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: Old whine still sour #nlpoli

“I’m concerned that we have an aging asset,”  natural resources minister Siobhan Coady Siobhan Coady told CBC in explaining the most recent break downs at the Holyrood generating station. About two years ago, in the midst of darknl,  then-Premier Kathy Dunderdale said pretty much the same thing:  “We’ve talked incessantly, it seems to me, over ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Thank you, Danny Williams #nlpoli

Rob Strong has been a key player in the local oil and gas industry pretty much since the earliest days.  He knows what he is talking about. Strong pointed out to VOCM on Wednesday that the Hebron field won’t be the cash cow for the provincial government some people hoped/pretended it would be. Analyst Rob ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Real change #nlpoli

“A positive, optimistic, hopeful vision of public life isn’t a naive dream,”  Justin Trudeau told Canadians after he won a truly historic victory in the October 19th federal general election.  That victory, said Trudeau,  “is what positive politic can do.” “We beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: More ways to lose than win #nlpoli

“What this province needs is not just someone with the brains to figure out what’s wrong with our economy,” future Premier Kathy Dunderdale wrote in 2002.  “What this province needs is someone with the guts to start doing something about it for a change.” Dunderdale’s letter to the editor of the Telegram appeared on April ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Legacy #nlpoli

There is a lengthy list of political stories in contention to be the top political story of 2014. Start the year with #darnknl, the failure of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Hydro generation to supply the capital city and surrounding communities with electricity last January. It led to Kathy Dunderdale’s resignation as Conservative leader and Premier, which ...

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: All hail the Glorious Leader Trope #nlpoli

“Province to deliver on promise of whistleblower law”  read the headline for the CBC’s online story about the provincial government throne speech read Wednesday in the House of Assembly. About half way down the story,  it says that “Premier Tom Marshall is fighting back  against the perception” that the government he’s been a part of ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Sound of Silence #nlpoli

With all the talk the past couple of days about the relationship between the provincial government and the provincial energy corporation, it might be a useful time to ask a fairly simple question: What does Nalcor do? Might seem like such an obvious question that it you are laughing, but hang on a second and ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Other people’s agendas #nlpoli

If you have not read Kathy Dunderdale’s resignation speech, take a moment and do so now. What is most striking about the speech is that there is absolutely nothing anywhere in it that Kathy Dunderdale can claim as her personal accomplishment as Premier. There’s nothing she actually did during her three years in the most ...

Alberta Diary: Dunderdale’s departure relocates Redford deeper in premiers’ popularity sub-basement

Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you. Not necessarily a good thing with certain dancing partners! There’s just no way actual Canadian premiers, no matter whom they’re dancing with, ever look this good! Below: unpopular dance partners Alison Redford, premier of Alberta, Greg Selinger of Manitoba and all-but-departed Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland. ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Second Longest Slow Good-bye #nlpoli

Provincial Conservatives will get together on Wednesday morning and eventually admit the worst kept secret in local political circles:  the local Tories will have a new leader before the next election. Kathy always was an interim leader.  The original plan was to keep her for a few months to keep the lights on and some ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Shifts and Changes #nlpoli

Kathy is going. Tom Marshall gets to quit politics as interim Premier. That’s if the reports on Tuesday night hold through Wednesday morning. Here are some quick observations: (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Confidence Campaign #nlpoli #darknl

The provincial government started its campaign to gain control of the political agenda on Thursday with its announcement that it would appoint someone to do something sometime in the future. The conventional media outlets didn’t report Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s announcement that way.  The Telegram, for example, called it an “independent” review but acknowledged in the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dunderstan #nlpoli

In January 2012, Ed Martin and his nasally drone ridiculed the idea of shifting demand for electricity from one part of the day to another so that his company wouldn’t have a problem meeting spikes in demand during the winter. He dismissed the idea as “theoretical” even though it’s widely used across Canada in places ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Crises within crises #nlpoli

The action of the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill once said, “is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Some people in Newfoundland and Labrador likely felt that way after Day Three of Kathy Dunderdale’s one woman crusade to deny that the province is experiencing a crisis. Most people just cock their heads to ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A tale of two crises #nlpoli

Kathy Dunderdale did two major interviews on the first working day since the start of the Nalcor generation crisis. One was with registered Nalcor lobbyist Tim Powers (# 777504-14002) who is currently holding down a guest spot hosting on VOCM.  The whole interview is actually online at vocm.com.  The second was with CBC’s John Furlong ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Great Blizzard/Blackout 2014 #nlpoli

Some observations: 1.  Yep.  It’s a crisis. When you have a major utility cutting electricity to people in a blizzard at random, for random periods of time because it cannot supply enough electricity to meet demand, you have a crisis. That’s what it feels like to the people in it.  That’s what it is. People ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Moments #nlpoli

There’s something perverse about the way politicians these days use a memorial to the dead of two world wars in the last century as a backdrop for their own political spectacles. That’s what Kathy Dunderdale did – yet again – on Tuesday night to tell Newfoundlanders and Labradorians about something she regards as truly wonderful. ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Grits gain from Cons and Dippers #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale doesn’t govern by polls. That’s what she told reporters – yet again – as they asked her about yet another poll that showed the provincial Conservatives aren’t doing so well with eligible voters. Then Kathy explained to reporters that the polls told her that she and her colleagues must do a better ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The 2013 Harbour Grace Affray #nlpoli

Kathy Dunderdale told reporters on Tuesday, while the polls were still open mind you, that the by-election results would be no big thing. Life would go on.  The world would turn. And the Conservatives had two years left in their mandate. That’s when everyone in the province understood that the provincial Conservatives had already conceded ...

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 ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Softball #nlpoli

No wonder the Conservatives are smiling a lot these days. Not only have the New Democrats imploded as an effective political force but their leader has decided her job is to serve as a cheerleader for the government. (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Firm and Unfirm #nlpoli

With the House of Assembly open again, the major topic of Question Period was Muskrat Falls and the second version of the deal to ship power to Nova Scotia. Premier Kathy Dunderdale explained it on Monday in terms of firm and “non-firm”.  Firm power is what you know that the hydro plants will be able ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Talking down to people #nlpoli

A very smart guy scolded someone in a Twitter exchange recently with the observation that people don’t like it when others  – especially politicians – talk down to them. Well, here’s a good illustration of the point:  the provincial Conservatives. They love to talk down to people.  Charlene Johnson and the sexual exploitation report the ...