05 September 2016

Supporting and Opposing #nlpoli

If you get any kind of enjoyment at all out of watching people tie themselves in knots,  point out to a New Democrat that their party supports Muskrat Falls.

Oooo - eee you are in for a ride.

But let's make it clear.  The provincial New Democrats most certainly do not oppose Muskrat Falls.

No sir.  Never have.

For the record, the official NDP position from the last election was that they wanted precisely what the provincial LIberals wanted and have now implemented:  improved oversight.  SRBP pointed this out last November.   Dipper, Grit, and Tory:  same old story.

In 2010,  the local NDP cheered.  They cheered for the NDP government in Nova Scotia who would get a huge windfall by getting more than 35 years of free electricity courtesy of the taxpayers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Curious thing.  Like lots of folks,  New Democrats will always take you back to 2012 and the debate that December in the House of Assembly.  Lots of criticism they will say "from the beginning."  Two minor problems.  First -  "the beginning" would be 2010, not 2012.

Second - Lorraine and her colleagues in the House were merely concerned about process.  Again, as SRBP pointed out in November 2015,  Lorraine was uneasy about the prospect we were rushing things on Muskrat Falls and would make a mistake as a result.  Not a mistake in building it, but a mistake in some of the numbers or something and drive up the cost.

 "It is not that I want [the project] to fail,"  said then-leader Lorraine Michael. "I am terrified with the speed; I am terrified with the way in which we are being asked to make decisions, having had these documents in our hands for such a short period of time. I am terrified that we not make a mistake like the one ...over Abitibi and the mill."

Lorraine has complained about a lack of information.  But the thing is that the fundamental Muskrat Falls idea is the one that you would think the NDP would find a problem.  The plan always was to force local taxpayers to  cover the cost of the entire project,  whatever the final number wound up to be.  In early 2010,  the joint federal-provincial review panel showed that  Nalcor had no evidence we needed the project.  And we knew that we didn't need the Nova Scotia line to get one over on Quebec.

The NDP has never opposed the project on the principle in the project from the beginning that we pay while others get enormous discounts, and hence all the real benefits of our own resources.

Criticising the project or calling for increased "oversight" isn't opposition.  To oppose Muskrat Falls means you have "disagree with and attempt to prevent" the project.  Anything else is support, an endorsement. Even just saying you want more information is a form of support since you are accepting that the project is going ahead and will go ahead.  You just want to make sure the folks actually building the project don't make a little mistake with how they are building it.  It's really nothing more grand than consent by silence.

New Democrats in Newfoundland and Labrador support Muskrat Falls.  

It is pretty simple.

But whoa will you get a lot of anger when you point that out. A lot of anger,  most of which is really coming from the fact what the Dippers believe they are saying and what they are really doing are two different things.