We sometimes forget that very busy, serious, intelligent and talented citizens head out each day to work, to volunteer and, in a variety of ways, to enable others in the search of self-improvement. In so doing, they enrich our Province and each of us, personally. Many, and especially, the writer whose email I am publishing today, have spent a lifetime sharing their enormous talents. They eschew publicity, unless it is essential to their mission. They work hard and their dedication often goes unheralded; they keep an ear to government and politics, but their time only goes so far.While music, art and education underpin our way of life there are many facets that make a society whole, that make it strong. Likely, the dedicated citizens, to whom I refer, share a frustration that overwhelms and they have to say what’s on their mind.
No name is ascribed but one incredibly talented and generous citizen expressed himself recently, this time with an uncharacteristic disregard for timbre.
TO: Des Sullivan
Like most people in this province, I tried to keep an open mind on this project when it was first touted, although I had instinctive misgivings because of the way it was being promoted and the heavy-handed third-world approach by both government and Nalcor. Never any answers to the real questions being asked; legislative over-riding of the vital role of the PUB; misleading statements about "revenue" when we all know that consumer charges for an energy monopoly do not constitute "revenue" to the province, but a disguised form of taxation of a captive public with no assurance of external revenue through exports or even industrial usage; character assassination of critics; no proven demand for power (1%?); potential giveaway to Alderon; changing rationale (we will sell to the U.S.; we won't sell to the U.S.; we have power to sell; we need all the power for our own industrial development;) etc. etc.
The whole thing smells like last summer's fish, and looks like a bureaucratic boondoggle being ram-rodded through a political giveaway of biblical proportions. It makes the much-abused Upper Churchill deal look like a godsend; at least that project provided a lot of construction jobs, built a town where some 600 people have lived and worked for the past half-century with all the economic spin-off to the province which that implies, and actually pays some money into our coffers each year (not nearly enough, to be sure, but at least we're not paying off a 10-12 billion dollar debt which will be the case with Muskrat! The people of Newfoundland & Labrador would be up in arms if it weren't for their religious worship of Danny Williams, who can do no wrong because he owns the Ice Caps, and if he's for Muskrat then it must be all right (Alderon and Brian Tobin notwithstanding!)
I didn't mean to rant in sending you this note, so I apologize. But I am angry that my own questions have never been answered, and that we seem to be hell-bent-for-leather on the road to financial disaster after finally becoming the "have" province which Brian Peckford predicted three decades ago.
The Upper Churchill deal was hailed unanimously by all parties in the House of Assembly in the 1960s, there was NO dissenting voice in the province, or in the media, despite all the brilliant lawyers we had living here who later became born-again evangelists of escalator clauses. Now there is a roiling sea of criticism and dissent, amazingly in a non-partisan environment. When I see the well-researched, thoughtful essays of John Collins, Cabot Martin, Dave Vardy, Ron Penney, Des Sullivan and so many knowledgeable citizens, I cannot believe that government is not at least re-thinking their position and, at least, allowing the PUB to do its work as the public guardian it is mandated to be. Democracy?
We live in perilous times, indeed.