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Tuesday 26 July 2011

Williams' Legacy = Dunderdale's Nightmare

Imagine that you're the Premier of NL. And not just any Premier but perhaps the most popular one NL has ever seen. You've served a couple of terms and you're ready to move on but you want to leave a legacy that will cary on after you have moved on and since you've spent your career picking fights with Ottawa and Quebec it should be something that would stick it to both of them. You have the advantage of your popularity and the fact tat you're headed out the door. What to do...

Premier Williams decided to work up the current Muskrat Falls term sheet with Emera that will cost this province billions and sell power for less then residents will pay for it. My suspicion is that Williams knew from the get go that this was not a good deal and was likely to fall apart before it came to fruition. However he wanted, or needed a project to crown his exit from the Premier's chair. Remember, word at the time was that Williams' departure shocked all but the inner circle, so this deal was drafted quickly and quietly and was never intended to be successful.

Now imagine you're the new Premier of NL. You were hand picked by the most popular Premier to be his successor (wether you wanted it or not), following a mess of people who wanted the job and then changed their minds... Along with this new job comes a mega project that will cost tax payers billions and is very difficult to justify and rationalize. The questions come fast and hard about the justification but you just don't have the answers. Maybe you don't have the answers because you were not properly prepared, or perhaps it's because the real answers would show just how silly and unnecessary it really is. You're now stuck backing a deal that doesn't make sense. But you can't let the deal fail because it's the legacy project of "the greatest premier ever" and you can't screw it up or it'll be your hide. So you are stuck backing a project that will require billions of dollars and incredible increases in electrical costs. People can see the foolishness and they aren't buying it. Especially not for $6.2 billion. What do you do?

I feel bad for you Kathy, I really do.

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