an understatement to say public interest in the Humber Valley Paving (HVP) affair
is building fast. Just look at the column to the left. Monday’s Post “Disturbing Questions Raised By Frank Coleman’s Disclosure” became the most read spot in just two days.
over the Office of Premier without the benefit of the opinion of the Auditor
General. Some believe the issue requires
an investigation by the RCMP, too.
think the public is solely troubled by HVP, though it is the biggest issue and is top of
Coleman is not ready and the public are not ready for him.
Coleman is relatively
unknown, possesses no history as a policy wonk or politician and sports none of
the virtues one would look for in a political leader. He might have arrived, as incoming
Premier, only because Danny Williams has hijacked the Progressive Conservative Party.
Churchill once said democracy is the worse system, except for all the
others. We may have come to realize that
a key to its success is the public’s willingness not just to exercise its vote,
but its patience as well. Coleman is
certainly trying that virtue.
has arrived without election and absent any process of screening, even one that
suggests minimal acceptance by the body politic. Evidently, Williams’ blessing
consider the seriousness and the ramifications of the Humber Valley Paving
affair, it is not difficult to understand people’s bewilderment over his easy
presumption to the 8th Floor.
electorate could care less that the P.C. Party has been hijacked but, it does care
that their Government has been hijacked, too.
Coleman, Danny Williams, the Tory Caucus, the media or anyone else cannot
understand that the public is alarmed because a stranger may become Premier, one
under an immense cloud right now, they truly are detached.
Coleman’s suitability is compressed, like tectonic plates, against the HVP
co-incidence of having Bonds worth $19 million released with the collapse of
the Leadership Contest is far too great to contemplate. Little wonder it is being investigated. Indeed, there may well be a role here for the RCMP.
a matter contrived by the Opposition or by some vexed third party. It has arisen because the Minister conferred on Coleman an unprecedented benefit. Both have been disingenuous.
and contradictions abound.
Minister said he cancelled the Contract due to forest fires in the area of
HVP’s work. He moved off that rationale
when it was shown him the forest fires had affected roadwork for only 2 or 3 days.
says it was to save HVP from bankruptcy, but Frank Coleman told CBC On Point the
work could be sold and that HVP had other alternatives.
the economical thing to do for taxpayers, according to McGrath, yet the Canadian
Surety Association says that is preposterous; the most efficient way to deal
with any delay, it said, is to call the Bonds.
story first broke Frank Coleman told us he did not benefit personally from the
release of the Bonds. Weeks later he admits
he was on the hook for the security and that he benefited personally.
other inconsistencies we add the fact that, in respect of both Minister McGrath
and Mr. Coleman, any information had to be literally squeezed out of them.
beginning McGrath made reference to only one Bond of $9.5 million. This scribe tweeted that two Bonds worth $19
million amount were released, not one. It
should have been Frank Coleman who corrected the Minister and the media.
have been Frank Coleman who demanded a thorough investigation and offered his
participation in the kind of transparency needed when political leaders fall
under suspicion, unwarranted or otherwise.
Frank Coleman’s intercession it took a week of tying up Question Period in the
House of Assembly and widespread anger, on social media, before the Premier
informed that the cancellation of a second contract associated with HVP is
under active consideration.
credibility of Minister Nick McGrath is shot.
Can anyone say Frank Coleman’s is not shot right along with him?
HVP was in as poor financial shape as Minister McGrath would have us believe,
Mr. Coleman cannot even make claim to the status of business titan for which
reason, we are led to believe, he is thrust onto the public stage.
wants to see an untested, unproven, unknown person ascend to the Office of
First Minister, Coleman can walk right in. In effect,
Mr. Coleman has executed a coup d’etat. The Premier’s Office is wide open to him. Even his Swearing-In, by the Lieutenant Governor, has none except ceremonial
value in respect of that Office.
may be entirely innocent of any allegations of conflict or of being the
recipient of multi-million dollar political favouritism. The controversy may be related to nothing
more than to the incompetence of a single Minister and to a Premier too weak to
case, the Office of Premier demands that no one take occupancy under a cloud.
constitute the ultimate disrespect, to that Office and to the institution of
the “in-coming” Premier should not be directing staff changes in the Premier’s
Office, as a private citizen. Rather, he should only
be preoccupied with sharing every single detail of the HVP affair with a
waiting public; he should be awaiting the results of the A-G’s investigation
and encouraging the Premier to include the RCMP.
interesting to listen to the troubles in Ukraine these days. Some of us seem to
think just because we haven’t raised our guns, all is just fine.
reason to be smug.