The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ratings trump truth #nlpoli

Sometimes the universe delivers you the magical set of circumstances you just can’t ignore. Danny Williams turned up at the St. John’s Board of Trade luncheon on Thursday to deliver a speech the day before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president.  As much as people might like to forget,  this was a great reminder of just ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Grits and Cons play dodge-fact over Labrador hydro talks #nlpoli

“There are no discussions between this government and the  Quebec government.” That’s part of a statement sent out by email to local reporters from natural resources minister Siobhan Coady’s office.  You can’t find it on the government website or the party website.  Coady was responding to a release from provincial Conservative leader Paul Davis challenging ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Worst possible time for HQ deal #nlpoli

If the rumblings from Labrador are correct, an opinion column in lapresse – “Why Quebec should regain Labrador” – this weekend both fits right in and provides a cautionary tale for us all. Pierre Gingras  – right – spent 31 years with Hydro-Quebec (1966 to 1997) building large hydro-electric projects like Manicouagan and James Bay. Gingras ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: OCI dumps troubled shrimp plant on taxpayers #nlpoli

Ocean Choice International is in better financial shape today, having successfully dumped a surplus shrimp processing facility on the people of Port Union.  The plant – seriously damaged in 2010 during Hurricane Igor still needs major renovations. OCI put the plant on the market in 2012 but couldn’t find buyers.  In 2012,  company president Blaine Sullivan said ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Offense and Defense #nlpoli

If you’re not on offense, you are on defense. And in politics, if you are on defense, you are losing. The Liberals wound up on the defensive yet again Wednesday with the resignation of Ed Martin and the entire Nalcor board. To be sure, Williams-era appointees like Martin or former board chair Ken Marshall have ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Getting while the getting is good. #nlpoli

As if on cue,  Danny Williams’ publicist tweeted praise for Ed Martin as soon as news broke that Danny Williams’ right-hand for so many years was leaving the energy corporation Williams created. Almost an hour later, she flipped out a statement from the former Premier himself praising Martin, Nalcor, and Muskrat Falls in terms that ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Us and them #nlpoli

This is the story of two politicians. One is a successful business man with major land developments in the works.  He got into politics to defend his people against foreigners out to exploit them. With a quick temper, a tendency to just make stuff up, and hair from the 1970s, the politician loves to attack ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The inexplicable persistence of nonsense #nlpoli

“There was a very good job done … of boxing this province out [of the Equalization program] a few years ago,” That was Premier Dwight Ball talking to reporters on Tuesday after the Throne Speech that set the agenda for his new administration. He was talking about the prospect that he might get some cash ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Lions, jellyfish, and a quotable Italian fascist #nlpoli

American media circles were all abuzz this weekend about a little episode on Twitter featuring Donald Trump and a quote he liked. Gawker created a Twitter account last year that spouted quotes from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini but attributing the quotes to Donald Trump.  Nothing happened to the account until Donald Trump himself retweeted ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: From a decade of prosperity to $2 billion deficits: What happened?

By Roger Grimes Reflecting upon becoming the eighth Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador 15 years ago this month, I found myself chatting with a few friends and associates about where the province found itself fiscally at that time, what happened during the next decade, and where we find ourselves today. During my tenure as Premier, ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Selling energy assets a good thing: Danny Williams #nlpoli

  “It was a previous Liberal government that wanted to actually privatize Hydro. This particular government wants to strengthen Hydro, wants to make it a very valuable corporation: a corporation that will ultimately pay significant dividends back to the people of this Province; a corporation that perhaps some day may have enough value in its ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The ABCs of ABC #nlpoli

  In 2004, Danny Williams fought for three months against a federal government decision that had been settled – at least for the federal government – earlier in the year as part of the usual budget cycle. Williams got the money the federal government had allocated but won the domestic war for public opinion. In ...

Alberta Politics: Fortune favours the brave? Trudeau risks advocating sane gun laws and ripping PM’s dog-whistle bigotry

PHOTOS: Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau during a visit to Edmonton last year. Below: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It should have been natural for the leader of the NDP to finally be the one who clearly called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his unprincipled and unpatriotic campaign of dog-whistle ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Brain Farts #nlpoli

Some people have a hard time with the idea that a great many political decisions are not the product of deep thinking, extensive research, and agonizing debate. They come from brain farts. You can hear that pretty clearly in the most recent episode of On Point. The political panel talked about a couple of cock-ups ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Experience and government #nlpoli

In the 1980s, local entrepreneur Craig Dobbin bought a batch of helicopter service companies across Canada and merged them with his own company  – Sealand – to form Canadian Helicopters.  By the time Dobbin died in 2006,  CHC was one of the largest providers of helicopter support services in the world. Not just Newfoundland and ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Old Twitchy versus the Telegram #nlpoli

Like clockwork, about two weeks after Danny Williams last got his mug on the news, the most thin-skinned media hound on the planet got himself a ton more ego-stroking attention. Every two weeks or so. Like clockwork. If you don’t believe it, just do some google searching. (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Spectators and the “Me” Generation #nlpoli

The official media advisory describes the event at Confederation Building this morning as an opportunity for Premier Tom Marshall to thank public servants “for the support provided by their work over his time as Minister and Premier.” In reality, this is another one of the grandiose celebrations that have become the trademark of Conservative Premiers ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Trash, Give-aways, and Conservative Policy #nlpoli

Friday is trash day in the world of political communications. It’s the day when you slip out stuff that is unpleasant in the hopes people will miss it. If you can slide in another story, like say the completely unnecessary appointment of a finance minister who will have the job for a mere two weeks ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: And then things went horribly wronger… #nlpoli

John Crosbie, the elder statesmen of Conservatives in the province took a shot at Danny Williams for his continued interference in the internal affairs of the provincial Conservatives. Danny blew a gasket and willingly gave interviews to every media outlet in town, thereby guaranteeing that the story that can only do even more damage to ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: John, Danny, and voter apathy #nlpoli

Every now and again,  someone will talk about voter apathy.  Last week,  Steve Kent was circulating the link to an article that claimed that youth engagement – getting young people more involved in the community and in politics – was a way of getting more people to vote at election time. That’s what voter apathy ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Premier Peek-a-boo #nlpoli

Pretty well every Conservative who is anyone in the province turned up on Wednesday night at Danny Breen’s by-election headquarters. Every Conservative, that is, except the fellow who is the heir-apparent to the leadership.  Frank Coleman wasn’t anywhere to be seen according to reporters at the headquarters after the polls closed. It turned out that ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ripples #nlpoli

The provincial Conservatives lost a crucial by-election in Virginia Waters on Wednesday, but not for lack of effort.  The could not possible have pulled out any more stops to try and win the seat in the last two weeks of the campaign. Even on polling day the Conservatives mounted a prodigious effort and the last ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Kremlinology 44: Optics #nlpoli

Danny Williams appeared in Virginia Waters on Saturday  to campaign for Danny Breen, the Conservative candidate in the by-election. Breen’s campaign wasted no time in pushing out pictures of The Appearance, like the one above, another one showing him with some young fellows out posting Breen campaign signs in the district, or the one below ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Insiders #nlpoli

The story of the 2014 provincial Conservative Party leadership contest is a study in politics on its most basic level. It is a story of those with influence and of those who have less of it or none at all. It is a story of how politics actually works inside the Conservative Party, instead of ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Old Fraudsters #nlpoli

There’s no greater fraud,  former Premier Danny Williams once said, than a promise not kept. In the House of Assembly on Monday,  his successor claimed that Conservatives “do as we say.”  Premier Kathy Dunderdale was making a dig at opposition leader Dwight Ball over his leadership campaign expenses. That’s a rather dubious claim of moral ...