Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Voters, Keep Your Minds and Options Open

A Danny Williams mega majority in the fall election is not necessarily a good thing. There needs to be more people to keep a government and premier in check, to question and demand action on the premier's words or inactions. While many believe Williams' heart is in the right place, his popularity could take a swift turn if some questionable issues are emphasized more in the public, and given thought to. A couple of things come to mind. One, the Trans Labrador Highway. The phase III construction has been delayed longer than peace in the Mid East, despite promising announcements from MHA John Hickey in the past year. This should be a major election issue that opposing parties of the government, and the Newfoundland public ought to be concerned about (Labradorians are already outraged). As well, certain recommendations of Justice Green's were not intended to be put in place until after the fall election.

Like the one that says a member of the legislature is personally liable for overspending on his or her expense account.

or the one that says a member of the House of Assembly cannot make donations using public funds. (from Ed's blog)

It makes one suspicious of why that would be. Also in the past, it's been noted in other news that Danny has said that "negotiations" were going on between the government and oil companies (summer of 2006), when in fact there were none taking place, except for general correspondence. Things like that are just misleading and it's preferable to have a complete honesty in a government, not people who say things that sound good.

It's good to be very protective of your province, and seeking the greatest financial reward from mega projects. People support him largely due to this strongly projected characteristic Premier Williams seems to have. However, he may look back and wish he could have re-framed some of his comments and approaches to oil companies and the Prime Minister, like "there better be a big goose egg in the budget". That needn't have been said at the time, as peoples' hopes were already leaning that way. But saying that publicly really made it look like he was telling the PM what to do. Harper was already shying away from the equalization promise he put in writing earlier in 2006 anyway, but comments like that perhaps closed the door to a more conciliatory leverage on the PM's part. Hopefully Danny's talks and approach with big oil will turn into real negotiations, and that the long awaited energy plan will be finalized soon, and from there a reasonable agreement can be reached on Hebron and other oil developments, with continued oil explorations as well. In the meantime, as the fall election approaches, it's healthy for the public to keep an open mind, consider all options, especially anyone who is honest, hard working, and is considered a good potential district representative, no matter what party he or she stands for.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Would Industry Starve on NL's Hebron Terms?

At least talk of talking between Newfoundland and Labrador and the oil companies is better than complete silence. Danny Williams' speech to NOIA Tuesday appeared to be more open and inviting to resume talks with oil companies. I wonder would any premier of NL be called Premier Chávez if they were holding out for 4.9 per-cent stake in the project, and for a royalty rate that rises with global crude oil prices, and is this fair? Or is this just Danny Williams because of his personal style? I guess Danny Williams is being called "Chávez" because he has a tough stand, or because of his said confrontational style. If it were Clyde Wells, or Gerry Reid, or whoever as Premier, would the "hold-out" stance on the development of Hebron be seen as "Chávezesque" or confrontational? Is what Williams is looking for going to eat into the oil company profits too much? Or are they being too greedy? How many billions do industry have to make for Hebron development to be fair for them? Perhaps that is a taboo area to question.

Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn slammed Premier Williams in a text that was supposed to be presented at the NOIA conference, but due to fog, he was unable to land. I also wonder is it politically incorrect these days to suggest that the sacred economic engines cut some profit slack to facilitate project developments? Or does big industry find it a bit embarrassing to only make "so many" billions, or not increase its profit by X % each year? Perhaps the people of Newfoundland and Labrador could help out in the Hebron negotiations by taking up a collection for oil companies who might make financial sacrifices in moving the project forward.

Monday, June 11, 2007


If you are touring Newfoundland and Labrador, or just interested in seeing icebergs, there are still some to be seen at various parts of the coastlines. This map
is from Iceberg Finder.Com. The site shows satellite detected icebergs from the last nine days, and tourist berg sightings. To inquire further you can call tourist information at 1-800-563-6353.

On the Iceberg Finder site, click on the + or - sign to zoom in and out of a particular berg or group. Zooming in gives you a more precise location of where to find them. The site also tells you what size or type the iceberg is. Keep in mind, they're not all big icebergs, so if you were intending to travel a long distance, it would be a good idea to contact a tourism depot for that area to inquire, or contact tourism operators in that area who may give first hand information.

There is also this one that has lingered just outside Quidi Vidi harbour, and also seen from Signal Hill. However, it can be seen closer from either the village of Quidi Vidi, or as this photo shows, a hilltop (accessed from the East Coast hiking trail, starting in Quidi Vidi).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Public Service Job Postings for Fall 2007

Internal & Public Job Competition

Date: June 3, 2007

Positions: Member of the House of Assembly of NL

Location: All over Newfoundland and Labrador

Job Type: Contractual - Duties commencing October 10, with possible renewal in 2011.

Qualifications: Must be knowledgeable of local, regional and provincial issues, hard working, diligent, caring, driven by the needs of people in the areas he/she represents. Should be a good listener, with prompt acting ability. Honesty an asset but not essential.

Must be willing to work nights, weekends and travel frequently as required within the constituency. Must be willing to read a lot, and continuously learn about issues affecting the people, district, and the province. The successful candidate should be thick-skinned, open-minded, analytical, and articulate. Have knowledge of HTML, spreadsheets, MS Office or Corel, and how to make a great coffee.

Previous MHA experience may be an asset, but not necessarily preferred.

Duties: Acting as constituents' representative in Government, the MHA will coordinate district social and economic initiatives, will ensure that SE infrastructure is maintained; will act as listener, and voice of the people; will conduct discussions and oversee programs that facilitate district development, health and general welfare. Other related duties.

Salary: Wicked!;) We'll talk.

Apply in writing, audio, or visual through radio, television, billboards, internet, newspapers, cars, trucks, SUVs, quads, trikes, boats, ski-doos, graffiti, phone calls, door-to-door, rallies, meetings, megaphones, people's fences, polls, tatoos, CDs, holograms, or sky writing, to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Closing Date: October 9, 2007

For aspiring Ministers, please see Minister duties here


Friday, June 01, 2007

Thoughts, outside a box

“Focus on your potential instead of your limitations” - Alan Loy McGinnis
"Success is a journey, not a destination." - Ben Sweetland

pc footnote: (Disraeli would probably have said "a person" in today's world)

"Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was."
– Robert Louis Stevenson

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.” - Bruce Lee