Counting the cost

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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)

Farce?

• 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!

J.F. Collins

St. John’s

Organizations: Williams/Dunderdale PC

Geographic location: Quebec

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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    July 14, 2013 - 21:34

    Mr. Williams will not be remembered well by NL history books. What a bluff.

  • The Barnacle Goose
    July 12, 2013 - 21:21

    Our political choices amount to Pepsi (with Rohypnol) again, the New Coke, or some flat Orange Crush. The Muskrat Falls project is driven by the propaganda of employment promises (despite the lack of local skilled labour and long-term negative effect of temporary, high-wage jobs), environmental stewardship (without considering the GHG emissions created by watershed flooding and intense construction) and long-term stable electricity rates (predicted in times of global economic instability, monopoly marketplace and accelerating change). The 2041 group will never be right. Even if Cabot Martin was a time traveler, returning from 29 years time to tell us how we lost in court to Hydro Quebec and Holyrood is now burning old truck tires and kerosene. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador advertises that the power is in our hands. Is this a polite, energizing way of saying the average resident will be left holding the bag as our collective credit is being torqued out of our hands and pushed to the limit. Yet, we feel the austerity measures of fiscal sustainability kick in when the masses want roads or library staff. Mumbo Jumbo Inuit-Metis are trespassing on their own land, just like the Innu Nation did in Voisey' Bay in 1995. Closing Search & Rescue? Closing schools? No money to build hospitals and no money to staff them if we did. We can't afford seasonal workers. We can't afford civil servants, only megaprojects. The Mishtashipu (Hamilton River, or Churchill, as recently renamed by colonial carpetbaggers) is a long way from St. John's. It is a long way from true utility, in the John Stuart Mill sensibility. Some might crudely state that Nalcor and SNC-Lavalin, through an incredible EPCM contract, now surplant our government, and are essentially libel for any fiscal sustainability we have in the future. The only jail-time will be served by some hippy/hillbilly from Port Hope Simpson who chopped up a light pole while the white collars continue free to wage their Psy Ops on a confused population who flipflops between hating Quebec and Ottawa as the enemy who keeps NL down on her knees. This two-dam project seems to be a debt-creation endeavor, the physical justification for a clandestine corporate-siphoning of provincial public funds, now co-signed and sanctioned by our federal government with a loan guarantee which allows Emera and Nalcor to play nice now, and pay 30 million apiece if they opt out. We are poised to be railroaded again, figuratively and literally. At least the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation and the Mafia refrain from willfully destroying sensitive, pristine ecosystems. The foxes are not only in the hen house, they have rode off on the farmer's tractor with the deed to his land, and water rights.

  • Just Sayin
    July 12, 2013 - 09:30

    Antle has has said the merits of Muskrat Falls have not been proven, which leaves it open, if elected leader, will he oppose it. But with elections due in 2015, stopping MF will be too late. MF needs to stop no longer than 6 months from now. Cabanas court case may do it? And does one in a thousand even know this case is before the courts? To the point of this letter....... in fact few Nflders care about this. We need massive petitions to get rid of the Dunderdale government NOW. Have the petitions reflect the polls. But if few care....... then we deserve to be skinned again. And if we allow ourselves to be skinned repeatedly, is this a confirmation that we are a stupid people. Ray Guy devoted his life to try and inform and educate us about unaccountable and irresponsible politicians and corrupt businessmen. He is no longer here. And if his memory dies, we are doomed, as there is no one to shine the light as he could. Des Sullivan stands high in this regard, in his Uncle Gnarly blog. Most of the rest of us are pissing against the wind. The question remains, as a people, are we too green to burn? This was said of us a century ago when most had no education. So what has education done t make us any wiser?

  • whut
    July 12, 2013 - 08:12

    Please tell me this is letter was not written by Peckford's Collins.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    July 12, 2013 - 07:56

    And not one political leader has come out to condemn this fiasco and say he/she will stop it.