The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Duff in the hole encore #nlpoli

Oh dear. The CBC has gone off to the mainland to get Duff Conacher to make a comment about the need for political finance reform in Newfoundland and Labrador. Three observations: 1.  There is a desperate need for campaign finance reform in Newfoundland and Labrador.  SRBP has been writing about it relentlessly for a dozen ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Putting the sunk in sunk cost #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Muskrat Falls is basically an $800 million tax on the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. That’s roughly the amount you get using numbers Nalcor chief executive Stan Marshall made public last summer. Muskrat Falls is a tax on the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Always was that.  Never was anything else.  The plan was to ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Brutal #nlpoli

Any Liberals who thought they were out of the political woods got a harsh reminder of the truth on Tuesday. Their leader remains as unpopular as ever. According to Angus Reid, only 20% of respondents to their recent poll thought Premier Dwight Ball was doing a good job. That’s scarcely changed since last spring. 75% ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Poll numbers not very comforting #nlpoli

A little over a month ago,  only about 16 or 17 percent of respondents told pollsters they thought Dwight Ball was the best choice for Premier. In November, 27% of respondents picked Ball above Paul Davis and Earle McCurdy in Corporate Research Associate’s quarterly survey. That’s a big jump in 30 days. The only thing ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Mazel Tov Cocktails #nlpoli

Scottie Nell Hughes is one of the legion of ident-a-bots who turned up on news programs during the recent American election spouting lines from the Trump campaign. She’s already famous as the one who gave us the mazel tov cocktail flub.  She grabbed some headlines last week for making the comment that there is no ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Setting the agenda #nlpoli

In a set of media interviews this week, Premier Dwight Ball thought he would be talking about what’s he learned in his first year in office, what motivates him, and the great plans he has for the future. The election was on November 30, 2015 and Ball took office on December 15. As the result ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The graveyard of ambition #nlpoli

Think of it as an inside joke. James McLeod interviewed Premier Dwight Ball about the horror show that has been Ball’s first year in office.  “Ball also came under heavy fire,”  McLeod wrote, “for his handling of Nalcor Energy and perceived dishonesty about what he knew about outgoing CEO Ed Martin’s exorbitant severance package.” McLeod ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ball, Coady confirm secret talks with Quebec on Labrador hydro #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Premier Dwight Ball confirmed in the House of Assembly on Wednesday that officials from this province are talking to officials in Quebec about significant development of hydro-electric assets on the Churchill River. We know that something very serious is going on  – in secret  – because of the way that Ball and natural resources minister ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: His best shot #nlpoli

The most important measurement you need to take of Dwight Ball’s great vision for the provincial government is that this is his one, best shot. That shot consists of a hackneyed, worn-out, tired list of all sorts of things that government departments are already doing,  things that won’t materially affect the problem or government’s deficit ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Appearance #nlpoli

What you know of the world outside your immediate physical sensation – what you can touch, taste, feel and so on – is a mental construction. It is a fiction. That doesn’t mean it is all false. All fiction has some element of the concrete amid its vapour. Nor does it mean that appearance is ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The polls remain discouraging for Liberals #nlpoli

Heading into their convention this weekend,  the provincial Liberals have another poll that confirms what all the other polls have said for the past six months or so. For those misled by reports about the MQO poll like CBC’s initial one, see the bit down below. Here’s what you get when you take all the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Muskrat Circus rolls back into town #nlpoli

Stan Marshall appeared out of the shadows on Tuesday to do a round of interviews with every media outlet in town. He told NTV what he told everyone else:  the cost of the protests and the environmental work coming from the agreement that ended the protests will slow the project and cost money.  Stan also ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ball, Bennett, Williams, and Marshall #nlpoli

One of the things finance minister Cathy Bennett told NTV’s Issues and Answers this weekend was that the Premier Dwight Ball scrapped the fall mini-budget in September in favour of his own Grand Strategy for Moving Forward in a Generally Advancing Fashion with Vision. Ball scrapped the financial course laid out in the budget because of ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The political dynamics of Muskrat Falls #nlpoli #dip-o-crites #cdnpoli

The people of Labrador who have now occupied the work camp at the construction site are exercising the only political influence they have in the only way they have been able to influence events thus far on this project. There’ll be a post later in the week to run through how we got to this ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Eeyore and the Blustery Day #nlpoli

Premier Dwight Ball stood up before a hand-picked crowd at The Rooms on Tuesday and told them they were there to help develop a strategy for the future of our province.  They would look over some ideas the government crowd had worked up,  sit around tables talking with “facilitators” as part of this gigantic consultation, ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Politics as masturbation #nlpoli

“I am warning you.  Don’t make me wear my pikachu costume.” Demonstrations at Memorial University and at Nalcor headquarters on Friday show the extent to which Newfoundland politics has become little more than irrelevant stunts staged chiefly for the personal amusement of the folks with the expensive cellphones. The protesters do not want to stop ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Way Forward #nlpoli

Last December, Dwight Ball laid out his plan to deal with the provincial government’s financial problems. Ball made the comments to CBC’s David Cochrane a week or two after he’d been sworn in.  This was after he’d been briefed on the provincial government’s financial situation, so he’d had a chance to get over any shock ...

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: Flip. No. Flop. No. No. Wait. Flip. … #nlpoli

01 August 2016 – “Continuing continuity“ “This is not about cutting,” Ball told reporters on Thursday morning at a news conference. “This is about where we can create new sources of revenue for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”  It may be different from what the budget said, or what people thought it said, but in truth abandoning ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Who does he think he is fooling? #nlpoli

New England states need electricity.  They have a preference for green sources of energy, “What we have to offer, both in hydro and in windpower, can be part of [a green energy] solution,” Premier Dwight Ball told his eastern Canadian counterparts and the governors of the New England states at their annual international meeting.  CBC ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Who does he think he is fooling? #nlpoli

New England states need electricity.  They have a preference for green sources of energy, “What we have to offer, both in hydro and in windpower, can be part of [a green energy] solution,” Premier Dwight Ball told his eastern Canadian counterparts and the governors of the New England states at their annual international meeting.  CBC ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Unhappy Gang #nlpoli

The provincial cabinet ended a “retreat” at The Rooms by holding a news conference on Thursday using as a backdrop posters commemorating the slaughter of the Newfoundland regiment at Beaumont Hamel a century ago. Not exactly the kind of image you want to have but at least it fit with a new poll from MQO ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Being there #nlpoli

Thursday is July 14. Bastille Day. It’s also another anniversary. Dwight Ball has been in office seven months. In the latest edition of The Overcast, publisher Chad Pelley asks “What do we do if Dwight Ball resigns?” That’s a  reminder of where we are in this province.  A mere seven months into his first term, after ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: If Kelvin’s departure was no biggie… #nlpoli

According to Premier Dwight Ball,  Kelvin Parsons was never going to stick around for long as the Premier’s chief of staff. Okay. Let’s think about that for a second. If that’s true,  why didn’t Ball already have someone on tap to replace Kelvin when he finally decided to quit? If Kelvin wasn’t going to hang ...