Finance Minister Siobhan Coady delivered the
2022-23 Provincial Budget last week, enshrouded in the kind of rhetoric that
suggests the Government is prudently managing our finances.
Let’s take a look at the 2022-23 Budget Estimates to see
if what she is selling is in line with the reality that the PERT Report described only one year ago.
This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?
Put simply, whether Muskrat Falls come online or not, it cannot be relied upon. Without admitting their gross negligence at the start, Hydro is essentially saying that that we should try to salvage Muskrat Falls at an undefined cost and for for however short the duration it might operate.
The substance of Hydro’s mission is to satisfy the contracts with Emera to get large amounts of power flowing into Nova Scotia for the betterment of that province and its ratepayers. The Island could easily live without the Muskrat Fals project and in fact, other than for the onerous Emera contracts, NL ratepayers would be best off if it was abandoned and left to rust.
Cabot Martin’s sudden passing, in September, has stirred his friends, colleagues, and others familiar with his work, to honor him and encourage continued work in applied research and public policy development.
$1 million is not bad farewell for a fellow whose work performance represents one of the principal reasons for a twenty million dollar Public Inquiry, and who failed so badly in his job so badly that NL Hydro is still trying to define the mess that he (and others) has left behind.
As much as anything else, it is also a simple love song to a people and to their place. It is deficient in the language of inclusion, yes, sexist by the standards of today, too, but only those who misunderstanding the language of respect ascribe to it offense whether to aboriginal, to gender, or to religious belief.