The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Accessible Post-Secondary Education #nlpoli

Lots of people  like the idea of free tuition at post-secondary institutions like Memorial University or the College of the North Atlantic. In the recent provincial general election, the provincial New Democrats included it as one of their major policy ideas. A Memorial University engineering professor took up the argument last week in a letter ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Opening the doors on government information

There are lots of good ideas floating around that could make Newfoundland and Labrador a stronger and better place to live. One simple one would be to emulate British Columbia:  throw open piles of government information so that people can use it.  The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the most secretive, backwards ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Nurturing a democratic revolution

Public life in Newfoundland and Labrador remains as fundamentally undemocratic as it ever was. Paternalism remains the order of the day.  As three sitting members of the House revealed, they they are the face of government in their districts.  Never mind that neither of them is actually in government.  As members of the legislature, each ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Making the Most of Our Energy Resources, Part II – Oil and Gas in the Future

Without new oil and gas discoveries, the Newfoundland and Labrador petroleum industry will dry up within a couple of decades.  There hasn’t been a significant discovery in the offshore since the 1980s, with the exception of one find in the Orphan Basin. The problem isn’t a lack of oil or gas.  The geological estimates back ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A tisket, a tasket

You gotta love subtle minds, especially subtle political ones able to see nuances of meaning or the possibility you could rub your tummy and pat your head simultaneously. That would be most definitely not like the political geniuses of the last decade -  Danny Williams and Kathy Dunderdale  – who always saw the world as ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Making the Most of Our Energy Resources (Part I – Electricity Reform)

In slightly more than a decade, fundamentally bad policy decisions by Liberal and Conservative administrations have turned the provincial government’s electricity corporation has turned into an unregulated, unaccountable monster. Such is the power of this hydra corporation as we enter the second decade of the new millennium that it can corrupt the public body  – ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Strengthening the Treasury

Consider the simple reality. The current provincial administration has more money – without considering federal transfers – than any other government in the province’s history. Most of the government’s money comes from oil. Oil prices are at persistent record high levels. There are fewer people in the province than in 30 years. Yet the provincial ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Building the fishery of the future

To look at the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is to see as clear an example as one may find of the fundamental bankruptcy of the sort of old-fashioned politics that has existed from the earliest of times and that persists right down to modern day Ottawa. It is not business, as your humble e-scribbler ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: 15 ideas (and more) – Setting the Table

Our economic vision for Newfoundland and Labrador is that of an enterprising, educated, distinctive and prosperous people working together to create a competitive economy based on innovation, creativity, productivity and quality. Strategic Economic Plan, 1992 Our social vision for Newfoundland and Labrador is of a sharing society which balances its economic and social interests, cares ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: 15 ideas (and more) for a stronger Newfoundland and Labrador – Introduction

In her first speech to the House of Assembly as Premier – which she and her staff erroneously and arrogantly like to call her inaugural speech – Kathy Dunderdale claimed that, since 2003, she and her party had “demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fiscal responsibility”. The words turned up again in the Speech from the ...