Danny Williams supports Muskrat Falls. This shocking news comes straight from the horse’s mouth, courtesy of a luncheon speech Monday sponsored by the St. John’s Board of Trade.
That the premier who signed the original deal actually still supports it now that he’s not the premier is not really a surprise. Nor are his reasons for doing so.
The only truly interesting aspect of Monday’s speech was the absence of senior government ministers in the audience. Former premiers — of all stripes — remain personae non gratae under Kathy Dunderdale’s administration.
At one point in his speech, Williams used a unique format to drive home his point: a top-10 list, à la Dave Letterman.
Most of his points have been trumpeted many times before: “Our province will be a climate change leader in the country” and “We will own the project and we will own the asset.” Some raised arguments that have been hotly disputed: “There is a demonstrated need for more power” and “Muskrat Falls is the lowest-cost option as presented to the Public Utilities Board.”
Rolling the arguments out in a quick list, though, is a neat trick, and an effective way to bolster your overall case.
So, in the same spirit, here’s a top-10 list for why the current premier should allow expert witnesses to appear before the legislature for the upcoming Muskrat Falls debate:
10. It’s a chance to show off the legislature’s fine sealskin upholstery to out-of-towners.
9. Gives us a chance to see how real parliamentary committees work (as on CPAC).
8. Allows the premier to play show-and-tell with those experts she’s always touting.
7. Allows the Opposition to play show-and-tell with those experts they’re always touting.
6, Avoids the circular, thread-bare back-and-forth we’ve been hearing for the past year.
5. Shuts the Opposition up.
4. One of the few times anyone in the House of Assembly will sound like they know what they’re talking about.
3. MHAs will be on their best behaviour.
2. We might learn something.
And the No. 1 reason to allow expert witnesses in the debate?
It’s our money.