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Monday 26 April 2021


I wish to express my gratitude to Kam Hon Chu and Policy Options for giving me permission to republish this much needed Paper dealing with NL's existential fiscal crisis. 

- Des Sullivan

Newfoundland and Labrador needs more than an economic recovery plan

Now that the dust has settled after the election in Newfoundland and Labrador, attention shifts to the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team (PERT), with the release of its final report just around the corner. The mandate of PERT is to come up a comprehensive plan to address the province’s ballooning debt, deficit and expenditures.

The economic recovery plan is important not only to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians but also to all Canadians because its policy recommendations will certainly affect the welfare of N.L., and a failure to avert a debt crisis there would have adverse spillover effects on the rest of Canada.

Thursday 22 April 2021


Newfoundland and Labrador lost one of its finest last Sunday. John Tuach, geologist, consultant, promoter of Newfoundland’s mineral and mining sector, writer, poet, musician, and gardener, passed away on Sunday, April 18th, 2021.

Known on this Blog as the “Bard of Pynn’s Brook”, he was to the mining and exploration industry simply as “Tuach”. His was a sharp mind grafted onto a wonderful wit which enhanced a view of the world that belied frankness and honesty.

His notions of independence and self-reliance were iron strong. He was a “Scot” for god sake - born in Ullapool Scotland. Ancestry is one thing, however, but he was possessed of so many talents he could only have been successful.   

University studies in geology brought him to Newfoundland. Like many geologists, his career began in Baie Verte, the Peninsula then the mining capital of the Province. Tilt Cove, Advocate, Rambler/Ming Mine, and others located just up the road, near Springdale, notably Little Bay, Whalesback and Gullbridge, which, taken together, offer a sense of a vibrant geological region that has long attracted exploration, industry, and academic interest, and still does.

Monday 19 April 2021


During his long career at The Telegram, Russell Wangersky has commented upon — and quoted — people from a broad spectrum of society. He has given voice to the gamut of viewpoints, running from wisdom to nonsense; yes, even the wide berth that separates Voltaire and Danny Williams.

Quoting the eighteenth-century French philosopher and writer: “If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.” The local scribe was suggesting that, “in these sensitive times, it feels safer to use someone else’s words as a buffer.” He was being only a little facetious. He didn’t invoke Williams’ name in the piece, but he didn’t need to.

While some critics dislike the lashings of one schooled in the sublime arts, Wangersky was never intimidated by bombasts. The Telegram columnist reminded us on one occasion, as the Muskrat Falls Project ran amok, of a parable elevated to the status of gospel by Williams’ fan club, the St. John’s Board of Trade. “That’s the very nature of megaprojects,” Williams told them, adding, “You can’t make excuses for overruns, but by the same token they’re a fact of life and they happen.”

Monday 12 April 2021


The Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCOC) Decision to validate the Federal Government’s carbon pricing legislation as constitutional, went far beyond that singular issue. In the process, the High Court arbitrarily shifted enormous provincial powers confirmed under s. 92 of the Constitution, to the Government of Canada. (SCOC Reference Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act found HERE.)

If anyone is concerned about the fundamental structure of the Country – which is not just “federal” but “confederal” - much of the power held by the founding provinces remained with them - they will give the Majority Decision of the Court critical attention; the issues involved are inseparable from our identity, as Canadians, and critical to how the Country operates, too.

Unfortunately, such issues often seem so esoteric that they cause glaze over the eyes of some people, the word “constitutional” alone indigestible. As a result, we are prone to leaving the issue to lawyers, which is unfortunate because they are not a representative sector of society.