The new price tag on Muskrat Falls is 7.4 billion dollars – up from 6.2 billion when Danny struck the deal.
What’s amusing about that is the fact the opposition parties are talking as if that changes something.
“Oh, look at this – its gone up a Billion dollars, so that means we really better not do it, now, right?”
Give me a break.
Dunderdale and her Government didn’t care if the price tag had gone up 10 Billion dollars – this thing is going to go ahead whether any of us like it or not.
Which brings me to this ‘debate’ they all talk about.
Darin King, the new House Leader, wrote a letter to everyone and said ‘alright, b’ys, this is how its going to be – like it or not, everyone is going to talk over four days and then we’re all going home.’
The Liberals, from the get-go, wanted the ability to call witnesses to increase and enhance their talking time. PC’s said no. Why? Let’s break it down.
The house is going to be open for eight hours a day – eight times four is 32 hours of talking time.
Keep in mind, now, included in that is an hour for each party leader, so subtract three and we’re down to 29 hours. Then we’ve got an hour for the natural resources person from each party – so that’s three more hours off, which brings us down to 26 hours.
So far we’re doing pretty good – we’re evened out a good bit.
A half-hour each day is for question period – where there’s a big back and forth and everyone heckles everyone else – always fun times. So that’s two more hours off, which brings us down to 24 hours.
With 48 seats in the House of Assembly, that leaves roughly a half an hour for everyone else to talk. It might be a little more, might be a little less, depending on whether the people who have already spoken get a chance to speak again, and I didn’t factor in the 20 minutes given to Dunderdale to close the debate because I’m tired of doing the Math, and I fear I would have gotten into decimals when I stopped using round, easily divisible numbers.
So let’s say each MHA from each party gets a half hour to give their spiel about Muskrat Falls. All well and good, yes?
Well, not if you’re a Liberal or an NDP – but it is if you’re a PC party member, at least.
See, I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but the Liberals have six seats in the House of Assembly. The NDP have five. There’s one independent, and the PC’s have a grand total of 36 seats.
Back to the math.
In a debate under the rules set forth by the PC party, aka, Government House Leader Darin King, the Liberals would get three hours of general talking time to state their position on Muskrat Falls. NDP gets two-and-a-half hours. Tom Osbourne get 30 minutes. But the PC? 18 hours.
Add in the talking time mentioned before, and the 36 hours break down to two hours of actual ‘debate’, Liberals get five hours of one-sided talking time, NDP get four and a half hours of one-sided talking time, Tom Osbourne gives a 30 minute sermon, and we, the people of the province, the ones who are going to pay for this thing, get to sit there and listen to the Progressive Conservative Government talk for a grand total of 20 hours and 20 minutes about how amazing and wonderful Muskrat Falls is.
So what does it all mean? It means these are going to be four sad days for democracy.
– Rudy Norman