In the 63 years since Confederation, the province has been governed alternatively by four sets of elected political regimes — Smallwood
Liberals, Moores/Peckford PCs, Wells/Tobin Liberals, and Williams/Dunderdale PC’s.
Amongst many helpful initiatives, each administration also racked up serious failures with considerable wastage of public funds:
• Smallwood’s industries (batteries, chocolates, etc.)
• Moores’ Upper Churchill mis-steps (Recall case and CFLCo takeover), Stephenville Linerboard fiasco
• Peckford’s water rights reservation act, Sprung greenhouse
• Well’s pubic service expansions, court case losses
• Tobin’s cynical giveaways to federal and Quebec governments
These various political party ventures sapped $500 million-$700 million from the pubic treasury which the province could ill afford.
And, now the greatest waste of
all, Williams’/Dunderdale’s Muskrat Falls legacy farce looms to cost $3,800 million for plant/dams alone, some 500 per cent increase on the combined wastage previously accumulated over 55 years. (Additional millions for a long-needed Labrador/Island inter-tie is excusable on the basis of having secured the Paul Martin
$2-billion gratuitous grant — i.e. delayed terms of union)
• Net 80 megawatt power only to be added to the island grid (i.e., already least-polluting grid in the nation)
• 745 MW, under high subsidy, to be directed elsewhere (mainly overseas with hopefully, only some small part for local industries in the mining sector).
• N.L. taxpayers/ratepayers, to assume 50-70 per cent of total risk/cost (over $4.5 million per MW generated, vs. less than $200,000 at Upper Churchill where 170 MW “recall” power is now foolishly exported.
Why does the N.L. public tamely allow such financial skinnings?
Is political insight not supposed to be an N.L. electoral virtue? Has not our revamped educational system honed it further? In fact, contrariwise, has N.L. not lost its political bearings? Help! SOS! Mayday! Nalcor! Drop dead!