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Monday 28 September 2020


Guest Post by Ron Penney
The recent Speech from the Throne contained the following commitment: “(a plan) that will connect surplus clean power to regions transitioning away from coal.”

We know, because the Premier told us that this was the first he had heard of it. But this idea, now named the Atlantic Loop, has been furiously spun as the solution to our Muskrat Falls woes and the key to developing Gull Island.

Our regional Minister confirmed that we were out of the “loop” on the Atlantic Loop. “We’ve been working with Quebec and with Maritimes energy ministers on this.” No mention of Newfoundland and Labrador.

So much for the vaunted relationship between the new Premier and the powers that be in Ottawa.

As I will explain, this is all nonsense.

Friday 25 September 2020


(Black Horse to the Fore)

Locusts and floods
For shortage of foods
Reported on page twenty-four.
Those won't make front page
Till kids of young age
Have bones sticking out of their skin -
A picture for readers to skim.

Monday 21 September 2020


It is ironic that the oil industry, whose excesses have helped distort economies in many parts of the world, including ours, now has its hand out to the same governments they have “played-off” against each other for decades.

Still, two groups of local workers – operations and construction - rely heavily on the industry for their livelihood and, understandably, want it rescued. This post is a commentary on the plight of the latter category.

While oil will be in demand for many years yet, the problems of the industry, including price, are not going away. No matter how you feel about environmentalists, many of whom naively believe that economies can switch to other job producing opportunities as fast as turning on a light bulb, the replacement of dirty oil is both necessary and unstoppable.

But naivety isn’t the exclusive purview of just one group. The oil industry, prohibited from engaging in monopolistic practices in free enterprise economies, have for years climbed on the backs of OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia, to keep benchmark prices as high as possible. The added fear is that countries like Iran and Venezuela, who have vast unproductive oil reserves, will get their act to together.

Those realities, and others to be described, announce that on the jobs front: “Houston, we have a long-term problem”.

Monday 7 September 2020


Premier Andrew Furey’s appointment of Moya Greene to Chair the Economy Recovery Team is a sound choice; it may even signal that he possesses a mind-set that extends beyond the comfort zone that his predecessors found in political friends, compliant bureaucrats and paid consultants.

This province has a huge economic and fiscal problem. It is so large, in fact, that words like “insolvency” and “bankruptcy” not only give it ascription, they have entered common usage. Those who understand phrases like “fiscal capacity” – the revenue generating capability of the province to fund services and pay the public debt – know that, realistically, successive undisciplined governments - from Williams to Ball – have pushed the province into a financial abyss.

The sheer dimension of the problem underscores the necessity to have a proven professional examine and advise as to a realistic cure. Make no mistake: Moya Greene is not Dr. Doug House, Premier Wells’ economic czar; she is the new Lord Amulree - his echo, anyway - Britain’s response to Newfoundland’s plea for financial assistance in the 1930s. She sports a Royal title, too.

Thursday 3 September 2020



Cavorting around on a sea-doo
Is most that many can see to do.
Swirling, birling, a whirlpool.
Grinning, spinning, on toys that can vex A vortex – and debt dances too.

Trailers and sea-doos, bikes, skidoos,
Suites and accessories, fuel too.
Government - and bank-financed -
The racket assails folks' private expanse.
It's the best that many can see to do!

John Tuach
August 31, 2020