Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Danny Williams throws in the towel

Danny Williams is forever in the news, but the following headline in Tuesday’s South London Press (that’s London, England) almost decked me.

“Danny Williams: Now I can call it quits”

Only the scrapper in the UK news isn’t our own Townie cornerboy who loves to blacken enemy lamps, but a veteran fighter who lost his British heavyweight title on Saturday night (May 15th).

Danny Williams, a 15-year professional boxer, lost by a technical knockout in the second round.

Our own Danny B’y has been knocked around by Quebec as of late, but isn’t about to throw in the towel.

He told the Canadian Press earlier this month he wants a third term, although he has a ways to go before catching up to the all-time champ (in terms of political longevity) — Joey Smallwood.

Telegram
cartoonist Kevin Tobin loves to draw Williams with a bowtie, but the premier would have to win six back-to-back elections to match Joey’s record.

Smallwood actually ran in 7 elections as leader of the provincial Liberals, although the 1971 provincial election resulted in a tie and he resigned in January 1972.

Let’s see, if Danny were in office for 23 years that would mean he’d retire in 2026 at the age of 76.

Which is still three years younger than Fidel Castro was in 2006 when poor health forced him to step down.

Keep in mind Danny’s rule has been described by a Memorial University professor as a “friendly dictatorship."
•••
The National Post also carried a feature recently on Danny Williams (the politician).

Headlined Master of his own Destiny, Williams’ popularity was described as “almost frightening”.

Part of the interview was carried out at Ches’ restaurant in St. John’s, with the premier ordering a “stack of saucer-sized” onion rings as an appetizer.

A message far and wide that Williams’ heart is good to go.

The Post article mentioned how the premier is “softening around the edges”, getting all buddy-buddy with Steve Harper et al.

Which has the “giddy” federal Conservatives talking about reclaiming at least two NL seats come the next federal election.

What does the premier want in return?

His wish list includes the federal government’s 8.5 per cent stake in Hibernia; federal funding for the Lower Churchill project; and for Ottawa to “lean” on Hydro-Québec to carry NL power along existing lines to Ontario and markets in the northeastern States.

Good luck with that last wish.

The last time the feds leaned on Quebec in defense of NL was … was …

Never.
•••
It's been noted as of late that the media are starting to take on the Williams administration.

Just this week Labrador’s Aurora newspaper carried an editorial headlined Time for Williams to give up Lower Churchill fight.

Here’s the last paragraph: “Many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are fans of Williams because he'll always stand up for the province, but one has to wonder whether he sometimes starts a patriotic fight just to distract the people from other issues — like the botched appropriation of a paper mill, or a controversy over the relocation of an air ambulance, perhaps?”

Only Williams didn't start the latest battle with Quebec.

And giving up the decades-old war over the development the Lower Churchill would be a mistake.

It would be another mistake to let the Upper Churchill contract go.

That fight's personal.
•••
Corner Brook’s Western Star also went after the premier recently, advising him to reevaluate his “wish to carry on” with a third mandate.

"They're a hostile newspaper," Williams told the Post with a dismissive wave of his hand.

See, the premier has changed.

There was a time when that wave would have been a round-house.

4 comments:

George said...

You have to do the hard sell in Quebec to the benefits of allowing power from the Lower churchill through, and that's not being done. What you find in Quebec these days is a huge population of people who are fast becoming backyard environmentalists who beieve in the green message. It's the only message that Newfoundland and Labrador hasn't pushed on the agenda.
If one kept arguing the fact that this power development were to mean the equivalent of the removal of 190,000 barrels of crude oil consumption off the North American market, I'm sure you'd sway the [population into allowing power through. It may also give the feds an "excuse" for allowing the power through to the US markets as well.
Those that argue against power from the Lower Churchill are getting older and there's a new burgeoning youth population who just might have more of an open mind about matters especially if they have a direct connection to the green message overall.

Table Mountains said...

george *quote "the equivalent of the removal of 190,000 barrels of crude oil consumption off the North American market."

george,that amount,would it mean daily,monthly annually?

Fisherman's Road said...

“In oil equivalents, there are 55 million barrels a year in production at Churchill Falls which are being sold to Hydro Quebec at a price of $1.80 per barrel for the past 22 years and will continue to do so at prices as low as $1.20 per barrel over the next 43 years. This is a true Canadian tragedy.”
— Vic Young, who served as chair and CEO of Newfoundland Hydro and Churchill Falls Labrador Corporation (1978-84), corresponded in 1996/97 with then-prime minister Jean Chretien, calling for a tripartite resolution (involving the feds, Quebec and NL) to the “unconscionable” Churchill River situation. The above quote is taken from that correspondence.
•••
In a December 2009 speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Premier Danny Williams had this to say:
“Newfoundland and Labrador has more than 3,000 megawatts of undeveloped hydroelectricity in the Lower Churchill project … these 3,000 megawatts would reduce green house gas emissions by 16 million tonnes, the equivalent to taking 3.2 million cars off the road. This is enough power to light up one and a half million homes and greatly assist Canada in reaching its climate change targets for 2020. It is an outstanding green project and low hanging fruit in the world of clean energy.

Craig said...

I don't know what else we can do. I think the only viable option is to bring that power to the Island and then construct that undersea transmission cable. I think it would be worth it even if the cost are outrageous for the startup.

We are never going to get any satisfaction out of Quebec where hydro power is concerned and we may as well move on and look after our selves.

That oil that is under our continental shelf is only going to last for so long and it would be nice to have a new source of revenue that we can draw upon.

I say build the line and build it large enough to handle the capacity from both the Upper and Lower Churchill projects and once that contract is over with Quebec cut our ties with them, if not sooner if we can.