Cheers: to unintended irony. A scant couple of months after laying off a thousand or so provincial civil servants, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy was front-and-centre to hand out public service awards. It makes you wonder: what would have happened if some of the names submitted as candidates were actually among the employees that Kennedy and his fellow cabinet members had marked for the chopping block? Or worse? If one of the winners had recently been awarded a pink slip? That might have made for an uncomfortable little ceremony.
Cheers: to helping those in need. Thank goodness the provincial government was there to provide necessary research and development money to the mining industry, including funding to help Anaconda Mining Inc. “increase efficiency in both its mining and milling operations at its Pine Cove Mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula.” Six days later, Anaconda announced the Pine Cove mine had great fourth quarter results. “During the fourth quarter, the company sold 4,367 ounces of gold and generated $6,780,307 in revenue at an average sales price of $1,552 per ounce. The fourth quarter sales volume and revenue were approximately 41 per cent and 32 per cent greater than the third quarter sales volume and revenue, respectively. For fiscal 2013, the company sold 14,879 ounces of gold and generated $24,173,439 in revenue at an average sales price of $1,625 per ounce. Compared to fiscal 2012, sales volume and revenue increased 24 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively.” For 2012, the last year the company has its results online, it had over $4 million in profits.
Jeers: to the left hand meeting the right hand. And not in applause, either. While provincial government energy projections insist we’ll need more electricity for more home heating (cue Muskrat Falls), provincial government climate projections released last week now forecast warmer weather that will reduce the number of days we need to use home and industry heating by 12 per cent. The new forecast is also pointing towards a five per cent increase in precipitation in both the fall and winter — good news for the province’s existing on-island hydroelectric reservoirs. Quick! Warn Nalcor and Ed Martin!
Jeers: to having your cake and eating it, too. Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan says his town is close to reaching a deal with the province and the companies building a new lift bridge in his town over a claim that they owe $400,000 or so in municipal permit fees. So stay with us here for the math: the province is building a new lift bridge at a cost of $40 million that will primarily benefit the town. The town has, according to the 2011 census, 3,643 people — which would put the cost of the bridge, per person, at around $11,000. The provincial government is paying, though, so the bridge’s pricetag is about $80 for every man, woman and child in the province. On top of that, Hogan (although he says the municipal fee is negotiable) wants the equivalent of $109 in fees for every man, woman and child in Placentia paid back to the town — meaning that, on a per-resident basis, the fees would not only equal the $80 per person the bridge will cost Placentia residents, but make an extra $29 per person, too. What’s that old saying? You don’t ask, you don’t get?