs minister Kevin “Fairity” O’Brien stood in the House of Assembly on Wednesday “to highlight the continued progress in implementing the Provincial Waste Management Strategy in our province.”

Wonderful stuff it could have been.

The only problem is Fairity really didn’t provide an update.

He told us what the original goals were.

He also told us how much money they planned to spend.

He just didn’t really tell us how close the provincial government is to meeting all the targets.  Fairity just mentioned, almost in passing, that they have apparently closed half the landfills in the province.

Closing a dump is the easiest part of the strategy, in some respects.  Getting people to send garbage to the designated new dump doesn’t necessarily work.  Recent news reports made it clear the extent to which people across the island portion of the province have taken to dumping their garbage anywhere they can get the pick-up.

Then there’s the stuff Fairity didn’t tell you about in his statement.  “Full implementation of the strategy is scheduled for 2020,” he said.  That bit is true.

But when did they announce the strategy?

May 2007.

Five years ago.

And as that SRBP post notes, the strategy the provincial Conservatives announced as “new” in 2007 was actually the strategy the Liberals announced in 2002.  The Tory plan changed a couple of words here and there and pushed back all the implementation dates by a decade or so.    But that’s about all the Tories did after three years of rumination and cogitation before they ultimately got around to regurgitation.

Along the way, the Tories also slowed everything down.  The Liberals were supposed to finish the plan in 2010, eight years after they started. The Tories, meanwhile have another eight years to hit the targets they reset by 10 years from the Liberal plan.

Given the “update” Fairity O’Brien coughed out five years after the Tories started working, it looks like they might need the eight years they have left in their own schedule to get their plan half finished.