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Friday, August 25, 2006

Highway Robbery

Promises, promises, promises, like the hot steamy air emanating from a candidates mouth during a cold winter election campaign, they rise on the prevailing winds for a brief moment before drifting away on a wisp of vapor. Such is the case with the promises made and the promises broken by Ottawa’s new conservative elite.

On a national level the big issue is the back sliding Canada’s PM has been doing over his promise/preference to remove non-renewable resource revenues from the equalization formula. While that’s undoubtedly a hot button issue in resource rich and economically poor Newfoundland and Labrador, it isn’t the only broken, or at least delayed, promise that so easily dripped from Stephen Harper’s well fed maw while jockeying for every possible vote down east last Christmas.

During the election campaign the future PM also promised to cost share the paving of the Trans Labrador Highway. As a result of that promise the cash strapped province budgeted millions to cover its share of the effort. To date the feds have yet to pony up one red cent even though the Combined Councils of Labrador, a group of municipal town leaders, has been pushing for them to do so. The Trans Labrador Highway, which consists of mainly gravel road, has been a major thorn in the side of the area for decades and is a danger to anyone using it.

In addition to the highway robbery being committed Harper’s little band of rogues, other promises such as re-instituting the weather center at Gander Newfoundland and posting a rapid response team at 5 Wing Goose Bay, in Labrador, have not yet been fulfilled. At this point people are starting to wonder if they will ever see any movement on these files or if they will remain dead until magically appearing once again only when the nays beat the yeas in the House of Commons and the election trail heats up once more.

I know where I’d place my bets.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a promise from Ottawa to send some of the well paid Federal jobs, that ever other province thrives on, Newfoundland and Labrador's way? I know there was a lot of talk in this province back during the election campaign concerning the 17 Federal Regional Offices in Nova Scotia and approximately the same number in New Brunswick.

I saw the statistics yesterday on the Social Welfare paid out by all the provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador was paying twice the amount of the other provinces.The reason these province don't have to pay out as much social welfare as Newfoundland and Labrador is because they have a lot more emp-loyment, they are well padded with high paying federal jobs, plus they get natural and human resources from a province like Newfoundland and Labrador . Today I heard on radio that Nova Scotia is paying for school supplies for all children in grade school. You can see why, Nova Scotia can pay out an item such as school supplies from the benefits it gets from just one federal regional office that is based there. Plus look at the Military bases there staffed with approximately 10 per cent of military personnel from Newfoundland and Labrador.

I lament the things the Newfoundland and Labrador government could do, if it too were getting some of these high paying federal jobs that Ottawa doles out to the other provinces. There is no equality in Canada for Newfoundland and Labrador.

We not only have to give our human and natural resources to the other provinces, URGED ON BY OTTAWA,by sending up smoke screens during negotiations, we also do not get from Ottawa the hand-outs, like federal jobs, the rest of the Canadian provinces receive.

And I will add the monies that come to Newfoundland and Labrador in equalization, like the other have-nots get is more than paid for from the human and natural resources that flow out of here and the fact we are not on the receiving end of the high paying federal jobs and the military bases that Ottawa funds in the other provinces.

WJM said...

During the election campaign the future PM also promised to cost share the paving of the Trans Labrador Highway.

Do you believe EVERYTHING Danny Williams says?

Harper actually promised to cost-share the COMPLETION of the TLH... paving, and especially paving Phase I, is just one bit of COMPLETING the TLH.

As a result of that promise the cash strapped province

Which cash-strapped province?

budgeted millions to cover its share of the effort.

What do you mean, "its share"?

If it makes a budgetary committment entirely contingent on an external factor, it has made no committment at all.

Given that the federal government has outspent the provincial one, 90 cents in the dollar, on the total work ever done on highways in Labrador to date, it's time for the province to poney up big bucks anyway... WITH OR WITHOUT cash from Ottawa.

Isn't Labrador an "integral part of the province" as Chairman Dan used to say?

Are highway projects in Newfoundland also contingent on Ottawa paying out 50-cent dollars?

Why isn't the WHOLE province treated equally? Why the discrimination against Labrador? If Danny is prepared to spend $50-million, why can't he do it with or without matching funds?

After all, Labradorians don't send 50-cent tax dollars to St. John's.

Anonymous said...

My God WJM the $2 billion dollars we received for 10 years of pumping oil does not make us a cash rich province. Do you think it does?

WJM do you realize Newfoundland and Labrador is in debt to the tune of $12 billion dollars. Each man, woman and child in this province owes $22,000.00 , that amount is 6 times per person that of one or two of the other provinces.

But make no wonder, when we aren't getting the input of Federal monies from Ottawa for Federal jobs, military bases, and all the other goodies Ottawa doles out to the other provinces, plus this province does not get to be the beneficiary of any of its resources. 1. Hydro-electric - Quebec benefits 2. Oil -
Oil companies and Ottawa benefit.
3. Fish - The World benefits.
4. Minerals from Voisey's Bay- Sudbury, Ontario and
Thompson, Manitoba benefit. Minerals from Labrador City/Wabush - again Quebec benefits. When you look at this picture who is getting most of the benefits out of Labrador's resources and Newfoundland's resources?

You asked if I believe everything Danny Williams says. The truth is I don't believe anything anyone says anymore. How can I? How can you?

Yes, indeed, Labrador is an integral part of the province.

And I don't have a clue why Danny is not prepared to spend the $50 million without the matching funds. It is my opinion that he should. If Ottawa does not want to pony up what it promised and reneges, then that will be Ottawa's problem. Danny should go ahead and do what he promised.

I don't know why the whole province is not treated equally, if it isn't, it should be. I don't know how much money goes into Labrador for infrastructure, nor do I know what how much money goes into the Newfoundland portion. But I do agree it should be equal. And I can't wait until we have a link with Labrador and a paved highway from Labrador South to Labrador North. It will be very exciting.

WJM said...

My God WJM the $2 billion dollars we received for 10 years of pumping oil

Is that what "we" received it for, Sue? (Myles, SERIOUSLY -- ban anonymous posters. Thanks.)

does not make us a cash rich province. Do you think it does?

Along with the annual oil revenues it has improved the overall provincial fiscal picture substantially.

In Labrador's case, however... we have pretty well always been in the black in terms of how much provincial revenue we generate, vs. how much provincial revenue is spent.

Our provincial revenue went to build overpasses to nowhere and the Outer Ring Road.

WJM do you realize Newfoundland and Labrador is in debt to the tune of $12 billion dollars.

How is that an excuse not to put provincial money, no strings attached, into the Labrador part of the province?

But make no wonder, when we aren't getting the input of Federal monies from Ottawa for Federal jobs,

NL has a higher per-capita share of the federal civil service than the national average, and higher than most other provinces. What are you bicthing about?

military bases, and all the other goodies Ottawa doles out to the other provinces,

Ottawa doesn't "dole them out" to provinces, or at least not when porkbarrelling conservatives aren't in power. The purpose of defence spending isn't to give provinces money.

plus this province does not get to be the beneficiary of any of its resources. 1. Hydro-electric - Quebec benefits

Because "we" exercised our jurisdiction over the resource, and sold it to them.

2. Oil - Oil companies and Ottawa benefit.

And? If oil companies didn't benefit, there'd be no production. Ottawa only benefits through the same indirect way that Ottawa benefits from ANY economic activity in ANY province. Your corner store down the road benefits "Ottawa" too. Welcome to federalism.

3. Fish - The World benefits.

The vast majority of the fish resources around NL are caught by fishermen from NL.

4. Minerals from Voisey's Bay- Sudbury, Ontario and
Thompson, Manitoba benefit.


And? Again, "we" exercised our sovereign right to develop those minerals; the largest benefit of which goes to Newfoundland. And I say "Newfoundland" pointedly; millions of dollars in tax revenue this year, and yet Danny Williams can't put a janitor on the Northern Ranger or put unconditional highways or cultural money into Labrador. Pathetic. That's colonialism, Sue.

And when the ore DOES run out at Voisey's Bay... the Avalon Peninsula will still have a smelter.

Minerals from Labrador City/Wabush - again Quebec benefits.

It would be geographically impossible for Quebec NOT to. The laws governing those developments go back to -- tada! -- pre-Confederation. Can't play Blame Canada there, Sue.

When you look at this picture who is getting most of the benefits out of Labrador's resources and Newfoundland's resources?

Newfoundland and Newfoundland, respectively.

The truth is I don't believe anything anyone says anymore. How can I? How can you?

I don't. I'm a skeptic.

Yes, indeed, Labrador is an integral part of the province.

Then why is Labrador's highway funding contingent on an external circumstance, when Newfoundland highway funding is not? Why the double standard? Why aren't Newfoundlanders, generous Newfoundlanders, kind-hearted Newfoundlanders, outraged at this double-standard and discrimination perpetrated by the likes of that filthy walking ball of hypocrisy and lies, Danny Williams?

And I don't have a clue why Danny is not prepared to spend the $50 million without the matching funds.

I do: He's like all Newfoundland politicians; only anxious to take from Labrador, and pawn off responsibility to Ottawa to put back in.

Is it any wonder many people in Labrador think of being a territory? It would be an improvement, fiscally, over the arrangement that Danny "Integral Part of the Province" Williams and his predecessors have come up with.

It is my opinion that he should.

Speak out publicly.

If Ottawa does not want to pony up what it promised and reneges, then that will be Ottawa's problem. Danny should go ahead and do what he promised.

That's just it: DANNY'S PROMISE WAS CONDITIONAL.

It shouldn't be.

Highways funding in Newfoundland isn't conditional.

Why is it in Labrador?

Why aren't generous, kind-hearted Newfoundlanders taking their miserly, stingy, hypocrite of a Premier to task?

Where is the famous Newfoundland generosity when it comes to Labrador?

Anonymous said...

WJM - How can you make me believe that WJM is not Anonymous. I do not know what the letters WJM stand for. It is simply Anonymous to me.

WJM honestly my name is not Sue, but until you decide to give me your name and you do not post anonymously under the initials WJM, I will post under the identity Anonymous.

Would you prefer that I post under the initials AKA?

WJM said...

Would you prefer that I post under the initials AKA?

If those are your real initials, yes.

But unless you register, anyone could do the same... or you could post under multiple aliases. Myles? Myles? Myyyyleeeeesssss?

WJM said...

How can you make me believe that WJM is not Anonymous.

Because it's a registered user handle. No one else can use it.

Anonymous said...

WJM you say......Because it's a registered user handle. No one else can use it.

That statement doesn't mean anything to me. I still can't decipher what the initials WJM stand for, and I still cannot put a name to the person who is posting to Myles' Blog with so many questions. But I really don't care as much as you do. So why does it matter to you, the name of the posters, if you do not want to give your full name? Anyway, why would you not register your full name under the user handle in the first place? It is quite obvious to me you wish to remain anonymous, In other words you do not want us, the blogging public, to know who you are WJM.

I rest my case here. Thank You.

Starrigan said...

Wow WJM actually wants someone blocked because they are anonymous. I've actually had it with this blog, tired of the the crap that you put up with from WJM. He actually, routinely, sabotages every posting and yet you allow him and his stupid questions, which we know are only intended to end and discussion. Now here he is asking that someone be banned??? That's a little too much, have fun with you blog, there are some interesting things that have been posted but I'm really looking to find a blog that's actually serious about how we can build a better future for the province. Pandering to a$$holes like WJM is totally nonproductive. See ya, I'm done.

Anonymous said...

Starrigan - thanks for your comments

Sabotaging the postings is what WJM is paid to do, that is his complete aim. Once he has stopped discussions on all the blogs through a dizzying amount of questioning, can't we all see then, that is his sole purpose for perusing the blogs in the first place. He always almost has the last say on any blog that he posts to. His job is to print and ask as many questions into his posting as he can. Any discussion to the posting that would occur, STOPS IMMEDIATELY. Mission accomplished for him and Ottawa. Who wants their time tied up in posting to blogs answering question, after question for the likes of WJM, especially when we know the reason for him doing so? Most posters, like myself, want to get the truth out there, as to what happened for Newfoundland and Labrador to be in the state it is in economically, especially when it was so well endowed with so many natural resources, while being part of a country called Canada, a country that is supposed to be the best country in the world. WJM sabotages every discussion.

You see Ottawa does not want the real truth to get out there. When we talk about our over-endowment of natural resources here in this province, how those resources were spent for the benefit of other provinces in Canada and for Ottawa; and how it equates into a province with a 'have-not' status.... then, of course, Ottawa does not want that information out there. That will make the general public too well informed, and they will be able to form an opinion for themselves, as to what happened for Newfoundland and Labrador to be in the mess that it is currently going through. Ottawa engages every source it has to stop this information from getting out there. It uses people like WJM and it uses its National Newspapers and Radio station to its advantages. No source is wasted when the tool of sabotage is needed. Smart Ottawa, eh?

WJM said...

It is quite obvious to me you wish to remain anonymous, In other words you do not want us, the blogging public, to know who you are WJM.

If that were the case, I'd be smarter than to use my real initials.

WJM said...

Wow WJM actually wants someone blocked because they are anonymous.

I haven't asked for anyone to be "blocked". I've suggested that people who post here should have to be registered users rather than anonymous chickens.

He actually, routinely, sabotages every posting

Define "sabotage". Thank you.

and yet you allow him and his stupid questions, which we know are only intended to end and discussion.

No, they are intended to stimulate it.

If they have the effect of ending it, it's because they are too hard for the intended target (if there is one) or the general audience to answer.

Now here he is asking that someone be banned???

I haven't asked for anyone to be banned. Anonymous and the Anonymice should be free to post... just under a distinctive, unique-to-her handle.

Pandering to a$$holes like WJM is totally nonproductive. See ya, I'm done.

As the Moonman would say, "Booyyyyyy!"

WJM said...

Sabotaging the postings is what WJM is paid to do, that is his complete aim.

Wrong on all counts.

Once he has stopped discussions on all the blogs through a dizzying amount of questioning,

Are questions banned in Danny Williams' Newfoundland now?

Sorry, let me rephrase that as a statement: Questions must be banned in Danny Williams' Newfoundland now!

Anyone looking for fun reading, if depressing, try Herbert Pottle's "Dawn Without Light".

He always almost has the last say on any blog that he posts to.

Whose fault is that?

Sorry, sorry: that isn't my fault; anyone else can easily post a follow-up.

especially when we know the reason for him doing so?

My reason for doing so is to debunk Newfoundland nationalist mythology, and other BS.

especially when it was so well endowed with so many natural resources,

It still is.

You see Ottawa does not want the real truth to get out there.

Feel free: type the truth into a long, extended comment. Please, slay us with the truth. Bowl us over with truth. Smear us with truth and throw us to the fire ants.

When we talk about our over-endowment of natural resources here in this province, how those resources were spent for the benefit of other provinces in Canada and for Ottawa;

Which resources were those? (Can't phrase that as a statement; sorry.)

and how it equates into a province with a 'have-not' status....

What does that phrase even mean? (Same disclaimer.)

It uses people like WJM and it uses its National Newspapers

"Ottawa" has a national newspaper? Which paper is that?

and Radio station to its advantages.

Which radio station is that?

It is very easy for you to not let me have "the last word", you know. Answer a question! Come on, it's easy!

Anonymous said...

WJM if I answer another one of your questions, you will come back with more questions, it is a never ending venture of questions on your part, you will never answer with a statement. So I will rest my case here forever on this particular blog.

You and Ottawa will never let us tell our story. Your job and Ottawa's job is to stop all discussions on blogs. A sick country indeed.

Just watch to see who has the last word.

WJM said...

So I will rest my case here forever on this particular blog.

Bye!

You and Ottawa will never let us tell our story.

Go ahead. Tell it. Go right ahead. NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU.

But Newfoundland nationalists never let fact get in the way of a good conspiracy.

mt.pearligan said...

Anyway, in response to Starrigan's comment - I would love to see a blog where people are actually trying to do something about the province's dire economic reality (in terms of jobs and dying communities) and dying culture. Unfortunately, I think the only sort of blog that would represent something of the sort would be a blog listing public meetings, discussion groups and other community events and gatherings intended to get the political ball rolling. Unfortunately, the Newfoundland tradition of talking and never realizing political change in the form of a grassroots, from-the-ground-up-movement continues. For my part, I intend to get involved by joining NL-First and talking to and recruiting friends and family members. For the moment, this is the only form of political initiative that seems to have been taken (to my knowledge at least). It's a young party that seems open to change, input from anyone interested and doing whatever it takes to get NL on the right path.

WJM doesn't contribute anything to the debate for various reasons. As intelligent and educated as he is and as open-minded as he believes himself to be he doesn't think it's possible for Newfoundland nationalists to be the same. Other nationalists in other parts of the world - perhaps even Quebec or Labrador nationalists - might get WJM's respect but it seems that NOT A SINGLE Newfoundland nationalist could ever be considered to be intelligent, fair or justified in his/her opinions. I think it's unfortunate that someone so articulate and capable is unwilling to engage in respectful debate with others about reviewing NL's place within Confederation. To be perfectly honest WJM is only one of the first voices of dissent within the province that I have encountered. It says quite a bit about the actual make-up of NL that some Newfoundlanders can go for years without ever appreciating the fact that Labrador has a different history, perspective and reality than Newfoundland - only recently have I clued into the fact that Labradorians actually feel quite a bit of resentment towards the island (Newfoundland WJM, Newfoundland...). WJM is right - Labrador has been abused by Newfoundland in much the same way that Newfoundlanders complain the province has been by Canada. Does that mean we drop the debate and forget about whatever improvements, changes and ideals we have in mind? Should we not trust our instinct (and knowledge) that Confederation has a tendency to benefit some provinces in Canada more than others; should we not feel resentment when we feel cheated? It'd be great if WJM would join in a debate and without spittle or poison explain to us Newfoundland nationalists (a term that needs serious revision and debate in itself) why, where and how we are wrong and maybe even how we might repair damage done and build accord and consensus with our Labrador brothers (neighbours, cousins, cell-mates...WJM?), for the benefit of the the WHOLE OF newfoundland AND LABRADOR. In the meantime Starrigan, let me know if you find any ACTION-coordinating, action-promoting blogsite.

Anonymous said...

Patriot - I enjoy your blog tremendously. Please keep on posting your wonderful articles.

Patriot said...

I can't believe you folks are letting WJM get to you. By the way the initials stand for Wallace J. Mclean.

I had hoped most of you were bigger than that. Wally thrives on pissing people off and as you say, bringing a disucssion to a stand still.

Like I said before, the best approach is to simply ignore him or anyone else who is not truly contributing. Nothing gets Wally's goat more than being ignored. I've seen it in the past and he evenutally just gives up posting to the thread, at least for a while.

Wally likes to be the center of attention and if you are mature enough not to give that to him he withers away.

Just don't take the bait because that's all he's doing is baiting you all.

As for me, that will be my only comment on Wally for a while becuase like most of you, I believe there are more important things to discuss than a Labrador(EAN) who has moved to Ottawa and become a tool of the federal government.

Cheers,
Myles

MrChills said...

This is the Blog that I probably read the most but post the least on; not because there is not anything worth saying, but because it gets lost in the shit that is the comments section, it’s like a goddamn soap opera here most times... If it is not some fanatic animal’s rights person for half the year, it is the guy that everyone loves to hate, WJM. As Myles has repeated time and time again ignore the guy. He is an internet troll and thrives on causing chaos, most – if not all public forums would have banned him long ago. But, as you know us Newfie’s are accepting and known for taking more shit than most people.

After reading a couple posts, you should gather that (a) WJM has a lot of free time on his hands (most likely a job with the federal government), (b) He will argue with his own shadow, and (c) His self confidence is about as high as a fat 12 year old girl with braces and major acne.

So, let him post his nonsense, ignore the guy and hopefully he will grow tired of playing with his self; however, from the amount of posting and questioning he does, one can assume he is used to playing with himself ;)

WJM said...

WJM doesn't contribute anything to the debate for various reasons. As intelligent and educated as he is and as open-minded as he believes himself to be he doesn't think it's possible for Newfoundland nationalists to be the same.

Au contraire; it's very possible; it just doesn't happen that often.

To be perfectly honest WJM is only one of the first voices of dissent within the province that I have encountered.

That's scary. Either you haven't travelled much, or everyone's engaged in a dangerous bit of GroupThink.

WJM is right - Labrador has been abused by Newfoundland in much the same way that Newfoundlanders complain the province has been by Canada.

If that's what you get from some of my statements, I apologize: I should make it clear -- Newfoundland's behaviour is actually far worse.

It'd be great if WJM would join in a debate and without spittle or poison explain to us Newfoundland nationalists (a term that needs serious revision and debate in itself) why, where and how we are wrong

I do that all the time.

WJM said...

Wally thrives on pissing people off and as you say, bringing a disucssion to a stand still.

You are projecting. I thrive on neither.

WJM said...

If it is not some fanatic animal’s rights person for half the year, it is the guy that everyone loves to hate, WJM.

Wow, hate, eh?

from the amount of posting and questioning he does, one can assume he is used to playing with himself ;)

What should I assume from the fact that my questions rarely get even an attempt at a response?

Funny about that.

I thought questions were a healthy part of a democratic discourse, but then again, under Chairman Dan, who needs democracy?

Gordon said...

This is for everyone. For some reason, it is easy for people to get pissed off via a blog or e-mail. I don't know why, perhaps there's a psychology dissertation waitng to be written (if one hasn't been written yet). Anyway, the best thing to do when you read something that makes you angry and want to respond to it, is to wait first, even if it means having a good night's sleep. Never write an e-mail when you are angry.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Wallace J Mclean Todd Russell's constituency office worker for 7 years said.

"3. Fish - The World benefits.

The vast majority of the fish resources around NL are caught by fishermen from NL."

Obviously you haven't read the NAFO reports on Quotas.
http://www.nafo.int/about/media/press/quota.pdf

NL and Canada by unfortunate extension actually has the lowest Quota the Eu has the highest in most catches.