It’s said that perception is reality in the eye of the beholder. No matter what way government officials or business people spin it, the perception of Muskrat Falls by the general public is that it was a poor decision from the get-go and we, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, will have to pay dearly for it for years to come.
There’s something about Muskrat Falls that just won’t go away when we think about it. It’s like someone is giving us another swift kick in the gut.
The first kick was the Churchill Falls deal, disaster for us, great for Quebec. We still have 27 painful years remaining on that one. Don’t mind spinner Jerome Kennedy when he says that the right decision was made on Muskrat Falls. It will haunt us for years. What fools would they be if he came out and declared that the decision should never have been made?
Muskrat Falls is one of the significant reasons why Premier Kathy Dunderdale, Jerome Kennedy, et al are at an all-time low in the polls. There is no bouncing back from this. They’re done.
Conservative MHAs may just as well start looking for new jobs. Of course, some will be appointed to something or other and will be well paid because they were good footsoldiers for the party, much like those ladies and gentlemen who are appointed to the Senate.
Scrap the Senate, save a bundle
If you read the June 8 Weekend Telegram story on page A5, “Senators make the case that they’re worth the money,” you wouldn’t be surprised by what our six provincial senators had to say about their appointed positions. To listen to them, you would think their jobs are indispensable and that they’re the ones running Ottawa. Some indicated that Canadians don’t know what senators do. Let’s finish that thought; we really don’t care what they do. Now that they are visibly under public scrutiny, what do we expect them to say? That the Senate is doing terrible work and that they all should be fired for having such a great time on our tax dollars? Good luck with that.
It’s not anyone’s fault, the Senate is what it is and has been for years, a perceived pork barrel, a Shangri-La for those in the party (Liberal and Conservative) who have remained steadfast, a place where they can live out their lives sitting on the throne of plenty without having to break any more political wind. Roman senators in times past would be quite proud of our lot today.
Let’s set the record straight, again: senators are appointed, not elected. Would it make a difference if they were elected? No! It’s simply another level of government we don’t need. Think about it, $461,619.11 spent by our six senators alone on flights back and forth to Newfoundland and Labrador from Ottawa. What a disgrace! Surely, there is no excuse for such wastage of hard-earned public money? Whatever happened to accountability? Nothing! It was never there to begin with, thus a further reason to abolish the Senate.
God bless them, our senators insist that it’s not them upsetting the Senate apple cart; it’s four or five other apples that are spoiling the benefits for everyone else.
Canadians today are far too busy trying to make a living and paying their own hefty taxes when it comes to worrying about what the Senate is up to. Who really cares if the Senate of Canada is abolished? Perception: no one! The people of Canada should not waste time on whether the Senate should be or could be reformed. The only answer is to abolish the Senate and put $100 million a year ($1 billion in 10 years) where it will do some good: helping the homeless in Canada, the working poor, the unemployed, just to name a few of the many issues we have in this so-called “have” nation.
Once the Senate is abolished I’m sure that if these 105 senators want jobs, the big-box stores in any of our provinces would be delighted to hire them as greeters at the going rate of $10.50 per hour (with benefits) for their particular skill sets. Although, in this province, there will be some competition from Conservative party members.
So, get your résumés in soon, the early bird gets the worm.
P.J. Dwyer lives in Gander.