Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Leave Britney alone!" *cries*

In a shocking twist that is completely out of sync with all past trends, it turns out that the provincial government's nebulous Department of Economic DevelopmentEnergy Corporation will be shielded from prying eyes in the interests of safeguarding "commercially sensitive information."

According to the Department of Natural Resources' spokeswoman Kathy Dunderdale, this is necessary in order for the Energy Corporation to
"function in the world of business [...] [and] be accountable to the people of this province. What we are doing with [the Act to Amend the Energy Corporation Act] is giving the Energy Corp. the tools to be able to do that effectively."

At first glance, these two aims seem almost contradictory and Dunderdale initially looks like she has no idea what she's talking about and is just blurting out government buzzwords as a default reaction to being called on in the House of Assembly.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Constant questioning and incessant scrutiny directed at government initiatives ultimately slows down the march towards giving us, the people, our Fair Share. And if journalists and opposition parties had access to "commercially sensitive information" like "details respecting revenues" and "costs" relating to potential projects, well by God people might complain about things being a "waste of money" or "totally non-feasible" and we'd never get anywhere.

Frankly, anyone who is worried about the prospect of shrouding the information relating to the Energy Corporation's activity hasn't been paying attention to the provincial government's track record. Time and time again, history has shown that if there is anything that government-driven energy development initiatives need less of, it's transparency. Can you imagine where we'd be as a province today if BRINCO had been scrutinised to death?

Actually, on second thought, don't answer that.


Some gems of wisdom passed down to us from the Greatest Generation turned out to be slightly more useful than "duck and cover."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Riddle Me This

If CBC is to be believed, apparently Danny Williams has renewed confidence in the abilities of his cabinet now that former Premier Tom Rideout has tendered his resignation.

Of course, any true Newfoundlander knows CBC is not to be believed, as the Premier courageously demonstrated recently when he (rightly) pointed out that David Cochrane was unfairly attempting to undermine the mastery of our own domain by doing unnecessarily subversive things like asking questions in media scrums.

But, for the sake of argument, let's take the CBC story at face value and assume that when Yvonne Jones asked the Premier if he had any certainty in the ability of his ministers to do their jobs, he did in fact respond with "I have certainty now that Tom Rideout is gone."

Let that sink in for a moment.

According to Danny Williams, Tom Rideout - a man whose political career stretches back to 1975, who is a former Premier with a cumulative decade of ministerial experience - is incompetent.

On the other hand, Joan Burke's revolutionary "well if the Liberals hadn't screwed everything up during the 1990s, I wouldn't have problems to ignore, now would I?" approach to the Department of Education is positively sublime in its genius.

Kathy Dunderdale's performance in her role as "spokeswoman" of the Natural Resources Department is downright enviable.

And of course, the Honourable Ross Wiseman continues to display stunning prowess in the position of Minister of Health and Community Services, up to and including astonishing four month spurts of illiteracy.

Although, upon further reflection, the question that Jones asked was whether or not the Premier had confidence in his ministers' ability to do their jobs. Which, in his defence, he did answer truthfully: every minister who wasn't Tom Rideout was doing a spectacular job.

This is because in Williams' cabinet, the job isn't managing your portfolio with any degree of competency.

It's towing the Premier's line.