Guest Post written by “Agent 13”

We have all heard of “The Dirty Dozen”, the D-day British pre-invasion team, glorified in the 1967 film, of the same name.  The “Dirty Nineteen” are
nothing like them and have earned no glory.

Let me introduce them.

Back in June 14th 2012, the Provincial PC Government was in
the final stages of voting on Bill 29. The Bill amended the province’s access
to information legislation.  The changes
constituted a massive step backwards for democracy, having permitted a level of
governmental secrecy never before seen in Newfoundland and Labrador or Canada.

Much of the secrecy around the Muskrat Falls Project was afforded by these

At the time the Bill was passed, comments like this one were ubiquitous:
“Bill 29 goes too far. Sadly the Government did not see fit to allow a
reasonable debate to unfold, instead using closure to push the legislation
through so fast that many access advocates across the country barely knew of
its existence”.  

The Government invoked Closure; a measure to cut off debate of the Bill in the
House of Assembly. It was was passed after three days of filibuster, by the

31 members of the PC Government used their majority to pass Bill

People, from journalism professors to press associations, condemned the

It took a massive public outcry to force an arrogant and unbowed
Administration to reconsider and to finally appoint a Commission, led by former
Chief Justice Clyde Wells, to propose changes, which are now law.

Also by “Agent 13”:

Some of the questions that will follow me into the Polling booth on

are these: can we trust the same people who voted for
Bill 29?  Are they really the best people
we can send to the Legislature to ensure transparency in government operations,
in the expenditure of public money and, otherwise, to protect the public

As of today, the PC’s have 33 candidates running in the upcoming
provincial election.  By my count 17 of
them voted for Bill 29, in 2012. Two others are running for the Liberals.

Let’s make them accountable. Here they are:

 1.       Baie Verte – Green Bay – Candidate:  Kevin Pollard
 2.       Bonavista – Candidate: 
Glen Little
 3.       Cape St. Francis – Candidate: Kevin Parsons
 4.       Ferryland – Candidate: 
Keith Hutchings
 5.       Fogo Island – Cape Freels – Candidate: Eli Cross
 6.       Fortune Bay – Cape La Hune – Candidate: Tracey Perry
 7.       Harbour Grace – Port de Grave – Candidate: Glen Littlejohn
 8.       Labrador West – Candidate: Nick McGrath
 9.       Lake Melville – Candidate: Keith Russell
10.      Lewisporte – Twillingate
– Candidate: Derrick Daley
11.      Mount Pearl North –
Candidate: Steve Kent
12.      Placentia West – Bellevue
– Candidate: Calvin Peach
13.      St. George’s – Humber –
14.      St. John’s West –
Candidate: Dan Crummell
15.      Stephenville – Port au
Port – Candidate: Tony Cornect
16.      Terra Nova – Candidate:
Sandy Collins
17.      Topsail – Paradise –
Candidate:  Paul Davis

And, running for the Liberals:

18.      St. John’s south – Tom
19.      Mount Pearl South – Paul

So, if any of the “Dirty 19” makes their rounds in the media and on
your doorsteps looking for your vote, you might want to ask them what they were
doing on June 14, 2012. Ask them why they worked against you, not for you.

The “Dirty Dozen” are renowned for their bravery. But the “Dirty 19”, from
where I sit, are just cowards of Closure.

Editor’s Note: 
Most readers will know “Agent 13” as one of the good guys, a support for 
“Agent 86” (Max) on the 70s TV Series, “Get Smart”.  Our “Agent 
13″ is an active professional with a keen interest in public policy issues. 
Having adopted “Agent 13″ as his pseudonym, he has chosen only to reveal 
his humourous side. On public policy matters, as his “reports” confirm, he 
has a serious side, too. 


Having survived in spite of themselves, in Opposition the Tories have been lazy and uninspiring.  The fact that it is summer, and the House of Assembly is closed, admittedly makes their job tougher, except that the Party’s manifest weakness is not a seasonal problem.


He was an exceptional person. A gifted intellect for sure; irascible and argumentative, too. What endeared him to many was not just that he was analytical and insightful, but that he was honest and forthright. He was a public policy wonk; resource policy interested him most. He loved to travel and read; people, with something to say, were always important.


I must say that after the Muskrat Falls fiasco, I thought our government had finally learnt its lesson and would not to rush into another such scheme where calling it “green” was enough to suspend all critical analysis.


  1. This is the excerpt from Hansard, the House of Assembly transnscript, which recorded the vote on Bill 29:

    All those in favour of the motion, please stand.

    CLERK: Mr. Kennedy, Ms Burke, Ms Sullivan, Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Jackman, Mr. French, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Hedderson, Mr. Felix Collins, Mr. Dalley, Mr. Verge, Mr. Kent, Mr. Granter, Ms Johnson, Mr. Hutchings, Mr. Davis, Mr. McGrath, Mr. Sandy Collins, Mr. Kevin Parsons, Mr. Little, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Osborne, Ms Perry, Mr. Dinn, Mr. Cornect, Mr. Littlejohn, Mr. Crummell, Mr. Pollard, Mr. Cross, Mr. Peach, Mr. Lane, Mr. Russell.

    MR. SPEAKER: All those against the motion, please stand.

    CLERK: Mr. Ball, Ms Jones, Mr. Andrew Parsons, Mr. Joyce, Mr. Edmunds, Mr. Bennett, Ms Michael, Mr. Kirby, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Mitchelmore, Ms Rogers.

    Mr. Speaker, the ayes: thirty-one; the nays: eleven.