The House of Dunderdale

Brian Jones
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Contrary to the common admonition, “Kids, don’t try this at home,” citizens of Newfoundland (and Labrador) should do exactly that.

While it is inadvisable to try to replicate the stunts of daredevil professionals — test drivers, skydivers, cliff jumpers — no physical harm will necessarily come from mimicking the tactics of Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

Over dinner or a drink on the deck, simply inform your spouse and/or partner that you’ve decided to sell the house. Do not discuss it beforehand, or accept input. See how it goes over.

This is similar to what Dunderdale has done by announcing the House of Assembly won’t have

a fall sitting, even though the province faces an extremely important policy decision — the Muskrat Falls deal.

• • •

Never mind the money lost from the Upper Churchill or the impending disaster of the Lower Churchill — there are other provincial scandals that will be with us forever.

Postmedia News reported this week that a Vancouver-area school where sexual and physical abuse of students occurred in the 1960s and ’70s will be burned to the ground.

The Woodlands school, in New Westminister, was an institution for developmentally delayed children.

One former resident who suffered abuse said, “I would have liked to have seen it kept as a historical museum of what happened at Woodlands, but this government seems bent on trying to erase this memory from the consciousness of the province.”

This sounds eerily familiar.

Add “church,” and it could describe the razing of the Mount Cashel orphanage, the site of which now harbours a supermarket and subdivision.

The former Woodlands resident also said, “They will rip that (building) down, smooth the ground over and throw up another set of condos, and make a buck in the process.”

• • •

At some point, the overseers of Canada’s most august publication, The Globe and Mail, must wonder whether its reputation and credibility will suffer from the obvious fact that so many of its readers are vociferous anti-Semites.

(On the other hand, various universities are seemingly not worried about similar prospects, so perhaps it is perfectly acceptable to carry on with the 2,000-year-old tradition.)

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip since 2006, was set free this week. In exchange, the Israeli government released 1,027 prisoners, many of whom had been convicted of murder and/or acts of terrorism.

The Globe and Mail’s reader comments section lit up with a litany of accusations, the main one being that — aha! — one Jewish life is apparently equal to a thousand Palestinian lives.

Inside out

Talk about missing the point, or reading the equation backwards.

People who insist on comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa should ponder what the negotiations must have sounded like, and who was being reasonable and who was being intractable, and what this says about the ongoing dilemma of the Middle East.

“Give us Shalit, and we’ll release a Palestinian prisoner.”


Give us Shalit, and we’ll release two Palestinian prisoners.”


“Give us Shalit, and we’ll release three Palestinian prisoners.”


Several hours pass.

“Give us Shalit, and we’ll release 1,026 Palestinian prisoners.”


Give us Shalit, and we’ll release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.”


• • •

But there is reason for optimism.

Hopefully, the Occupy Wall Street movement will continue to spread, until the bankers, CEOs and entire upper class come to their senses and realize a declining middle class and a burgeoning gap in income is not good for, well, capitalism.

Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by email at

Organizations: Globe and Mail, The Woodlands school, Hamas Occupy Wall Street The Telegram

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Vancouver, New Westminister Canada Gaza Strip Israel South Africa Middle East

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Recent comments

  • John Smith
    October 21, 2011 - 17:15

    Well Maurice, if this is not the lowest possible, what is? You are evidently an energy expert, so enlighten us, and the world. Name one project that could offer the same 24 hour a day, 365 day a year, non polutting source for 850 megawatts of electricity...I dare you.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    October 21, 2011 - 12:52

    CORRECTION John Smith. Muskrat Falls is not the 'lowest possible cost", it is (accordingly to Nalcor's rules and assessment criteria) the "least cost" of only two options, and it comes out as 'least cost' --- only because of what options and how they are 'compared'. NOT THE SAME THING as "lowest possible cost" John.

  • John Smith
    October 21, 2011 - 09:35

    Mr. Jones do you have one shred of evidence to back up your claim the the Muskrat falls development is an impending desaster? Let me answer for you. NO! How you can spew such verbal diarrhea is beyond me. The fact the the Telegram has you as an employee is yet another nail in the coffin for this putrid paper. Nalcor was asked to provide the lowest cost option for power, and this is it. Navigant has backed them up. However, you don't need to be an expert to know that being connected to a large, green power source is a viable option to smoke belching generators like Holyrood. The muskrat falls project is our salvation, not a disaster. You have lost what little credibility you had Mr. Jones.

  • Cyril Rogers
    October 21, 2011 - 08:45

    Mr. Jones.....we need to look only to Alberta to realize how out of sync Ms Dunderdale is. Their new premier decided to open their legislature for 2 days in October, adjourn for a month, then open for 2 more weeks before recessing until the new year. The howls of protest were long and vociferous. Imagine then how these folks would have reacted if Ms Dunderdale were premier out there. There are many similarities in that they are not new governments so they have existing legislation to present to the house, and so forth. As you point out, we have a huge policy issue, the Muskrat Falls project, and she is hiding away from any debate of that issue. It is painfully obvious, from her poor performance in last spring's sitting, that she does not know how to repond to sharp, pointed questions and simply talks around the issue. If it is such a great project, one would think Ms Dunderdale would be able to clearly articulate that position. Instead, all we get from her is: trust me when I tell you it is a great deal!

  • wow
    October 21, 2011 - 07:35

    Wow, this Jones character is really out to lunch.