Off the cuff: Dunderdale speaks to the party

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Anybody who reads this blog almost certainly already knows that the Progressive Conservative party spent the weekend at their annual general meeting in Gander. I’ve already written a lot about it, and if you haven’t already seen it, you should check those stories out. But due to the limitations of the newspaper, I wasn’t able to go into the sort of depth that hardcore political geeks tend to relish, so I figured I’d do a blog post, and dump the lot of it here.

 

Specifically, Premier Kathy Dunderdale gave a fascinating speech on Saturday morning. Friday night was her “keynote address” where she delivered a high-energy partisan barnburner. Saturday morning, bleary-eyed PC Party members gathered in the main convention room, and Dunderdale gave her report to the membership as party leader. The speech ran more than 40 minutes; it seemed completely unscripted. It was just the premier at a microphone talking. She talked at length about Bill 29, the access to information and privacy debate. She talked a lot about the province’s fiscal position, and explicitly acknowledged that the government is overspending, and she personally slaughtered the sacred cow of Newfoundland and Labrador that the government has to spend more because of the province’s geography and dispersed population.  Also, because I was lucky enough to be the only journalist in the room when she gave her report as leader, you won’t find any of this anywhere else.

 

I’ve transcribed most of it. I was trying to kill two birds with one stone Sunday afternoon transcribing it while I was writing my story for Monday’s paper. I was a bit pressed by deadline, so I skipped over some sections that were either repetition of things Dunderdale has said in the past, or weren’t really policy oriented. There are a lot of ellipses. This is by no means a complete record of the speech. Transcribing is very time consuming, but if get a chance, I’ll go back and fill in the holes. Most of the ellipses are just me skipping over little bits here and there that didn’t really relate to the meat of the speech, but I did also leave some chunks out. If there are any specific gaps you’re interested in, leave a comment below and I’ll try to go back to my tape and fill it in. Also, if there are any typos, I apologize. The text of it runs more than 4,600 words, and I was typing very fast to keep up. If I missed anything proofreading, sorry.

 

I’ll be dumping the full text below, but I want to highlight a few interesting segments that I think give a real insight into Dunderdale’s vision for the Newfoundland and Labrador government.

 

I quoted a shorter version of this in my story in the paper, but here’s a lengthy quote about the province’s fiscal position:

“Let me tell you, we’re spending too much money. The Board of Trade talks to us about spending too much money, they’re absolutely right. We are. And we’ve got to get a handle on it. …Do you know that in Newfoundland and Labrador, we spend almost $5,000 per person more than any other province in Canada in providing services to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Four thousand seven hundred dollars more. And people can talk about, you know, that’s due to our rural nature, and some of that is true, but don’t forget that we don’t have to provide subway systems. We don’t have to provide major infrastructure for cities. Yes, we’ve got a lot of infrastructure that we’ve got to provide right around the province, especially because we’re a coastal people, but there are other challenges. Every other province has a rural perspective but they also have larger urban centres that require very definite investments and expensive investments. So there’s not always an easy answer as to why we spend more.”

 

She also said that oil revenue has led to citizens being cavalier about government spending, because the funding isn’t coming out of their own pockets:

“We want to keep taxes low. We want people to drive money back into the economy, but I’m going to tell you a startling fact now, because there’s a downside to that. When people don’t pay a whole lot of income tax and so on, then sometimes you can get a little benign about your advice to government. Yes, give ‘em a higher raise. Yes, build that. Yes do that. Yes, yes, yes yes. And you’re easily able to say yes because there’s no direct consequence to you. If your taxes had to come out of the pocket to pay for it, then maybe we would have a little more sober reflection about some of the things we’re doing. Startling fact for you now: We are all so dependent on oil and revenue from our offshore and our mining and our fishery so on to keep this place going. Nineteen per cent of the people in this province pay 70 per cent of the taxes. Think about that now. Nineteen per cent of the population pay 70 per cent of the taxes. And that’s a really good thing. We’re really proud of that as a government, that we’ve relieved that burden on people, that we’re using the revenue, that we’re the principal beneficiaries of our resources and we’re using that to fuel our economy, we’re using that to provide services to the people of the province. But there’s only so much revenue out there, and if we continue to spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, then there has to be a consequence over here.”

 

Like I said above, Dunderdale talked a lot about Bill 29. She essentially said she didn’t get a chance to speak about it in the House of Assembly, because she was out of town, and she had to get it off her chest:

“One area where we haven’t been as effective as I would have liked to have seen us has been in terms of our communication. And we have worked hard this summer, let me tell you, on doing the kinds of things and supplementing our communications staff, reorganizing within all of our caucus and our offices and our departments to make sure that we’re effectively communicating to the people that we serve so that they understand what we’re doing. Because the worst example of not understanding what we’re doing that we went through this year is the ATIPP legislation. It burns me, it does, because freedom of information, the right to get information from government about what is going on in this province, began with us in 2003-2004. Yes, the Liberals brought in the ATIPP legislation but they didn’t proclaim it so they didn’t have to live by it, so they told nobody anything, and then they’ve got the nerve to sit over on the other side of the House and say we’re being secretive. We brought in the legislation that gave people access to government information. Now, there’s certain kinds of information that have to be protected. We do business with people of the province. We do business with the offshore companies. We do business with international investors. They’re not going to come do business with us if we’re going to release all of their commercial information and their competitors now have got a leg up on them. Not doing it. They’re not going to do it, and they don’t do it anywhere in the world. So we have to protect that information. We have to protect personal information, and you can see, like the issues that we’ve had in the health care system, people want to know stuff that’s none of their damn business, and we have to protect people.

(Applause break.)

“There’s lots of people, you know, who want to know everything, and I understand why they do. As I said to some of my friends in the media, sure, you’d come up and sit in the cabinet room if we let you up there, because that’s your bread and butter, information. The opposition parties want to know everything we’re doing because they’re looking for fodder all the time. But we have to protect commercially sensitive information and we have to protect information about individuals, and when we brought those amendments in — amendments to legislation that we proclaimed and that we live by every day — what we were doing was protecting information, briefing notes — it’s not good protecting a cabinet paper up here if you haven’t protected the briefing note down here. So it’s that continuum that ensures that what it is that needs to be kept private is kept private. Now, I’m going to tell you, I come from a school that says, tell everybody as much as you can tell them, share as much information as you can possibly share, because I don’t believe that it hurts you. I think the more that people know, the better off we all are. Gosh, as politicians, we’d love to be able to tell everything. There’s lots of things, you know, you’re — Ooh, if I could only say — but you can’t say it because in if you’re only saying it will help you but it will hurt somebody else, and government shouldn’t be doing that. And the spin that went on what we did in the House of Assembly was scandalous.”

 

Why she’s involved in politics:

“I’m a little girl from the south coast, from a village on the south coast of Newfoundland. Never had money. Don’t have money. Never gonna have money. Never gonna have it. Just like my mother. We’d give mom five or six dresses for Mothers Day when she was late in life and how thrilled we were to be able to do it, because for three years at one time she only had one dress. We would inundate her. And my father said, ‘I don’t know why you fellas are doing that, your mother will have all of them on before the end of the month.’ That’s my experience, and I’m happy with it. I’m blessed in my life every day, so accumulating riches is not something that I’m interested in. It isn’t. Unless I win the lottery, it’s never going to happen. … All of the people I work with are much the same way. They do this work not because they’re trying to feather their own nest or do anything for themselves, they’re here because they believe in Newfoundland and Labrador. They have a vision, they have a hope and we have a plan. “

 

And right at the end, here’s her talking about her relationship with Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

“We need to lead by example in terms of how we deal with people and treat people. Prime Minister Harper made a commitment to us in his election, and you know something, it didn’t make a row of beans difference in terms of the election, particularly on the island. We didn’t support the Harper government, people of Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t. You know, somebody who didn’t have principle could’ve walked away from the commitment to the loan guarantee. What would the consequence have been? We wouldn’t elect anyone for a long time to that party? He didn’t, he absolutely maintained his commitment to the people of this province. You’ll see what that means in the next couple of weeks, but it’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. He didn’t have to do it, but he did it. He made a promise to the people of the province, and he kept it. And it’s important as Tories, because we tore strips off him when we believe he needed to have that done, and here was Miss Buffo out leading the crowd. Not everything has to be a brawl on the steps of Confederation Building, remember that too. But there comes a time when you’ve got to stand your ground, and b’ys, get out of the way, and that was one of them. I made no apologies then, and I don’t make them now. So we name it when people don’t stand for what is right for Newfoundland and Labrador, but we acknowledge in fairness and in balance and in our own integrity when people do.”

 

Alright. Enough of the chunks. If you’re interested in the length and breadth of it, here’s everything I’ve got transcribed.

 

“It’s important that we come together in convention because this is where we take our strength from. This convention is all about you, and it needs to be about you. Yes, you know, we have a caucus here and we’re the faces and the voices that you hear, but the message we carry is yours. The strength and the shoulders we stand on is from you. You know, what we do is drawn from the policy discussions and the interactions that we have at these kinds of functions. We are able to do our jobs because you work so hard on behalf of the people of the province and ensuring that we get elected. You know, you do the polls, you raise the money, you’re there day in day out, you’re the soft place for us to fall. Because this work is tough; it’s hard work sometimes.

I want to thank all of you for the support that you give us every day in doing that work, and in providing us with a soft place to fall when sometimes we need just a little reprieve, a little support, and a little encouragement.

We had an interesting time in government during the last two years, and I’m really proud of our record. We continue our tremendous investment in infrastructure in this place, almost a billion dollars a year, year-over-year-over-year, we’ve invested almost $9 billion in infrastructure since 2003, in roads, in schools, in hospitals, in aquaculture, in the economy. It has been absolutely tremendous and you can see that investment. We went through a recession and we hardly felt the bump in Newfoundland and Labrador. The world remains so unstable economically; everybody is waiting for the other shoe to drop. We need to pay attention to that. There’s only half a million of us in this place but we earn over 30 per cent of our revenue from commodities — oil, iron ore, nickel — we don’t use it in Newfoundland and Labrador. We will never have enough of a critical mass in Newfoundland and Labrador to use all the resources we have and to drive our own economy. We’re dependent on worldwide markets, so what’s happening in Europe is extremely important in Newfoundland and Labrador. What’s happening in China is critical to our economy here in Newfoundland and Labrador, what’s happening in India is critical. So when you watch the evening news and you see all the volatility and all the uncertainty and we can take a great deal of comfort that we’re not experiencing that here, but remember, it still affects us because that’s where we sell our goods.

So we need to be cognizant when we’re planning our budget. That’s why it’s so important that we be fiscally responsible, because we don’t have control of everything. You know, it’s been absolutely necessary for us to spend the kind of money that we have spent over the last nine years because those kinds of investments in infrastructure enable your economy. It drives it.

It was really interesting as I was getting ready to come down to our dinner, I had the news channel on, and the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, was talking about the situation in Europe particularly and in the far east and in the united states. And what they said was continue to invest in infrastructure. You need to reduce debt, but have a long-term plan for reducing debt and continue to invest in infrastructure because infrastructure drives our economy. And that’s how you will weather it. If you start to shut everything down left right and centre, your economy is going to go in sharper decline than it’s already in.

One of the very first things we did when we came to government was do an assessment, do an analysis of where we were in the province.

We’re doing so much better. We’ve come from have-not to have. We’re doing so well, but we need always to be cognizant that we’re not out of the woods yet. We still have a ways to go ourselves in terms of reducing debt, and we need to make those kinds of investments the World Bank is talking about so we drive our economy, but at the same time we have to be really aware of how much money we spend.

 

Let me tell you, we’re spending too much money. The Board of Trade talks to us about spending too much money, they’re absolutely right. We are. And we’ve got to get a handle on it.

Do you know that in Newfoundland and Labrador, we spend almost $5,000 per person more than any other province in Canada in providing services to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Four thousand seven hundred dollars more. And people can talk about, you know, that’s due to our rural nature, and some of that is true, but don’t forget that we don’t have to provide subway systems. We don’t have to provide major infrastructure for cities. Yes, we’ve got a lot of infrastructure that we’ve got to provide right around the province, especially because we’re a coastal people, but there are other challenges. Every other province has a rural perspective but they also have larger urban centres that require very definite investments and expensive investments. So there’s not always an easy answer as to why we spend more.

We want to keep taxes low. We want people to drive money back into the economy, but I’m going to tell you a startling fact now, because there’s a downside to that. When people don’t pay a whole lot of income tax and so on, then sometimes you can get a little benign about your advice to government. Yes, give ‘em a higher raise. Yes, build that. Yes do that. Yes, yes, yes yes. And you’re easily able to say yes because there’s no direct consequence to you. If your taxes had to come out of the pocket to pay for it, then maybe we would have a little more sober reflection about some of the things we’re doing. Startling fact for you now: We are all so dependent on oil and revenue from our offshore and our mining and our fishery so on to keep this place going. Nineteen per cent of the people in this province pay 70 per cent of the taxes. Think about that now. Nineteen per cent of the population pay 70 per cent of the taxes. And that’s a really good thing. We’re really proud of that as a government, that we’ve relieved that burden on people, that we’re using the revenue, that we’re the principal beneficiaries of our resources and we’re using that to fuel our economy, we’re using that to provide services to the people of the province. But there’s only so much revenue out there, and if we continue to spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, then there has to be a consequence over here.

We’ve got to find that balance, because we need to ratchet back on some of our spending. So the last year has been a volatile one, and I’m not one bit concerned about polls. There’s only one poll I’m concerned about, and I’ve got three years before I’m going to wrap my head around that.

Remember who we are. Remember where we came from. Remember that the first two years we were here — 2003-2004-2005 — we never went into the House of Assembly but we had a police escort. People were whapping us with jelly beans from the gallery, saying terrible things about our mothers, and the premier of the day was vilified from one end of this country to the other because of the positions he took. And they weren’t popular. And they weren’t always popular at home. We had our public service that we had to battle our way through to get into Confederation building. At one point we were in there for a week sleeping in our offices because the House of Assembly was open and we had to make sure we could get there. But what were doing was doing was important, because what Tories do is govern on principle.

(Applause.)

When Brian Peckford had his astounding, stellar win back in the ‘80s, we won more seats last year than he won in that election that was the great, great victory. I have colleagues throughout this country and particularly in Atlantic Canada that would cut their arms and legs off to be 60 per cent in the polls. That’s good enough for me, boys.

We have to keep the best interests of the people of this province at the forefront all the time. You can’t do that if you’re running a popularity contest because there are things you have to do from time to time that aren’t popular. There’s not always a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down and if we’re going to be responsible — and we demonstrated that, particularly in our first term — then you have to make difficult concerns.

One area where we haven’t been as effective as I would have liked to have seen us has been in terms of our communication. And we have worked hard this summer, let me tell you, on doing the kinds of things and supplementing our communications staff, reorganizing within all of our caucus and our offices and our departments to make sure that we’re effectively communicating to the people that we serve so that they understand what we’re doing. Because the worst example of not understanding what we’re doing that we went through this year is the ATIPP legislation. It burns me, it does, because freedom of information, the right to get information from government about what is going on in this province began with us in 2003-2004. Yes, the Liberals brought in the ATIPP legislation but they didn’t proclaim it so they didn’t have to live by it, so they told nobody anything, and then they’ve got the nerve to sit over on teh other side of the House and say we’re being secretive. We brought in the legislation that gave people access to government information. Now, there’s certain kinds of information that have to be protected. We do business with people of the province. We do business with the offshore companies. We do business with international investors. They’re not going to come do business with us if we’re going to release all of their commercial information and their competitors now have got a leg up on them. Not doing it. They’re not going to do it, and they don’t do it anywhere in the world. So we have to protect that information. We have to protect personal information, and you can see, like the issues that we’ve had in the health care system, people want to know stuff that’s none of their damn business, and we have to protect people.

(Applause break.)

There’s lots of people, you know, who want to know everything, and I understand why they do. As I said to some of my friends in the media, sure, you’d come up and sit in the cabinet room if we let you up there, because that’s your bread and butter, information. The opposition parties want to know everything we’re doing because they’re looking for fodder all the time. But we have to protect commercially sensitive information and we have to protect information about individuals, and when we brought those amendments in — amendments to legislation that we proclaimed and that we live by every day — what we were doing was protecting information, briefing notes — it’s not good protecting a cabinet paper up here if you haven’t protected the briefing note down here. So it’s that continuum that ensures that what it is that needs to be kept private is kept private. Now, I’m going to tell you, I come from a school that says, tell everybody as much as you can tell them, share as much information as you can possibly share, because I don’t believe that it hurts you. I think the more that people know, the better off we all are. Gosh, as politicians, we’d love to be able to tell everything. There’s lots of things, you know, you’re — Ooh, if I could only say — but you can’t say it because in if you’re only saying it will help you but it will hurt somebody else, and government shouldn’t be doing that. And the spin that went on what we did in the House of Assembly was scandalous. We had an article in our paper that said these amendments, you know, if these amendments had been in place in the last year, we wouldn’t have known about ER/PR, we wouldn’t have known about Burton Winters, we wouldn’t have known about what was going on in the presidential search at the university, and the minister, Felix Collins, wrote to the paper and said, wrong! ER/PR had nothing to do with ATIPP freedom of information. Nothing. Wasn’t related to it at all. It would’ve unfolded now exactly as it unfolded before. Burton Winters had absolutely nothing — nothing — to do with the ATIPP amendments. Everything that we know we would’ve known in any case. And the issues around the presidential search, absolutely nothing to do with ATIPP. Noting. As soon as the letter is posted in the paper, the next week she come back and she says, well, maybe the examples I used weren’t good. Well, no they weren’t very good. They were wrong and you know what they demonstrated? They demonstrated that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

(Applause)

It poisoned me, because I think we’ve got a right to expect better of people who purport to talk to people. Give us the facts. So, you know, no they weren’t good examples. And frivolous requests. We have one fellow, I don’t know how many requests he’s put in, 80 requests on freedom of information, 50, 20, I don’t know what, but the last request we got from him was how many ATIPP requests had he put in? Now, I’m going to tell you, we’ve got a busy public service. I don’t have hundreds of people sitting around waiting for ATIPP requests, so we said frivolous requests, we’re not going to- you know, you can’t as the opposition parties say, I want every e-mail to the department of natural resources, from the department of natural resources over the last two years. Give them to us. Refine your search. Tell us what you’re- I know what you’re looking for, but tell us what you’re looking for, and whatever it is, once you focus the search, you can have whatever it is you’re looking for that we can give you. But you’re going to stop the fishing trips because we don’t have— we’re not tying up public servants for weeks and weeks and weeks on end while you’re fishing, looking for something that you can use against us. I don’t care what you do with the information when you get it. Whatever information that’s legitimate for you to have, that fits within the rules of this legislation, you can have it, but focus your search. And if we decide not to honour your request for a piece of information, you have the right of appeal to the commissioner. Now your lazy journalist says, oh, you can’t trust the commissioner. He was hired by the government. Oh, OK. Only ethical people work outside the government. You know, nobody in government, not even the public service, have any ethics. He’s going to look after the people who hired him. We hire judges too, by the way. Policemen.

(Applause)

Let me tell you, this commissioner has not trouble taking us to court when he thinks we’re not interpreting the legislation properly, and so he should. So you know, if you don’t get it from us then you can go to the commissioner. If the commissioner says no you can’t have it, then you can go to the court, and a judge will look at your request and if he thinks you want to have the information, he’ll say, give him the information.

And now we get a report that says, you know something? Our legislation is worse than the legislation in third-world countries. Well now. And then, when somebody said, yes, and as my good friend Tom Marshall pointed out, Nazi Germany had the best constitution in the world. Having the best legislation, having the best constitution doesn’t always ensure that you get the best practice. There’s a big difference between the two, and what that report failed to point out, though, was that our legislation is the second-best in Canada, better than the federal government, better than 11 of our sister province, better than freedom information in the United Sates, better than freedom of information in Europe, better than freedom of information in most of the civilized world. Now, b’ys, that’s not a bad place to be.

(Applause.)

And thank you for letting me do this, because I was down in Houston while this debate took place, and that’s been burning me ever since, and I’m just glad to get it off my chest. Being open, being accessible being transparent, look, I’m going to tell you, in terms of this party, in terms of our cabinet and our caucus, we have one agenda. One agenda. And that is to do what is right for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It’s why you’re prepared to have the arms and legs torn off you, publicly.

Only the people who love us very much will be around when we finish this job because it takes over your life. I remember being in a Treasury Board meeting and somebody saying, you know, you can’t do that. You can’t expect somebody to drive a hundred miles a day and work for minimum wage, and somebody said, well sure, you ask Ross Wiseman to do it every day.

This is about commitment to the place. We didn’t come here to get rich. Most of us didn’t even know what the salary was. We came here because we’re passionate about the place and we work hard because we care about the place. We care about you. You have sent us as your stewards to go and do this work, to implement our vision as Progressive Conservatives about how governance ought to work.

We’re coming to the Muskrat Falls debate, that’s a good thing. And we’re going to, as the World Bank said, invest in infrastructure because it’s going to drive our economy. You know, we’re still going to be mindful of debt. The price of oil is down, and it’s going to stay down. You know, we don’t have a crystal ball. You know you go to PIRA, the minister of natural Resources has got a path beat back and forth to New York talking with PIRA. We talk to Wood Mackenzie in the UK. We find the best experts at home and abroad to advise us on this.

Finance Minister Tom Marshall says, you know, we don’t take a dart and throw it at the board and say, OK, that’s the price we’re going to put in the budget. You know, we use the same methodology, the same process for the last nine years in determining what our budget numbers are going to be, and we’ve had billions of dollars in surpluses. This year it went the other way, and PIRA forecast says it’s going to be that way for the next 10 years. Now that big gap that I talked to you about between services and what we pay per capita, we’ve got to some adjustments. You know, we’ve taken $4 billion off of our debt. And we need to continue, we’ve got to put that long-term goal out there. But it still means we’ve got to ratchet back. We’re not out of the rough times yet. We’re not out of the rough times yet, but as we go through the rough times, you know, I think about days like this. I think about nights like last night. I think about all of you and your commitment to this place, not to popularity, not to govern for the sake of governing, but to govern to do something, to build this place, to do what’s right. And we’re going to have, over the next two or three years, we’re going to be on a little bit of a roller coaster ride, but we have to do what’s right, and I have the confidence in the people of this place that that resonates with them, because I think that Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans are the most politically astute people in the world. Now, they make me crazy. They do make me crazy, because nowhere else in Canada, you know, does anybody talk politics from nine o’clock in the morning until 12 o’clock in the night.

It’s amazing how people are so in tune with the politics of this place, and the governance of this place, but you know, we’ve got to make sure we’re doing, that we don’t slip back, that we’re going to progress forward and forward and forward, and we’ve still got some challenges. The future is bright, we’ve got everything you need. We’ve got the resources, we’ve got the people who are well-qualified. You know, we’ll always have challenges.

 

We still have a high unemployment, and we know why we’ve got a high unemployment rate. We have so many seasonal industries still in this place, and we’ve got to find out a way how we’re going to accommodate all of that. I said to the Prime Minister when I was up, it’s all fine and dandy to say we’re going to make changes to EI, because you know Prime Minister, you won’t find anybody in Newfoundland and Labrador arguing against the fact that when there’s work available, people ought to work. And Prime Minister, we’re not spending $1.7 billion a year on education in Newfoundland and Labrador so our people can work 22-23-24 weeks a year. Parents aren’t sacrificing and doing without to put their children through post-secondary education to work part-time, but you know, we’ve got a number of industries that are reliant on seasonal quotas. You know, we’ve got tourism, we’ve got fisheries, and they add value to our economy. They add value to this country. Let me tell you something, this country was built by seasonal workers. Just when I was a little girl, I remember communities cleaning out, like men going off to work on the Distance Early Warning system up in the far north. The railway track; there was whole communities on the Burin Peninsula who moved out for half the year to go work on the tracks. We’re more sophisticated now; now we call them ‘mobile workforce’ and we’re driving the economy in Alberta.

We’re in a good place, but I’m going to tell you something, the best is yet to come. It really is. It’s not all going to be an easy ride, and Susan really did, last night

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Recent comments

  • Winston Adams
    October 21, 2012 - 09:34

    James,Can you include more comments on Muskrat Falls where she challenges anyone to find one flaw in nalcor's analysis?

  • Mike
    October 16, 2012 - 07:43

    It was great to see the Premier speak in Gander. Most of the time all we see is a 30 second clip on the news, and usually they report the worst part of a speech and take it out of context.

    • W McLean
      October 16, 2012 - 11:13

      Please provide some specific examples of that decontextualization.

  • A somewhat sane observation
    October 15, 2012 - 20:20

    Nazi Germany didn't have the best constitution in the world.

  • NowIsee
    October 15, 2012 - 14:52

    I cant believe some of the things that come from that woman's mouth. How arrogant has this government become. If she is hinting at the fact that they are too broke to offer the unions a sensible wage increase this time, she is going to have a long hard fight on her hands. I would also like to see an increase on taxes in low to middle income people. That should be a good laugh!

    • Ben
      October 16, 2012 - 10:49

      Nowisee...i guess if it came from a man's mouth it would be fine! I respect the fact that she told it like it is... And as for a 'sensible raise'...i guess you forgot the over 20% raise this government gave the last time around? Beats what Clyde Wells did back in the early 90's...tore up a binding contract and no raise for 10 years. We are still trying to catch up. I wouldn't expect a BIG raise this time around...

  • W McLean
    October 15, 2012 - 13:24

    I hereby challenge Kathy Dunderdale to provide an example of "stuff that’s none of their damn business" that wasn't already excluded from release under the pre-Bill 29 ATI Act.