I wonder sometimes what people really want. I hear government should spend money on rural revitalization initiatives, but see condemnation for losses when things go asunder.
I hear calls for new ferries, yet I see questions of how much longer we should foot the bill for ferries that go nowhere and carry no one.
And while we are at it, let’s build another big ferry to go to Fogo Island for that one weekend of the year when current capacity is exceeded. Of course, the capacity was exceeded because the provincial and federal governments, in conjunction with Zita Cobb, invested in the tourist development that now has people going there. Hopefully it will not run into financial troubles, since for sure the governments will be condemned for risking taxpayers’ money there, as well.
I hear calls for reduction of emissions from Holyrood, but condemnation of the Muskrat Falls development.
I hear calls to deal with the fishery, but not a suggestion as to how.
Gray Aquaculture has run into some trouble. Let us condemn them. After all, there was government money, you know, the rural development kind that went into them.
Which way do you want it? Do you want the government to invest in high-risk rural development initiatives that the banks are averse to going into? Do you want clean power? Would you like to see the Connaigre Peninsula just whither away as it was doing?
I wonder what it is that the government is not doing that it should be doing from a development perspective. I have seen and have been party to investments in aquaculture on the Connaigre, wood pellet plants in forestry, and quota acquisition in Arnold’s Cove to name a few. They have all been condemned in some fashion, yet the alternatives have not been advanced.
The Liberals are in the midst of a leadership race now, and one of the issues is rural revitalization. Of course it is. Do you hear any suggestions on what should be done? No, me either.
Do you remember Sheila Copps and the GST? Do you remember the federal Liberals and the privatization of Pearson Airport?
Do you remember the helicopter contract? The helicopter contract that the Mulroney government had secured but the Liberals cancelled, at considerable cost. And we still ended up with essentially the same helicopters.
As for Sheila, she resigned after promising to end the GST; a byelection brought her back, (I liked her, actually.) And Pearson was still privatized, and so were most of the rest of the airports.
So let’s save ourselves a whole pile of money, and save Dwight Ball — in the event that he makes it as Liberal leader — a whole lot of hand-wringing.
Let us stop the Muskrat Falls development. Cheaper power is for sure available from burning coal; after all, it is about the money. That will make it easier for Cathy Bennett, too. And in the off chance that Jim Bennett makes it, let’s shut down the aquaculture industry.
And if Danny Dumaresque, by some stroke of divine intervention, makes it, I will be there to help him with the tunnel to Labrador.
As for Paul Antle, good luck with Tom Osborne!
Just remember: it is easier to be opposed to anything than it is to stand for something.
Trevor Taylor is a former cabinet minister under the Danny Williams administration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.