22 June 2016

Foundations #nlpoli

Natural resources minister Siobhan Coady was the latest in a long line of energy ministers from this province who have done the annual pilgrimage to the offshore technology show in Houston in early May.  "With our unique location," Coady said of Newfoundland and Labrador, " we have built a solid foundation, have incredible prospects, and look forward to the many opportunities for exploration and development on the horizon."

Those foundations must have been built by the same crowd that were pouring concrete in Muskrat Falls.  Not even four weeks later the whole shooting match is caved in.

Now is the time to build the foundation of the oil and gas industry in the province, Dwight Ball [via thetelegram.com] told folks at the annual NOIA conference in St. John's,  so it can succeed in the future.
Not even 30 days and the whole thing had fallen to pieces.

Ball used to be a pharmacist but instead of being the Premier, Dwight wants to be a contractor.  He told a bunch of business people in Corner Brook last week that  - as CBC's Colleen Connors tweeted - "he[']s fixing the foundation of this province. Past gov[ernmen]ts kept putting coats of paint on the problem but he's fixing it now."

Maybe the foundations are like the copper  the arseholes keep stealing out of telephone and electrical lines.  Yes.  That must be it because you'd swear there was an old fellow around here not long ago talking about how he had to put in all these foundations everywhere.  The crowd before him, you see, never did a tap.

The woman he left in charge used to go on and on about their crowd had taken over a mess and now put everything back together right.  When she quit politics,  Kathy Dunderdale thanked everyone for "enabling us to lay the foundation for a new era of prosperity that will benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for generations to come."

The fellow who wound up with her job even said that his new cabinet was part of  a plan "to build the future of Newfoundland and Labrador on the rock-solid foundation this government has put in place."

Sure they even had a whole budget - Budget 2009 - that talked about the wonderful foundations they had laid.

Building foundations is like being ready for a better tomorrow.  It's an old political chestnut politicians trot out because they have nothing else.  It's like Danny Williams who boasted about his New Approach in 2003 and then Dwight Ball who - without a hint of  any embarrassment - actually told the world that in 2015 he was all about a New Approach to government.

Ball told the oil and gas people his New Approach administration would have a n oil and gas committee made up of industry representatives and public servants.  They will develop a new oil and gas policy for the province, as if we have not had an energy policy in the province since the 1970s, at least.  The major problem has been that the other New Approach crowd believed they knew more than everyone else even though they - quite obviously  - knew nothing.  

These unelected bureaucrats and an unelected bunch of people from industry will develop a new policy for the province, as if that wasn't the job of the politicians we just finished electing.  We don't know anything about this group or the "vision" they will develop, the values they will use in developing their "vision" or indeed how this might be a "transparent" energy policy. That's not surprising. The Liberal platform commitment reads like a pile of jargon thrown onto the page because it sounds good, not because the people who wrote it had any knowledge of the subject.

What's really striking about all this is the sense that the politicians are starting from scratch again not because we - collectively - have not had experience, but because they - personally - have not had any.   At the last election, we set ourselves backward, just as we set ourselves backward in 2003.

We don't need to build any foundations.

We've been there.

We've done that time after time after time after time.

Enough, already.