Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'll just post this quote and allow you to judge...

Bernard Lord from today's Telegraph-Journal:

He also suggested Graham's pledge to wean New Brunswick off equalization by 2025 is an empty election promise.

"I want to be off equalization by 2024. What does that mean?" he said. "We all want to be off equalization. The fact is ever since there has been an equalization program in Canada, New Brunswick has received some form of equalization. I wanted to be a professional golfer when I was young."

17 comments:

Pete said...

This comment really jumped out to me as well. It sounds defeatist and not at all something a leader would say. Talk about evidence showing Lord has no aspiration to shoot higher than the status quo. Too bad he didn't stick with the golf.

Pete said...

Btw NBPolitico, you have an awesome site here. I've been following every post since the election was called. Thought I'd finally chime in. I also like how the posted chatter has remained civil (unlike Jacques blog on CBC...did you notice he had to shut one thread down?).

Keep up the good discussion. Looking forward to the remaining 4 days.

Alvy Singer said...

He seems rattled. He is way too good a politician to break the rule (the rule being: when you want to say something that is both correct and unpopular, do so privately).

nbpolitico said...

Alvy - Yeah he is definitely rattled, there were a few other quotes in that article that stood out to me which similarly seemed like he was off base.

I don't necessarily think his statement was correct, you have to dream big to do better and I think it is a laudable and potentially obtainable goal for Graham. A lot of money can be made selling power to the Americans and Graham is right that we are in the perfect position to do it.

pete - thanks very much for the kind words!

Alvy Singer said...

Yeah, upon rereading it the professional golfer crack really does support your interpretation.

My first thought was: it's 20 years away, though. I think Lord was right to quip that he wanted to be off of equalization by 2024. The number, 2025, is meaningless, really, because the implication is that Lord would prefer to be off of equalization at a date later than 2025.

Anonymous said...

Too bad for Lord that this time he will not be able to make threats after the election as he did last time. "Those who did not vote Tory will pay the price.." something to that effect. I just paraphrased his threat.

Anonymous said...

To play devil's advocate, although the motto of politics is 'perception is reality' thats not entirely true. When a politician says something that people are thinking, that makes them feel more a connection with that politician.

It IS an empty election promise, and a quick look through the liberal policies shows this. For example, to use the above, that's quite a gamble to try to be an energy seller in order to bankroll your economy. First, by selling power you put it on the open market which means New Brunswickers will pay the same power rates, second, there's no guarantee others won't find other sources which leaves a poor province on the hook for a massive investment.

Quebec has all the power it needs, PEI is aggressively trying to develop their own, Nova Scotia's power is privatized, which opens up all sorts of problems, while Maine is connected to the Upper Northeast Power Service which forces them to buy power within the region. Only a very strong political organization can get them out of that contract (which doesn't exist even though they are getting royally screwed right now).

Graham has four years to the next election, and few of the policies state a concrete proposal that will get them 'off the federal sauce', in fact, they've freely admitted that will need much more equalization in order to make those investments.

I didn't find his quote that out of line for a campaign, it called be called 'realistic' as much as 'defeatist'. It all depends on how much you want to hold onto pipe dreams.

scott said...

Thought I'd finally chime in. I also like how the posted chatter has remained civil (unlike Jacques blog on CBC...did you notice he had to shut one thread down?).

You're right Pete, this site has offered up some good riding by riding analysis and nbpolitico's commentary has been a welcome addition to the NB 'sphere.

As for the uncivil discourse, and it has been here when people from the opposite political stripe jump into a post's discussion(mostly myself lol), however, I think it has to do with the fact that many of the election bloggers on the roll, notwithstanding the candidates blogs, are not that partisan. Spinks is the closest, and although he aspouses tory beliefs, he has never been a member and has voted Liberal in the past, so he tends not to look at it through rose coloured (I mean blue colored) glasses.

But as for NB politico, and myself, we're asking the difficult questions on both sides that tend to get a bit of reaction. And for the record, I think that the question of Shawn's teaching history was not dirty pool, it was something that I thought had to be addressed. And for the record, nbpolitico was never uncivil to me, it was mostly from a small faction of anonymous posters who, for all we know, may be Labour Party members in Brtitain for g-d sakes. Who knows?

I guess that a few particular anonymous posters have really muddied the discussion as they were the reason that Alec Bruce packed it in. And if I was so blindly partisan like many claim who don't know me, than why was I begging him to stay in there as he is very critical of Peter Mesheau and Lernard Lord. If I was a partisan I would have said good riddance. But he did it in a civil fashion unlike these anons who attack behind a veil of secrecy. That is why I respect him as a friend.

Anonymous said...

Who is "Lernard Lord" Scott. What comments in particular you consider as attacks. I thought every body is quite polite. Although many are upset with the policies of Lord government but other commentators have not been attacked.

However, you changed the tune on the reliability of polls when they showed that Liberals were ahead. Then suddenly they were not reliable according to you. Previous to that they were very reliable according to you again. .

Peter Kincaid said...

I agree that a leader should at least be optimistic. From an economic point of view New Brunswick does have a "location" benefit. Power generation fits well with this.

However, I am concerned that we are likely on the verge of a paradigm shift in power generation. We likely have enough investment in fossil fuels; albeit Bernard Lord likes to use coal generation as a blackmail tool with the feds. There certainly would be operational cost benefits with having more nuclear reactors at Point Lepreau in additional to having more mega watts for sale. The wild card is fuel cell technology though. People think in terms of transportation but another big market would be home generation units. Think we can make it attractive for Ballard to set up a manufacturing plant here? A neighbour also suggested we should set up a manufacturing plant for wind mill turbines. I think Shawn is bang on the money here to focus on the power market. He should, however, also think in terms of manufacturing for related products. All in all, it is nice to see people think big again.

scott said...

I don't know about the polls, but anonymous attackers are going to be an extinct entity once a few bloggers get done suing them. And no, I'm not one of them.

David Campbell said...

Look it. It would be mighty hard to get off Equalization by 2025. I have done some crunching around this and it would require a massive economic boom. But Lord has been clear - he wants more. He is the chief spokesperson for more Equalization. If that money was used to fix our economic problems, then I would support it but going deeper in the Equalization hole is not good policy and it's exactly what Lord wants. Think about one thing for a minute. What is the purpose of Equalization? To ensure some form of balance in government service delivery, right? How come New Brunswick and other high Equalization provinces have dramatically lower education performance, health outcomes, etc.? How come in relative terms, their economies are getting worse (I include Quebec in this mix too)?

Anonymous said...

"..anonymous attackers are going to be an extinct entity once a few bloggers get done suing them". Scott.

Apparently you are upset. Take two pills of Orimulsion,relax and then write more comments in the morning.

nbpolitico said...

david campbell - I agree that off equalization by 2025 is a goal that would be hard to meet but Lord is essentially saying in his remarks (at least the implication I got) was that we would never get off.

i.e. he said that as long as there had been equalization, NB had been on it and while he wanted NB off, he also wanted to be a pro golfer.

Anonymous said...

No point in bringing the incivility over to this blog as well, keep in where it originated. As I mentioned, if you want to sell power you have to be connected to your customer, you can send it airmail. That's an integral question that New Brunswickers should be deciding for themselves. Should their government be investing in a decent amount of power for their own use, thereby making it a more attractive place to live and offering a big incentive to companies. Or should it be more massively funded in order to sell it on the open market, which would be Nova Scotia and PEI (at least for now). Thats a HUGE issue that should be discussed during the campaign as it will be paid for by our pocketbooks. Thinking big shouldn't mean looking at something that may look like a good idea on the surface, but which turns into an other orimulsion fiasco in the end.

Just to end with something that gets NO discussion whatsoever but is being discussed in every other province (except PEI and Nova Scotia), and is the fact that Lord has committed to a referendum during the next municipal elections, while the liberals haven't said boo about proportional representation (and liberals are typically gun shy of electoral and constitutional change)

Anonymous said...

The States on the Eastern Seaboard already buy power from NB, and have been quite clear in their need for more and soon. NS can't access that market but NB is perfectly positioned so I see great potential in expanding our sales to the US. Someone raised the question of NBers then having to pay market rates that could go up. There's nothing to stop the NB government from selling at one rate to ourside buyers while keeping price down within the province.

Anonymous said...

I think that Lord was very realistic. The liberals have always bating voters with this promise since the McKenna years. The only thing that keeps improving is the profits for big business due to the diluted low wage labour market. If the liberals want to make a serious change it should be that companies that want to do business here should compensate the workers fairly, and that includes Irving and the call centers.