It’s not only the captain, it’s also the crew

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On Friday, Jan. 24, Kathy Dunderdale stepped down as the first female premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I first met Ms. Dunderdale when I was a regional vice-president with the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. Kathy Dunderdale became president of the PC Women’s Association, then went on to become president of the party and later became a member of the government. She held several cabinet posts and went on to become premier after Danny Williams stepped down.

While I had a lot of respect for her and wish her all the best, I cannot forgive her for some of the damage that has been done to this province under her watch.

She made the statement in her resignation speech this province is better off today than when we started. While I agree that is true to some degree, it was not because of better government, but because of windfall profits from our offshore oil, which was started before this government took power.

Just prior to the last election, this paper published a letter from me where I had a list of 15 things this government had done to hurt their citizens, a letter saying that I would not be voting PC. Since the last election there have been several huge things implemented by this government that has done great damage to this province.

• Shutting down 70-plus Employment Assistance Service Offices, mostly in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. These offices did exactly as the name stated, helping people find worthwhile employment.

• Passing Bill 29, putting in place legislation to stop the general public from finding out what this government was doing.

• Building Muskrat Falls, a project that we don’t need and we are being forced to pay for without our permission. I will elaborate on this later in another letter.

• Taking part in a trade deal with European Union countries. These are the people who are plundering our fishery resources on the tail and the nose of the Grand Banks, with no regard for conservation. They will not allow us to sell seal products inside their countries and apparently the premier did not even discuss these issues. They are very important to Newfoundland and Labrador, but not important to this government. This government has gloated about the wonderful deal and will not even tell us what is in it, while bragging about the money they were able to get from Ottawa. There may be $280 million (30 pieces of silver) for fisheries infrastructure, but this was a bribe from Stephen Harper to this government for signing, in my opinion, a very bad contract and, again in my opinion, a deal with the devil.

There is a lot more, but that’s enough for now.

How can you expect the voters to have respect for this government when they are doing these things constantly?

I spent some time as a captain of a fishing vessel. I could not operate it on my own, and I had to have a crew. A captain and the crew have a responsibility to make sure that the vessel operates properly and gets to its destination and back safely.

While the captain is in charge and makes the ultimate decision, the crew has the responsibility to advise the captain if they think he or she is not making the right decision.

While Captain Kathy is getting the blame for the PC ship running aground, most of her crew stood by and watched it happen.

In my humble opinion, they all should go down with the ship.

 

(Ret) Capt. Wilfred Bartlett writes from

Green Bay South. His email address is

wilfbartlett@hotmail.com.

Organizations: Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, Employment Assistance Service Offices, European Union

Geographic location: PC Women, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa Green Bay South

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Recent comments

  • YO MAMA
    February 20, 2014 - 15:02

    I find it much too time consuming to keep up with and understand all this political rubbish, and Muskrat Falls controversy......and correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't every penny our non-renewable energy sources be used to pay for our renewable? I'm no financial or environmental expert, but isn't this just common sense?

  • Cashin Delaney
    February 19, 2014 - 05:17

    Excuse me hardy sea Captains and politico aficionados as I interject that the Liberals have repeated the phrase "manage the fallout" for Muskrat Falls, and has done no loyal opposing for us (Des Sullivan has taken that on) and Jack Harris has not updated his "I can find no reason to oppose this project" stance, as far as I know. RIVER METHYLMERCURY FOR SKY CARBON FEDERAL OFFSET TARSANDS INDULGENCES Viva Mud Lake. Jail time for Gil Bennett!

  • George
    February 19, 2014 - 04:58

    Virginia Waters, I feel sorry for you, One thing the people of our great province know, your not a compassionate person, As for Cathy Bennett not winning the liberal leadership race, It had nothing to do about her sitting on board of Nalcor, It had to do with Judy Morrow, getting on the open line show with Bill Rowe, Making a statement Party feel Dwight is the man for the party, That part is true, because he isn't the man for the people. Virginia I hope you and many more will understand that Dwight is a time bomb waiting to go off, and when he do, the people will have to pay for our mistake once more. Virginia you better hope Dwight don't form the next government,

  • Harry
    February 18, 2014 - 16:12

    @ Virginia Water, The only reason Dwight can't say yes or no to the Muskrat Falls project, Because the man don't understand how it put together, Question you should be asking yourselves. Is it a bad project ? If your answer is YES...explain how...Virginia as for you also putting the government down, Why don't you offer some of your solution, as of to date you didn't. You call the PC's party everything, like abysmally incompetent - arrogant - deceitful behaviour, Virginia ole girl, you also DESCRIBING the liberal party. they proving that back in July 2013. also by taking in for turncoats, so before you going tossing rocks at the PC's make sure your house is clean...LOL

  • Crazy
    February 18, 2014 - 15:37

    @ Virginia Waters, Dwight Ball was ask point blank by Cathy Bennett in Gander, If he was the premier, would he put a stop to this project. All Ball did was beat around the bush, As for putting a stop to this project, answer to your question...NO it isn't to late.

  • Virginia Waters
    February 18, 2014 - 11:10

    @happily - Could you please provide a citation where Ball has said he supports this project. He has criticized the way it came about, the shroud of secrecy that Dunderdale pulled around it, government's refusal to let the PUB do its job, and on an on. I can supply many citations of his opposition to it - or, in the aftermath of it being sanctioned by government - where he demanded that export revenues be used to offset the burden on ratepayers and taxpayers in this province. See Telegram article Jul13th last year. Is there any doubt that Cathy Bennett lost the leadership because of her past association with NALCOR and her vocal support for the project. In fact I know of no recognized expert in finance, economics or energy - other than those feeding off the hind-tit of government - who believes this is a good project. No Ball will not battle the next election on whether Muskrat should proceed - too late for that - but he will make sure the election is about the abysmally incompetent, arrogant, deceitful behaviour of this government. And like Bartlett, this comes from someone who has voted PC.

    • Happily Retired
      February 18, 2014 - 11:31

      Yes, during the leadership campaign, he stated how he would do it differently. He did not say he wouldn't do it, or that he would scuttle it, if elected. It has nothing to do with being too late, it's because the bag men of both parties will make a fortune on the project. Just wait until he's elected and see what happens. As for what happens in the House of Assembly, well that's pure theatre, nothing more. If you base your support for a party on what happens there, you will surely be disappointed.

  • Happily Retired
    February 18, 2014 - 10:34

    Virginia Waters, I'm wellaware of the vote in the House of Assembly. Yvonne Jones also voted against it, but later supported it, and still does. On the other hand, Tom Osbourne and Paul Lane voted for things that they are now supposedly against. I'm also aware of what Ball said during the leadership campaign when he, Cathy Bennett, and Paul Antle also supported it. Or did you miss all of this? I'm not saying it's a great project, but the Liberals and the business people supporting the Liberals are strong proponents of this project. They're just choosing to stay quiet about it for now. If you think differently, you'll be greatly disappointed.

  • Virginia Waters
    February 18, 2014 - 10:18

    @happily retired. In case you missed it, in the vote in the legislature in December 2012, all opposition members voted against Muskrat Falls. Let's see how 'happily retired' you are a few years from now when your utility bill resembles a hefty mortgage payment. And by the time you're gone, says the Conference Board there'll be a lot fewer Newfoundlanders to pay off the horrendous bill Dunderdale and her crew have saddled us with. Just as I am about to be depressed with the sheep-like behaviour of far too many people in this province, along comes a sage, astute, independent voice of reason. Kudos to Captiain Barlett. P.S. - Dunderdale might be gone but her successor still hasn't cancelled Smith's contract. So the deceitful, arrogant, cynical mentality that got them here will continue until the electorate gets another chance to make things right next year.

  • Lloyd
    February 18, 2014 - 09:59

    God forbid if the Liberals are elected in 2015 We would be in debt the rest of our lives. They can't even run their own party, let alone Government. Maybe they could run a bulls eye shop. All they ever did was complain when they were in opposition. They complained about the state of the schools, roads, health care. Yet, when they were in power where did they put the money? The reason the PC'S had to fund money into the above areas that I mentioned above, was because the Liberals just didn't do it. Remember, Mr. Grimes walking out the back door at NTV because he didn't want to face the nurses. My memory is still quite good. So, Mr.Lane, and the two NDP guys crossed over to a sinking ship, and Mr.Ball accepted them so gracefully. Give me a break, please!

  • Happily Retired
    February 18, 2014 - 09:28

    Mr. Bartlett, Please vote for whomever you want, but bear the following in mind: There are plenty of government offices in rural areas of the province. The same services that EAS offered are still being offered. What exactly did Bill 29 stop you from getting? Mr. Ball is on record as supporting Muskrat Falls. If you think that the Liberals will stop Muskrat Falls, you're dreaming. The Government of Canada, not the Govt. of NL, did the trade deal with the European countries. This province had little more than observer status at those negotiations. One of the reasons for our economic turnaround was the money which Williams got for the Atlantic Accord. At that time, can you remember the response of the esteemed John Efford, our Liberal Cabinet Minister. It was "TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT." To use your own terminology, please have a closer look at what the other ship has to offer, because it's taking on water already.

  • Lloyd
    February 18, 2014 - 09:14

    God forbid if the Liberals are elected in 2015 We would be in debt the rest of our lives. They can't even run their own party, let alone Government. Maybe they could run a bulls eye shop. All they ever did was complain when they were in opposition. They complained about the state of the schools, roads, health care. Yet, when they were in power where did they put the money? The reason the PC'S had to fund money into the above areas that I mentioned above, was because the Liberals just didn't do it. Remember, Mr. Grimes walking out the back door at NTV because he didn't want to face the nurses. My memory is still quite good. So, Mr.Lane, and the two NDP guys crossed over to a sinking ship, and Mr.Ball accepted them so gracefully. Give me a break, please!

  • david
    February 18, 2014 - 08:57

    Good metaphor. My definition of "crew" includes anyone that is blindly obedient and subservient to the captain's every whim. For more than a decade, every person in Newfoundland happily swabbed Danny's poop deck.....and we'll all eventually walk the plank.

  • Jagger
    February 18, 2014 - 08:50

    It's not the captain, it's not the crew, it's the ship and its big business owners.

    • david
      February 18, 2014 - 09:50

      Ah yes .....the scourge that is "big business". More and bigger government is our only hope for prosperity!! BTW, hope you're enjoying the Olympics with a good cup of Timmy's coffee. Woooooooosh.....

  • Jon Smith
    February 18, 2014 - 08:41

    The PC's appear to be dragging there feet in getting us to the polls so that the people can launch the fatal torpedo. Nobody want to take the bridge ands it looks more every day like they are headed to anoint another interim premier who doesn't want the job. To the PC's credit in doing their damage control they have resisted the urge to expropriate the Scully mines and its associated environmental costs. However they are headed to Wabush possibly to bail out the unions and destroy more of our tax dollars - we wait with bated breath..

  • John Smith
    February 18, 2014 - 08:33

    The province is in the best shape it has ever, ever, ever been in. When the Liberals left us in '03 we were 13 billion dollars in debt, with the worst credit rating in our history, with the highest tax rate in the country, with the lowest GDP in the country. Muskrat Falls is an intelligent, well thought out answer to our coming energy needs, and is 2.5 billion less expensive than the nearest alternative. Bill 29 is totally over blown by the opposition and the media. The Liberals are a million in debt themselves and they want us to hand government over to them...LOL Give me a break...

  • John Smith
    February 18, 2014 - 06:48

    The province is in the best shape it has ever, ever, ever been in. When the Liberals left us in '03 we were 13 billion dollars in debt, with the worst credit rating in our history, with the highest tax rate in the country, with the lowest GDP in the country. Muskrat Falls is an intelligent, well thought out answer to our coming energy needs, and is 2.5 billion less expensive than the nearest alternative. Bill 29 is totally over blown by the opposition and the media. The Liberals are a million in debt themselves and they want us to hand government over to them...LOL Give me a break...

    • Tony Rockel
      February 18, 2014 - 08:32

      When "John Smith" calls ANYTHING "intelligent and well thought out" you can automatically write it off, along with his pathetic LOL.

    • david
      February 18, 2014 - 09:19

      Your drivel has gotten so monotonously obvious that I just have to ask......is it because your cover was blown so long ago that you don't even try to hide it anymore ?

    • Winston Adams
      February 18, 2014 - 09:46

      John Smith, you mean 2.5 billion less than the restricted alternative considered. Energy efficiency for demand reductions were not considered. This alone could reduce demand by an amount more that allocated for the island by Muskrat. The cost, about 1 to 1.5 billion. The cost to government and taxpayers ..... zero. Cost is self financed by a modest surtax of about 8 percent on all energy use, to pay for the household efficiency measures. The saving to customers is about 30 percent on annual energy, so net saving about 24 percent. This method proven by most progressive power companies and jurisdictions in North America... search Efficiency Vermont, Efficiency Nova Scotia etc to see that "intelligent" people are doing. And your Plan excluded modest increases in wind energy. Nalcor wanted to stick with the present 2 percent of total ( we have only 54 MW) Afterwards it was acknodledged that 10 to 15 percent was possible..... but they did a study looking at the idiotic amount of 600 Mw for the east and west coast all backed up by batteries....a child would not propose such a scheme. Our wind, which can expect 43 percent average output( much higher than most of the world can offer), on Jan 4 during rotating outages, put out at 87 percent capacity. A godsend to the grid at that time..... and when some island hydro sites loss capacity from icing conditions. Your Plan failed to evaluate wind contribution properly. Hope the PUB grilles them on this. You have always and continue to mislead the public in an area where you have no knowledge, and you hide your true identity. Perhaps the sign of a coward.

  • Fred
    February 18, 2014 - 06:29

    It is neither the captain nor the crew...it is public perception.

  • Crazy
    February 18, 2014 - 05:08

    Mr Bartlett, No disrespect to you, Are you asking us to forget about the PC's party, and jump on the liberal band wagon, because if you are, you really don't know what's going on with the provincial liberal party. Sir take the time and read the article in the Northern Pen, concerning the respect shown to the people. By Mr Ball and the Zebra club,

  • Ambrose
    February 18, 2014 - 04:56

    Sorry Wilfred Bartlett, Kathy Dunderdale..Didn't do any harm to the people, we did it to ourselves, when we all fill for Danny William, And we are about to do it once more, Right now everyone is thinking the liberal party is the great white hope, I got news for you and everyone else, Sir all you got to do, just look at all the in fighting that taking place with the liberal, Dwight and company can't even keep their house in order, Dwight is trying to build the party with turncoats,and they wanted to form the next government.

    • marilyn
      February 18, 2014 - 09:20

      The pc government is finished in nl as well as Canada. The liberals are no good or the NDP . So what do you suggest. The only one you never mention is the green party. Were do we go from here. There's n election comings soon and it seem we have no party to vote for . So I guess we go green and see what they can do . The cant do anything worse than the past governments as you think so give them a chance. They may be the answer to all the problems.