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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Glass Is Indeed Half Full

I sometimes get feedback telling me that I’m always too negative. While Newfoundland and Labrador may have gotten a raw deal, on more than one occasion, and even though the place should be far ahead of where it is today, there are some positives people tell me. “Why don’t you publicize those”.

I understand where those folks are coming from and believe me when I say that I do indeed recognize the positives, when they happen, but unfortunately most of those positives (not all, but most) are the direct result of actions taken inside the province, not outside of it (read Ottawa).

As a proud nationalist, separatist or what ever you want to call me, Ottawa’s relationship with my home nation is my focus. That aside, and in an effort to appease those who believe I never see the positive side of things, here are a few highlights that I wouldn’t dare miss. Once again, ALMOST all home grown.

Regardless of whether or not you support the current government of Danny Williams, I believe most people have to admit that, whether by accident or design, by the time the guy leaves office things will never again be the same in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Arguably the biggest scandal in Newfoundland and Labrador politics (as far as is known to date) spilled into Danny’s term in office and was uncovered on his watch, though its roots were well entrenched long before Williams' time.

Today the MHA spending scandal is being thoroughly investigated, probed and prosecuted. New rules are in place, and while there are no guarantees, you can bet it won’t be as easy in future for elected officials to bilk the public treasury. Now that’s a positive.

The sickening and disgusting mess of the province’s health care system came to light with the revelation that hundreds of breast cancer tests were inaccurate. Many suffered needlessly and some have died, likely as a result. Once again the problem was an old one that presented itself only recently and once again a full public inquiry is being conducted to get to the bottom of it. Another positive.

The provincial prison system is getting a sound review and the judicial system is being assessed to improve its efficiency. In addition, talks are underway to fund a federal prison in the province. All positive actions.

When all is said and done, a fair bit of long overdue house cleaning is going on. The status quo will never be the same and that is indeed a positive.

There are those who will no doubt think I’m just jumping on the “Danny Band Wagon” but nothing could be further from the truth.

Do I like the guy for what he’s done?

Without a doubt.

Do I think he has made some serious mistakes and done less than he should have in key areas, you bet, but after decades of the mindless status quo this place has endured I have to admit that the last few years have been a breath of fresh air.

Newfoundland and Labrador's finances have never been better and granted a lot of the this good fortune came by way of actions taken before the current Premier even considered public life, big ticket items like Hibernia and the original Atlantic Accord for example, but the fact that the province had the ear of a Prime Minister in both instances, on the federal level, played no small part in those plums.

Besides, it’s what came after those historic events that has finally turned this place around.

The 2 billion off the back of the Accord, cutting personal income taxes to the lowest level in Atlantic Canada, doing away with the 15% tax on all forms of insurance (what some consider an illegal tax brought in by a former government) are all actions that stem directly from the current financial condition of the province and having a government in power that is willing to listen to the people when the timing is right.

It’s these types of actions that have helped and will continue to help Newfoundland and Labrador turn the corner. I relish the day a year or so from now when Newfoundland and Labrador can finally call itself a “Have” province. I also take heart in the recent public spectacle of our government officials, of all stripes, being raked over the coals because it can only be good for our future.

So, for those of you who believe I never see the positive side of Newfoundland and Labrador’s existence I hope this has set you straight. I feel good about a lot of aspects of our existence, not the least of which is the fact that while the current federal government may have written Newfoundland and Labrador off, the chickens in Stephen Harper’s hen house appear to be finally coming home to roost.

I only hope Newfoundland and Labrador gets that federal prison built very soon. I suspect there are a few folks in Ottawa who’ll need a place to crash quite soon.

Now that’s something that really puts me in a positive mood. I bet you can almost see the smile on my face.

19 comments:

Calvin said...

Here,Here. Very well said Myles.

What Newfoundland and Labrador has accomplished ,they have done themselves with little help from Ottawa.

Like you ,I feel that Prime Minister Williams has done a great deal for our nation but he has indeed dropped the ball a scatter time.He is not without fault.

He has indeed done what he can for his people and his province,with little or no help from the czar of canuckistan ,or as I like to call him ,"Steve".

Just a solid point to show how little Ottawa is truely " NOT NEEDED "

Long live the Republic.

WJM said...

What Newfoundland and Labrador has accomplished ,they have done themselves with little help from Ottawa.

Yeah, I mean, where would Labrador be without a highway that Ottawa has paid 90% of the costs to build to date. Down with the causeway!

Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned, Ottawa aided and abetted Labrador in being the loser of its Upper Churchill Hydro Energy Project, which is tied up in a 72 year contract, with no escalator clause, with Quebec Hydro being the beneficiary.

I will tell you my reasons why I have that belief.

Ottawa would not assist the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in trying to reason with Quebec to allow the province of Newfoundland and Labrador a power corridor across its territory to conduct the power for sale to market, despite the fact that every other province had that type of agreement, at the time, with it's neighbouring provinces to conduct it's energy to market. Why?

Despite the fact Ottawa has a bevy of adept Contract Lawyers and, no doubt, had the same advantage at the time the Upper Churchill Hydroelectric Contract was being drawn up, why did Ottawa not speak up and warn the province of Newfoundland and Labrador that it was hanging itself with its own rope by signing its coveted hydro energy away in a 72 year contract to Quebec Hydro, with no escalator clause? Yes, again Why?

Quebec apparently knew of the financial problems that were being experienced at the time by CFL CO. Quebec apparently had a Director sitting on CFL Co’s Board, some say that was a conflict of interest, and as far as I am concerned, if that were the case, that indeed was an unfair advantage.

There are couple of other advantages which Quebec enjoys because of this contract as well.

Quebec apparently does some fancy accounting with the revenues it receives from the Upper Churchill Hydro and shields the revenue received from being included in its Equalization Formula with Ottawa. If that is so, it means millions more to Quebec's coffers.

Apparently another plus from that project for Quebec's advantage are the coveted Kyoto points which are generated by the Upper Churchill Project and which are accumulated by Quebec. That is another large advantage to Quebec from that shockingly unfair Newfoundland and Labrador contract.

As you can see, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is losing in a number of ways on that coveted project, and Quebec is bringing billions in annually.

Quebec is reaping the benefits from Labradors resources and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is left holding the bag, with both Labrador's and Newfoundland's infrastructure suffering badly, because of the way both of their resources were doled out.

Why wasn't Ottawa looking after the new kid on the block, Newfoundland and Labrador?

Yes, why did the Contracts Lawyers not speak up?

I suspect, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's legal team was not well enough equipped to face the lawyers who were looking after Quebec Hydro's and the Holding company's interest at the time?

As a result the province of Newfoundland and Labrador got the raw end of the stick and lost big time.

Calvin said...

"Yeah, I mean, where would Labrador be without a highway that Ottawa has paid 90% of the costs to build to date" exactly.I think were big enough boys and girls now to look after our own money ,and resources.Sorry ,WJM,I'm not sold that easy.

Anonymous said...

youre not sold THAT EASY calvin? to paraphrase churchill, now that youve established you *can* be sold, whats the price?

Calvin said...

April 26, 2008 1:25 PM

Allow me to rephrase this statemenet.Sorry WJM I do not agree with your ideilogy or your system of thought .

My system of thought runs in greater parallel here

April 25, 2008 9:49 PM

My apologies for not clearly phrasing my replye on your blog Patriot.Clearly when you deal with such said topics one should learn to be direct and clear on thier stance towards it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUBAnpONuDI

DiS^placed said...

Newfoundland And Labrador We Still love You !!!

WJM said...

exactly.I think were big enough boys and girls now to look after our own money ,and resources.Sorry ,WJM,I'm not sold that easy.

Which of our own moneys and own resources don't we already "look after"?

And if so - why can't the province of which Labrador is supposedly a part, and to which Labrador contributes so much public revenue, build the TLH without constantly demanding that the federal government, WHICH HAS ALREADY PAID 90% OF THE COSTS TO DATE, pay its "fair share"?

Where's the provincial "fair share" for Labrador?

Why does everything that the "autonomous" province wants to do in Labrador, revolve around getting the federal money to autonomously do it with?

Anonymous said...

It is because Quebec receives most of the revenue from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resources.

When the province of Newfoundland and Labrador allows it raw natural resources to be shipped off for another province, like Quebec to grow economies and create jobs, well then the economies and jobs are not created in Newfoundland and Labrador, they are created wherever the resources end up and, of course, where Ottawa wishes to see them end up.

And yes, Newfoundland and Labrador's Provincial politicans along with its Federal politicians are to blame for allowing that injustice to have happened.

The ordinary person from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador were not apprised in the past to what was happening. But we are now more aware, and we should keep our eyes and ears firmly fixed on what our politicans are up to. To let raw resources leave this province from this moment on will mean that we will also have to bear the burden of blame.

Of course those politicians were toeing the party line for Ottawa and they did just what the Ottawa Government and its cohort the National Media were advising them to do.

Please do not forget the powerful tool, the Patronage Plum System, which exists in Canada is solely there to keep those politicians in line. If they do what Ottawa wants them to do, they are looked after for life with those sweet, juicy plums.

If Newfoundland and Labrador's politicians wishes to do what is right for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and its people, they will have to ignore the Patronage System and the 'me syndrome' that exists within them.

D.B. Cooper said...

Myles, I never doubted how much you love Danny and that you see how full the glass really is.

Even if things were still mindless status quo, like you said, they'd still be perfect because of him.

You know.

It's how you feel.

Admit it.

having a nationalist running the place getting ready to separate is the way we always wanted it. Now we got it so everything is fine.

Patriot said...

Hi DB, No, I don't think everything is fine simply because "Danny" is in office. I've called him out over issues just as I have done to others who have not done the right thing under a given circumstance.

Am I happy a nationalist is in office. I don't know that there is one in office but if ithat's the case then absolutely I am.

I wish the entire government of Newfoundland and Labrador was nationalist. In fact I wish it was the FEDERAL government of NL and I could trade in my Canadian passport for a freshly minted NL one.

DiS^placed said...

WJM , my question to you as a staunch supporter and employee of the federal governement is this .

If the Federal Governement of canada is the said Champion of the higher moral ground and the defender of canadain unity ,why does it allow the nationalist view in Quebec to contrinue to rape and pilage the people of Labrador in a deal that both sides see as totally ludacris.

Why would the defender of Canadain unity employee people to discredit and contradict such nationalist views in any province .Be it Quebec ,Alberta or even Newfoundland and Labrador .

Why are the provinces that hold a greater say at the federal level of Governement given greater control of thier natural resources.

Why has the federal governement of canada not compensated the people and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador fully for the collapse of an industry that revolved around thier entire culture and way of life.More importantly why hasn't the federal government given assistance to the province in rebuilding that industry and what has it done to help the province to recover from that catasrophy.

Why has the federal governement fallen short on Term29.

You see WJM ,in sixty years of Confederation,I have stopped asking questions that are totally misleading and irrelevant.I do not ask anymore because I have simply stopped believing in empty words.
Rather I have learned a very good lession a very hard way,and that is .

" Do not judge or place opinoin on a man for what he says.But ,rather on his actions. "

If you cannot accept the name of Centralized evil empire or if you feel that people are simply exgagerating ,then my advise to you is to get over it.If you have not experienced any of this well then I feel you should thank god you haven't .But ,because you haven'y does not mean that it simply didn't happened.That is why when you come to such Blogs as this,with your opinoin ,you get reffered to as a Nazi or as a believer in some kind of Communist manifesto .Your biggest failure is not hearing the words of the family's and people's of our great province that have had no choice but to move away. Destroying family's and causing rifts and other turmoil.

I,like the owner of this blog simply do not wish to jump on the I LOVE DANNY WILLIAMS BANGWAGON,but what other prime minister has shown such love for this ,our beautiful province.

April 27, 2008 8:52 AM but to say that " having a nationalist running the place getting ready to separate is the way we always wanted it" could not be further from the truth.As most that read this blog would agree,you have to be apart of something befor you can separate.And ,Newfoundlander's and Labradorians alike ,have never been seen in this country as Canadain.My best advise to all is ,get over it and lets move on.

Quebec and Alberta have shown us were this country is going.Its time for us as a nation to relise the term of failed Liberial State.

WJM said...

If the Federal Governement of canada is the said Champion of the higher moral ground and the defender of canadain unity ,why does it allow the nationalist view in Quebec to contrinue to rape and pilage the people of Labrador in a deal that both sides see as totally ludacris.

It's an American rapper?

Either resources are under provincial control, or they aren't. You want the federal government to exercise jurisdiction over resources?

The government of Newfoundland, as it then was, exercised its jurisdiction over Labrador resources. It did so stupidly. It set up the conditions that led to the lop-sided contract. Here's the thing, though: jurisdiction includes the power to make mistakes. Until 1971, most obvservers, including in Quebec, thought that they had bought a white elephant.

Why are the provinces that hold a greater say at the federal level of Governement given greater control of thier natural resources.

Which provinces would those be? In fact, under the constitution and statutes of Canada, as well as court decisions, no province has more control over more natural resoruces than Newfoundland and Labrador does.

Really.

Why has the federal governement of canada not compensated the people and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador fully for the collapse of an industry that revolved around thier entire culture and way of life.

What is the basis of this compensation, how would you quantify it, and why would only Newfoundland and Labrador be entitled to it?

More importantly why hasn't the federal government given assistance to the province in rebuilding that industry and what has it done to help the province to recover from that catasrophy.

How, other than not fishing, can you rebuild it?

Why has the federal governement fallen short on Term29.

How has Term 29 been fallen short on? Please be specific.

If you cannot accept the name of Centralized evil empire

70% of the provincial government public service is in St. John's, which has just 20% of the provincial population. Most employees of the mines branch are in St. John's. The mines themselves? In Labrador. The province of which Labrador is supposedly a part is far more centralized than the federal government.

I,like the owner of this blog simply do not wish to jump on the I LOVE DANNY WILLIAMS BANGWAGON

Too late!

but what other prime minister has shown such love for this ,our beautiful province.

All of them?

Danny is the only one who has ever loved his own province?

Seriously?

Anonymous said...

WJM said:

"The government of Newfoundland, as it then was, exercised its jurisdiction over Labrador resources. It did so stupidly. It set up the conditions that led to the lop-sided contract"

Can you please explain?

How did NL set up those circumstances? Did the federal government have the ability to open a corridor for CH power through Quebec? YES.

Did they do it for the benefit of all Canadians and NLers or did they stand aside to apease Quebec. YES

Did they mismanage the fishery? YES

Same old federalist rhetoric WJM. You're like a broken record for Ottawa.

David Raymond Amos said...

For the record I largely agree with you.

The question I have for you is why have you people laughed at me and ignored my concerns even though they are exactly the same?

DiS^placed said...

April 28, 2008 1:16 PM

This is typical Gestapo ideology Myles.If you can't dazzle them with Brilliance ,baffle them with BullS&*$.Do not answer the question put forth but rather ask your own and force the topic to go your way.

Basic "Business Communication "101.May I suggest a Good book for you WJM.

This is nothing more Patriot then plain ignorance by an individual who has no respect for basic human understanding.

We all know that the fishery was and still is controlled by Ottawa.Its simple human knowledge that Ottawa recieves BILLIONS from such resources as offshore oil.It is basic human knowledge that provinces such as Quebec ,Ontario and Alberta have complete control over resources that they brought into Confederation.Plian and simple.

That is the truth .The other half of the truth is that Ottawa has NOT GIVEN what Newfoundland and Labrador has brought into confederation.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrdor is being RAPED by a centralized power that has only it's "core electives" to worry about.We have seen such governments in Communist Russia and we see it in Communist China.

What makes Ottawa canada differant?Because ,we have a differant form of government.That is totally absurd and totally ludacrase.Because they say we have Human Rights.As far as I can tell Patriot this is just more smoke and mirrors planned out by an evil bureaucracy that has a reputation
to worry about.

Like I said in my prevoise post patriot " Do not judge or place opinoin on a man for what he says.But ,rather on his actions. "

Why has Newfoundland and Labrador not been given joint control of the fishery .Why hasn't the province been given control over the continental shelf.Simply questions to answer ," Its called "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION".Newfoundland and Labrador simply does not matter to Canada ,and they treat the people like they are from a differant country.

The only thing that does matter is the exporting of its rich natural resources to its centralized provinces to create jobs ,so that government can look good to the masses.As a citizen of the world I find it insulting that another educated person would come to this blog and place "mis-information" on it.

Now this is were I get booted and Myles gets mad.How could you Myles ,allow this clear injustice to be placed on the internet were people from all over the world can see and read this .I find your actions rather misleading to say the least.The propaganda machine sent here from central canada is in plain sight to every Newfoundlander and Labradorian.Why may I ask ,do you allow thease lie's and falsehoods to be spread on what i would call a " pro Newfoundland and Labrador Blog "

Somtimes I get mixed signals ;)

Anyhow ,enough with the rant.

As loved our fathers, so we love
Where once they stood we stand;
Their prayer we raise to Heaven above,
God guard thee, Newfoundland.
God guard thee, God guard thee
God guard thee Newfoundland.
God guard thee, God guard thee
God guard thee Newfoundland.


by Sir Cavendish Boyle

Long live the "REPUBLIC OF"

Patriot said...

Hi David,

I'm not sure who you are or what you are speaking of but perhaps you can elaborate.

Myles

DiS^placed said...

" interesting Observation "to say the least Patriot.

Anonymous said...

Anon of April 28, 2008 4:55 PM -

I do not know who you are but I can state very clearly that we need another 100 voices of your ilk throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to tell the story of how Ottawa/Canada operates and how we have been sucked dry of our resources because of it.

When the people of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador were seen, and are still being seen, for nearly 60 years now of not being aware of how the Mother Government works, Ottawa and the columnists in the National Media had full reign to do what they wanted, and they did it. Things were created to be NON-TRANSPARENT on how Canada works and they still are and, as a result, Ottawa still believes that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, after 60 years, are still NOT UP TO the antics of what transpires in the on-going SAGA of government in Canada. I have to admit, we didn`t for many years, we took Canada at face value since we thought we were led to believe that we had joined up with a Utopian Government, but things have unravelled and have become more transparent in recent years. We are quite aware of the corruption that has taken place in the Canadian government over the past few years. I am sure it was always there, but we were not deciphering things properly since we were always preached by to by our Premiers and politicians that we were under good hands. At the time we were not aware of the PATRONAGE PLUM SYSTEM that existed for the politicians to spout those words. If they toed the party line for Ottawa, they would be fine but by doing so, thosesame politicians destroyed the province of Newfoundland and Labrador`s chance for anything resembling a real market economy. THEY GAVE AWAY THE SHOP, THEY EXPORTED OUR RESOURCES TO OTHER PARTS OF CANADA AND KEPT THEIR MOUTHS SILENT WHILE DOING SO!

Ottawa knew that for the greatest part of 60 years since we became part of Canada, that we, as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, had our senses disabled and we were OBLIVIOUS to what was going on with our natural resources. THE OTTAWA NON-TRANSPARENT SYSTEM HAD US IN A FOG. We, as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians had NOT A CLUE of how the Canadian Government was being run. We had accepted things at face value and that was the wrong thing to do.

To accept things at face value is the correct recipie to have had the wool pulled over our eyes, and indeed we did have the wool pulled over our eyes.


But my question is WHY in the Hell did our politicians, both Federal and Provincial, allow Ottawa and Canada to do it? I do know why, it was the Patronage plums, but why would they allow the rest of us to suffer so badly because of their `me syndrome` values. Why did they not want to do what was right in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador? I would have thought there would have been at least one good apple in the barrel who would have spilled the beans. But NO there wasn`t. They were all suffering from severe cases of the `ME SYNDROME`.

Why did our elected Newfoundland and Labrador politicians not speak up vociferously against where Ottawa wanted the Canadian economy to be situated, that is anywhere but Newfoundland and Labrador?

The Canadian economy starts at Nova Scotia and travels all the way to British Columbia, and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's various natural resources are the enablers that played a big role in those robust economies that have sprung up throughout the rest of Canada over the past 60 years, while the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has struggled with a non-existent real market economy.

Yes, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador was very instrumental in building economies everywhere else in Canada with the resources which were dug out of the ground and the ocean here, but nothing got appointed to create economies in our beloved province. There are a few micro economies here, but far from enough to create a province with an overall real economy.

All the while, this place with one of the best locales in Canada, which is half way between Europe and half way between North America and possessing many wonderful natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable got shafted by not only our own Newfoundland and Labrador politicians, but the politicians, lobbyists and National Media columnists from the rest of Canada.

We have to smarten up, open up our mouths and let the words pore out that we are aware of what has happened over the past 60 years. If we don't we will be seen for another 60 years as a people who are willing to have the wool pulled over their eyes.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, stand up, SPEAK UP and BE HEARD.

The average Canadian is just as UNAWARE about what the province of Newfoundland and Labrador contributed to Canada from its basket of resources, as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been UNAWARE of how Ottawa had written the laws on where economies were to be appointed everywhere else in Canada, but NOT the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am pretty sure the Ottawa Plan for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador was that ALL the resources of our beloved province, both HUMAN and NATURAL, were to be destined for other parts of Canada. Ottawa not only wanted to see our resources moved to other parts of Canada, but Ottawa also wanted the province of Newfoundland and Labrador`s people to move with those resources to those other locales.

Ottawa has been very instrumental in seeing that occur, but there is a little bit of resistance forming there now, and I hope that resistance grows so that not another teaspoon of resources gets shipped anywhere other than to our own province and neither do any more of our people, so that we can grow an economy that is befitting of a place which was endowed with so many resources by nature.

Natural Resource movement has to stop. It more detrimental to move the resources over long distances to smelters and refineries in other parts of Canada, which are suffering from lack of resources than it is to build new smelters and refineries and process the resources right on the spot.

I WILL REPEAT - It is time that we, as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, wake up and demonstrate to Canadians that we are NOW AWARE of how Ottawa operates and that we are about to do something about it.

In other words we have to demand our fair share of the infrastructure that gets created out of Canadian Taxpayers remittances, including our own tax dollars and the tax dollars which are generated from the many resources, that have in the past, and are presently BEING EXPORTED from Newfoundland and Labrador to other parts of Canada to be processed through smelting and refining. Infrastructure such as Military bases, Federal Regional Crown Corporations, and the jobs and other related benefits that come with such infrastructure that have created major economies in all of the other provinces, except for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.