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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Free Speech, Spin Doctors and Black Lists

I’m not one to hold back when it comes to speaking out on something I don’t agree with. That said, today I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to the editorial staff of the Independent, Newfoundland and Labrador’s only truly local newspaper. A paper that by and large is a stand up publication when it comes to provincial issues. I’ve been a reader of the Indy since its inception a few years ago and have even contributed to its content from time to time, but I had to do a double take upon reading a few of the paper’s articles over the past month or so.

It all started on when the paper published a guest column from a gentleman by the name of Harry Tucker, not a letter to the editor mind you, but a full fledged column. In his column Mr. Tucker spoke of coming back to Newfoundland in an attempt to leverage his New York experience for the benefit of the people here. Helping to grow our economy and make a difference is indeed a laudable endeavor to say the least. Unfortunately Harry felt that he ran into what he saw as a defeatist attitude and according to him that wouldn’t let him do what he wanted to do, so he planned to return to his American home with no intention of letting his children or grandchildren grow up in such a defeatist environment.

Following on the heals of Harry Tucker’s controversial article, the Independent published not one, but two separate articles, in which they quoted an economist who spoke of his belief that the province has no option other than to sell all the power from the Lower Churchill via the Quebec corridor. According to this so called expert the Quebec route is the only viable one. My immediate reaction was to question this person’s motives, a valid reaction when, upon reading further, I discovered that he hails from, of all places, Quebec. Who knows, maybe he’s right, but it sure does make me wonder where his loyalties lie.

According to this Quebec economist, the underwater route to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick would require the use of untested technology and is simply not feasible. Never mind that many countries around the world have used similar technology spanning much larger distances, with less power and have enjoyed great success.

He went on to say that the Lower Churchill project, as well as those at planned for development by Hydro Quebec just outside the Labrador border, will not be viable unless the projects share the cost of transmission. Could it be that this statement alone reveals the answer to at least one economist’s take on the world?

The Lower Churchill will produce 2800 megawatts of power and can easily stand on its own. Personally I’d rather see the power from the project used to attract industry inside the province, but never the less I believe it can be developed and transmitted in a cost effective manner no matter what the route. I can easily believe however that the Hydro Quebec projects, which will generate far less power, are not as economically viable. This of course makes one wonder if perhaps the motivation of the economist quoted might simply be an attempt to convince the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to pick up a good chunk of the transmission costs for that project. If that’s the case it’s a cute little ploy and one I can understand someone dreaming it up. My question is, why in the hell would the Independent promote two separate articles on the subject?

As I noted above I’ll try, as long as possible at least, to give the Independent the benefit of the doubt. I believe the paper’s editor, Ryan Cleary, and I have developed a sort of mutual respect for each other over the past year or so and I hope he’ll take this article in the spirit it’s intended. Recently the paper published some less than flattering articles about Premier Danny Williams and the Premier hasn’t spoken to anyone from the publication since. Hopefully Ryan is a little more reasonable and won’t shut the door on me from here on in but whatever the outcome, damn the torpedoes, free speech is free speech right?

A big part of the reason I’m willing to hold out hope for the paper is because of, believe it or not, Harry Tucker himself, the gentleman who wrote that the less than flattering article about the “negative” people here. Since writing the article Harry seems to have softened his stance just a little bit and has even decided joined the Newfoundland and Labrador Defense League (NLDL.org), a very pro-active and pro-NL group. In defense of his article Mr. Tucker recently commented to one NLDL member that his comments were meant to, “drop a verbal bomb”, that would get people riled up. It worked. My only hope is that in giving so much ink to this Quebec economist Ryan and the good folks at the Indy were trying to do something similar. I can always hope right?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do newfoundland girls all look so skanky and pluck their eyebrows all the same way?

newfoundland is the peice of crap hanging out of canada's butt.

Anonymous said...

First of all, in response to the previous respondent....why not try to find a discussion forum that is up to your maturity level, for example a site where teenie boppers discuss important issues such as Paris hiltons hygeine habits or lack thereof.

Now to respond to the topic at hand. I read the articles by Mr. Tucker and I sense that the man was frustrated with the attitudes he found in the province. I honestly found myself cringe while reading his initial article, possibly because there may be a kernel of truth to what he says.

One thing that has always astounded me, is the attitude of some Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans, that anyone from here who is successful must be a crook or not worthy of consideration, that only CFA's are to be shown any semblence of adoration or respect.

Another thing which irritates me is the pesemism of one Gerry Reid aka leader of the opposition. That knob (to quote Snook) is an example of the kind of thinking that has kept this place in the doldrums.

Then we have a guy by the name of Maurice or is it Morris (can't recall his surname), a fairly regular caller to open line programs, who is upset that Cookes aquaculture was given funding to set up shop in Beloram. He seems to think that the 15 million (I believe this is the figure) should instead have gone to support local interests in fisheries ventures. Unfortunately, there aren't any forward looking local interests in the province to invest in and Cookes is a proven entity that I am sure will help grow the local acquaculture industry with their proven expertise. Better that than throw even more money at greedy local fish processors who are only interested in their pesonal finacial health and are simply an offshoot of the fish merchants of olde.

I would simply like to urge people such as Harry Tucker to tuff it out, tune out the naysayers and half empty glasser's, and to find likeminded Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans to help grow this province that we cherish.

Regards
Artfull Dodger

Anonymous said...

Good Grief Patriot what a Dud you snagged with the first poster. For sure you will not snag another brain as empty as that one. I am wondering what turnip truck it fell from. I want to avoid it.

Anonymous said...

re" Cooke aquaculture getting government money, as opposed to fishers getting it...

what the naysayers seem to forget is that the government contribution is a mere fraction of the private investment Cooke is bringing with them. They are putting $200 M on the table and the combined provincial and federal contributions are $15 M, or somethnig like that. IMO, governments money is only enough to keep them at the table...

Its time that some of our people stop asking for the govenrment handout and show more initiative and do things that make government say 'hey ' we want a piece of that!!

Having said that.., there are alot of forward thniking people and enterprises now in NL, and on a closer review our economy seems to be on the brink of a serious upturn, just the 'half empty' peoplpe , the vocal minority, seem to get all the attention.

IMO.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your statement that a vocal minority tend to stir up trouble where none exists. Just listen to some of the characters how frequent the local call in shows.

We have folks condemning Williams on the fiber optic deal, who I might ad are spurred on by the likes of Gerry (long face) Reid and his gang, and surprise surprise aliant employees and ex-employees. Of course Williams knows the principals in this deal, how can he not for gods sake. To try and spin this deal in the manner that Reid and the opposition are simply smacks of partisan politcs by a bunch who stabbed their newly minted leader between the shoulder blades within a year.

Regards
Artfull Dodger

Anonymous said...

Patriot: Yes, indeed, your very first poster to this blog has to be the 'dregs of society". One has to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find somebody so low as to write such nonsense as what was written.

Anonymous said...

To "the Independant's" credit, it has provided a forum for those on all sides of the respective arguments to put their thoughts to print for all to read.

If The premier doesn't wish to respond to any of the stories in the paper, then I guess that is his choice. If there is one flaw that Danny Williams has, it is his temper, and he should not have snubbed the paper when he found that some articles where critical of him, other than that I am glad that we have him as our premier. In my so humble opinion, the day that we have a premier representing us, who does not have a passion for this place is the day we all need to worry.

Regards
Artfull Dodger

WJM said...

If there is one flaw that Danny Williams has, it is his temper, and he should not have snubbed the paper when he found that some articles where critical of him, other than that I am glad that we have him as our premier.

Danny seems to be driven entirely by the need to have his ego stroked. It has nothing to do with "passion for this place" (ugh).

Just listen to the open line shows, day in, day out, where callers are lined up with the talking points that provincial government employees send out to make sure that the proper, pro-Danny tone is struck, so that Little Big Man's ego isn't offended. Danny's happy, no tantrums, everyone has a good day.

It's pathetic. And scary.

Anonymous said...

Danny the red-faced Premier

You know Robert and Frederick and Philip and Joey,
Clyde, the two Brians and Frankie and Tommy.
But do you recall, the most pissed-off leader of all?

Danny the red-faced Premier
couldn't take the questioning.
Each time the Liberals asked one,
his thin skin could feel the sting.

All of the Opposition
thought that they were making gains
When they asked 'bout Joan Cleary
And her Bull Arm contract games.

Then one Question Period
Danny turned to say:
"Sullivan , I've had enough!
Get Ed here and stop this stuff."

Then all the House was quiet
and Danny let out a sigh:
"Let's get on all the talk shows
and try to keep the polling high."

(From Robert Bond papers)

Anonymous said...

Yes of course, the government has its people call in to open line programs to set the tone of things. I'm sure that the previous governments under Wells, Tobin and Grimes would never have done that.

So Wally (aka liberal hack), your point is?

As for the inimitable "007" mister Bond papers (aka yet another liberal hack), that is a very clever little diddy. Nice to see your education was not a waste! Perhaps we Ms Butt can make room for you on Revue 2007.

WJM said...

I'm sure that the previous governments under Wells, Tobin and Grimes would never have done that.

Wells? Highly doubt it. He didn't care what anyone thought.

Tobin and Grimes got the manipulation game started, but not to anything remotely resembling the degree to which Danny's Minions are obsessed with massaging the Great Man's.... ego. They have taken it to incredible proportions, to the point where it is interfering with the proper functioning of the provincial government.

(Hi, Billy.)

WJM said...

Myles, really: disallow anonymous posting.

Anonymous said...

erfering with proper functioning of government you say huh .... like when the Tobin regime prevented the AG from doing its job!

and who the f**k is Billy numbnuts?

WJM said...

Yip, something like that. Only Danny could, all by himself, fix this problem. But he doesn't view it as a problem.

And Billy knows who Billy is.

(Hi, Billy!)

Seriously Myles: disable anonymice.

One of the anonymice said...

WJM you are one of the anonymice on Myles' blog, since you sign on with WJM. Your own personal blog is named WJM Labradore, at least the last time I looked that was how your blog was identified, and you did not include one other identifying factor. Most of the other bloggers include their first name and surname as an identifying factor. So what is up with yours WJM? By the way, do the initials WJM stand for Wallace J. Maclean?

Anonymous said...

Wally seems to think my name is "Billy". So Wally, who do you think I am, Billy Rowe, Billy Clinton, Billy Goat....WELL? Ya seem to be suffering from a case of the "Billy's" me son.

Seems our resident liberal prognostigator, apologist or whatever, is suffering from Billyoitis.

Why don'tcha just take a hike Wally, your only contribution here is to stir up feces, always trying to drive a wedge between the island and Labrador. Hop the border and set up shop in Kweebec and do us all a favour.

Anonymous said...

I've always said that if you base a group around hatred and/or rejection of other people you cannot maintain momentum. Destruction must be fed by creation. If there is no internal creativity, no positive slant, then the hatred looses its momentum and peters out.

WJM said...

WJM you are one of the anonymice on Myles' blog, since you sign on with WJM.

In which case I am not an anonymous.

Your own personal blog is named WJM Labradore, at least the last time I looked that was how your blog was identified, and you did not include one other identifying factor.

Besides my own initials?

What does "anonymous" stand for?

WJM said...

Wally seems to think my name is "Billy". So Wally, who do you think I am, Billy Rowe, Billy Clinton, Billy Goat....WELL? Ya seem to be suffering from a case of the "Billy's" me son.

I never said you are Billy, and I have no way of knowing. (Seriously, Myles: ban anonymous posting.)

"Hi, Billy" is addressed to Billy and the others who are reading this.

Billy know who he is.

Hi, Billy!

Why don'tcha just take a hike Wally, your only contribution here is to stir up feces, always trying to drive a wedge between the island and Labrador.

What island?

Hop the border and set up shop in Kweebec and do us all a favour.

What or where is "Kweebec"?

WJM said...

Oh yeah: Merry Christmas D.W.! Merry Christmas Agnes! Merry Christmas Billy!