Top News

Editorial: Start making sense

Premier Dwight Ball didn’t have a firm answer about how much money the province will have to contribute to the new, smaller fisheries fund announced by the federal government last week.
Premier Dwight Ball didn’t have a firm answer about how much money the province will have to contribute to the new, smaller fisheries fund announced by the federal government last week.

It seemed like a reasonable question. An opposition member, Keith Hutchings, asked Premier Dwight Ball in the House of Assembly about the carbon tax implications of a new deal to develop the West White Rose oilfield — an especially apt question, given that a carbon tax would appear in 2018, under the current federal government timeline.

The tax wasn’t mentioned in Monday’s announcement that work to develop the field was going ahead. It’s valuable to know where that money would come from, especially if it will affect the province’s taxpayers.

The answer? Here it is, in all its glory, from our verbacious premier: “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, first of all, I want to just reiterate the confidence that he has in the federal Liberal win in the next federal election because the Conservative leader that was elected just a few days ago had said clearly that if he was elected, if Andrew Scheer was elected, he would be doing away with the carbon tax. So I appreciate the vote of confidence for our federal colleague, Mr. Speaker. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, we all know that the carbon tax is part of operations, but the beauty about the deal that we have signed on behalf of the impact of carbon tax — and we know it’s difficult when you get offshore. This government has struck a deal that the carbon tax can be used at the discretion of this government. If we want to work with industry, we will work with industry, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the confidence in our federal leader, Justin Trudeau, Mr. Speaker, and the fact that he’s suggesting that Andrew Scheer cannot win the next election.”

Cue the chortling and desk-pounding on the government side.

Seriously — we’re paying for this?

A legislative reporter described the response as “word salad.” But that’s far too kind.

The fact of the matter is that our elected representatives spend our time and our money on foolish, self-serving one-upmanship, and probably think it’s witty, sparkling repartee.

Why wouldn’t they think that?

They are, after all, surrounded by a coterie of party robots who would clap and laugh uproariously if a member of their party flopped on the floor like a fish and started speaking in tongues.

In everyone else’s working world, when you’re asked a question, you either answer it or decline to give an answer. You don’t go off on some specious rhetorical flight that those who are paid to like you then applaud.

It is the linguistic equivalent of spending your day with a pork chop tied around your neck so your dog climbs all over you, and then claiming it’s because the hound appreciates your sparkling wit. It’s an embarrassment.

Here’s a novel idea, Mr. Premier: don’t waste your time.

Or ours.

Recent Stories