27 November 2019

A mouthful of burp #nlpoli

Not one mitigation scheme.

Not two mitigation schemes.

Three mitigation schemes.

Delivered by the end of January.

All wonderful grand and all believable if you have had the sense knocked out of you by the endless string of promises Dwight Ball has made about mitigating the impact of Muskrat Falls on electricity rates.

Promises made but not kept.

So now there’s yet another one to be delivered before we get a report from the Public Utilities Board that was supposed to deliver ideas to mitigate electricity rates.

And that was announced only a few days after Ball and his star candidate Paul Antle promised desperately during a by-election that no one would pay for Muskrat Falls in this province at all.

In between this latest announcement and the promise that unbelievable magical things would happen,  Ball announced another scheme that bureaucrats had been working on.  Conservative leader Ches Crosbie had already scooped Ball on that one but both the Ball and Crosbie mitigation schemes announced before the spring election suffered from the same flaw as the others:  most of it was pure bullshit and what wasn’t bullshit was just obviously made up. It wouldn’t work.

Don’t forget that Dwight Ball’s first mitigation scheme – long before he became Premier - was to use export sales from Muskrat Falls to lower the price consumers in the province would pay. That was when Ball was an avowed Muskrateer and nothing would shake his belief in the glories of what Danny Hisself had promised. 

Unfortunately, Dwight never noticed that the reason Danny Williams planned to force everyone in the province to pay for his dream was that neither Danny Williams nor Ed Martin could get anyone else to pay for a project that was too expensive for the market at its original price in 2010, when Williams announced it.

So that first Ball mitigation scheme faded into the darkness.

Then Dwight Ball became Premier and promised some other scheme.

There was a commitment in the 2016 budget, but the amount of money was only enough for one small bit of one’s year’s payment.  It wasn’t even close to enough and neither Ball nor anyone else in his administration seemed able to explain anything about anything to stop Muskrat Falls from driving electricity prices through the roof.

Later on, Ball muttered something about holding electricity rates at 17 cents a kilowatt hour – half again as high as the rate at the time – but he gave no clue as to how that might work.  Top men were working on it he said, or words to that effect.

In the middle of 2017, Nalcor boss Stan Marshall told everyone in the province that the Danny Williams-Ed Martin boondoggle would deliver what Williams promised:  electricity prices would double.  Problem was they would double the current price, not the lower one from 2010.

People panicked.

They don’t panic anymore.

They are tired of hearing politicians make promises about Muskrat Falls and not deliver on them.

Frankly, Dwight Ball’s promise of three mitigation schemes by the end of January is almost laughable. 

But the poor gullible sods of Newfoundland and Labrador who bought Muskrat Falls bullshit before are beyond the point where three times as much bullshit in one go is funny.

Ball’s comments to reporters cannot be pathetic because the prospect of shouldering about a billion dollars a year in additional expenses either through electricity rates or taxes or some combination of both (that’s three options incidentally) is chilling to the core. 

It is so frightening that no one should be surprised if a viciously angry mob turned up at Confederation Building next Monday demanding that Ball tell people what is actually going on.

With documents.


Not after Christmas.

The truth.

No more of these mouthfuls of burp.