Cheers & Jeers

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Jeers: to imaginary tails. No kudos to Liberal MHA Yvonne Jones and her House of Assembly suggestion last week that the government was using the RNC to keep tabs on her — all the result of an off-microphone suggestion about who she might have been having dinner with. Fact is, this is still very much a small-town province, and it doesn’t take a police tail to spot your dinner companions.

Cheers: to the Internet. The contretemps with Yvonne Jones arose as she asked questions about a new vessel that could be taking over the Strait of Belle Isle ferry run under a new contract. That vessel? The 41-year-old Ionian Spirit, a roll-on, roll-off ferry that has also carried the names the Roslagen (when it worked in Finland), the Wasa Express and the Viking 3. It’s gone through eight owners in that time. Interestingly, the vessel has been reportedly held in Brindisi by its crew since Sept. 26, 2012 in some sort of dispute. It’s not without other history: it was chartered as an evacuation vessel to help foreign workers escape the Libyan civil war. Paul Davis, the minister responsible for the ferry tender, said the new contract “will provide a service they have never had in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Speaker. It will provide roll-on roll-off service that will be able to carry passengers, freight and vehicles, a service that has never been provided to them before.” Well, maybe not completely different, at least, not for the next three years. The Ionian Spirit is actually the sister-ship of the Apollo, the vessel that’s servicing the run for current contract-holders Labrador Marine. Same length, same design, but fewer cabins than the Apollo. The Apollo is two years older, though.

Jeers: to same old, same old. So, during private member’s day in the House of Assembly last week, a government member put forward a motion to congratulate the government on what a good job it is doing. (The motion? “Be it resolved that this Honourable House affirms that, by investing billions of dollars since 2004 in vital infrastructure — including highways, roads, bridges, ferries, municipal and regional infrastructure, health-care facilities and schools — the government has taken the responsible approach and promoted long-term fiscal strength and sustainability.” For brevity’s sake, the “how-good-are-we-anyway” motion.) Here’s a sample of the illustrious debate, from MHA Steve Kent: “Mr. Speaker, we are builders; we are doers. We have a vision for this place. We are committed to economic growth. We are also committed to fiscal responsibility and sustainability. Over the last decade, we have invested public money in a responsible way, with a long-term vision that has always been in focus, to build a strong and sustainable economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are talking about prudent investments, Mr. Speaker, and we are talking about solid fiscal management.” And why are we wasting time with this self-puffery? With all the talks of upcoming cutbacks, it’s certainly clear there’s someplace to start.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • CJ
    March 18, 2013 - 18:40

    Really Yvonne? you think the RNC has time to concern itself with who you go out to dinner with? Get over yourself, you're starting to sound as self-centered as Dunderdale....

  • Danny
    March 18, 2013 - 17:37

    What would Jones do without the media...hmmm she should be doing stand up @ Yuk Yuk's!

  • Cyril Rogers
    March 18, 2013 - 12:13

    The shenanigans in the HOA are anything but "honorable" and that motion by Steve Kent is nauseating, to say the least. As the old saying goes, "self praise is no praise" and for so-called honorable members to be wasting their time on such drivel is beyond me. No wonder the governance of this province is in such a shambles! Any party allowing such an inane motion to ever reach the floor of the HOA tells us all we need to know about their priorities and their ability to manage the affairs of this province.

  • Political Watcher
    March 18, 2013 - 12:00

    Kent knows he is on a sinking ship and will, no must do and say anything that may elevate him to a Cabinet position as he will go down next election having served his entire political career on the bac bench or opposition. Scary thing, this Alliance Party Reformer turned Liberal turned Tory believes what he says.

    • RM
      March 18, 2013 - 14:16

      Well said, but let us return to the days when Shameless Stevie followed our former premier around heaping praise on him. Danny didn't even need his help because he was already a rock star, yet Steve (Sir Hiss) Kent would be the almost daily plant on open line. Y'know, I get the self promotion bit, the need to remain relevant, in the public eye, go to every event, attend every funeral, return the phone call even those there is little you can do for the constituent...I do. However, Kent believes his own press...he really does and at his tender age, to have arrived at that point is scary, even for NL politics.

  • RM
    March 18, 2013 - 11:58

    Steve Kent...the scary thing about this guy is, Mt Pearl will elect him all over again. LOL

  • saelcove
    March 18, 2013 - 11:05

    Jones needs to get over her self

  • George Warford
    March 18, 2013 - 09:06

    The bottom line is that it is not the house of assembly's business who an mha sees or haves dinner with and the innuendo by the minister is an affront to the basic rights of people to enjoy themselves without big brother watching and reporting on them. Big Brother should mind its own business and not spy on its citizens.

  • Harvey
    March 18, 2013 - 08:01

    Steve Kent...Ha,ha,ha, Ho,ho,ho.Drivel in the highest degree.