Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Press Release Jan 31 2011

31 January 2011

To: Newfoundland and Labrador Press

From: Brad Cabana

Subject: Court challenge of PC Leadership Process

Members of the Press Corps,

I wish to announce this day that I will not be proceeding with a court challenge of the PC Party’s position that I am ineligible to run for the leadership of the PC Party. As an active Conservative, for some 22 years, at both the federal and provincial levels, it is with a heavy heart that I make this decision. I support Newfoundland and Labrador’s right to secure its natural resources for the benefit of her people. I believed that Danny Williams had the best interests of the Province at heart when he fought for those rights. Unfortunately, it would appear that those he left behind are more concerned with controlling power than controlling our natural resources.

I was deeply shocked at the release of the Auditor General’s Report, and the gross violations of trust contained therein. Whether it be investments awarded in violation of requirements of the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, unauthorized access to personal databases, or breaches of government policy and the Teachers Pension Act in hiring pensioned teachers, all pointed toward arrogance and abuse of power.

Unfortunately, these events parallel too closely my own experience with the Party and its leadership race. Gross violations of the letter and spirit of the Party’s Constitution including: failure to call the date and place of the convention prior to the call for nominations which is constitutionally required, and necessitates an entry on the Candidate’s Form which in this case had to be left blank; failure to follow membership rules properly; failure of the Convention Co-Chair, Minister Skinner, to remain impartial through the process and refrain from public comment even during the appeal process; failure to release a copy of the taped deposition, given under oath without option, of the Appeal Committee meeting upon request and thus far ignored; failure to serve the written decision of the Appeal Committee to myself within the 72 hour period required in the Constitution; and failure of the Party Leader and President to uphold the Constitution, and it’s requirements, as is required in the Constitution.

Furthermore, the lack of Ministerial accountability by Mr. Wiseman, on the occasion of his senior staff member’s visit to my home. It defies all logic and respectable conduct that a Minister of the Crown would condone by his inaction the intimidation of any citizen. It defies explanation how that same Minister would speak publicly to some of the same points his staffer made and find nothing wrong with the approach, or at the very least find it highly inappropriate. It concerns me the Leader of the Party would not contact my wife or I to get further evidence on this situation despite the obvious inappropriateness of the actions.

These combined set of circumstances leaves me with no other option than to consider the Party’s leadership, and the government’s by association and action, out of touch with my moral and political beliefs. I further believe that the Party has caused itself immense damage with it’s approach, especially considering a delegate selection process and convention have been initiated regardless. I therefore resign my provincial party membership effective immediately. I will remain a federal Conservative.

Having given the matter serious thought and consideration, and in keeping with my commitment to make this Province the best of all provinces, I have decided to join the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was a very difficult decision based on my life long affiliation federally and provincially with the PC Party. However, the provincial PC Party here has lost it’s moral compass, and as such it’s ability to govern in the best interests of the people of this province.

I do intend to seek a nomination for MHA in the next election. I will be proud to carry the colours of the provincial Liberal Party as it seeks to replace an old and tired government with a revitalized and focused administration, should I be chosen by the District Association.
Thank you for your emphasis on the democratic process, or the lack thereof, over the last few weeks. I remain concerned that our political leadership has crossed a line that should never be crossed, and our democracy has been violated. I for one will not have any part of it.

Yours Sincerely,
Brad Cabana, B.A

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Newfoundland, an island the waves try to destroy, but the rock won't allow it.

Newfoundland, a place where the company has always taken, and the people have always given.

Newfoundland, a people whose present is rooted in it's past, and it's past is rooted in the present.

Monday, January 17, 2011

John Crosbie, The Telegram, 17 January, 2011

On the provincial front, Crosbie was surprised at the lack of interest in the top Progressive Conservative job vacated when former premier Danny Williams dramatically quit politics last month.
“ This hasn’t happened too often,” said the former Tory warrior who proudly bears the scars of both federal and provincial leadership battles.
Just one potential contender — a small business owner with thin ties to the provincial party — arose to challenge Premier Kathy Dunderdale, hand-picked for the interim job by Williams. But the party rejected the legitimacy of Brad Cabana’s support among bona fide Tory members. He has appealed the decision.
“When I ran in the federal leadership (in 1983), our polling indicated I had the support of about three per cent of the delegates,” Crosbie recalled. “I said: ‘ Shag it. I don’t care if there’s three per cent. I’ll try it anyway.’
“Nothing would stop me running if there was a leadership.”
He finished a strong third behind Mulroney and Joe Clark.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Appeals and Democracy

'Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.'

Sir Winston Churchill, Hansard, November 11, 1947

British politician (1874 - 1965)

Wise words from a wise man who earned his knowledge through war and peace. Many times since those words were spoken have democracies been challenged, and in just as many cases she has prevailed. It is indeed a comment on our human nature - that we are less than perfect although we persist in the search of perfection. Those of us in Newfoundland and Labrador are getting our lesson in democracy, and it's rough edges, right now.
On the 24th of January, 2011, my son's 14th birthday, I will be presenting my appeal to the Rules Committee in St. John's of the Credentials Committee's decision to reject my candidacy for Leader of the PC Party. While there are many grounds submitted for the appeal, I believe the most important to be the unconstitutional interpretation of membership.
The Purpose, Aims, Objects section of the Constitution clearly states: ' i) to provide for democratic procedures and practices to effect the purpose, aims and objectives of the Party.' Two other parts of this section state: 'e) to elect a Leader of the Party; and (f) to provide for a nominating process for the selection of candidates for election as progressive Conservative members of the House of Assembly.' In other words,
democratic processes and practices must be used to elect the Leader, and nominate the candidates seeking to be MHAs. It does not speak of a dual status of membership. In fact, all memberships, and processes to get memberships, must be done in a democratic fashion. The basis for any definition of democracy is equality of the person. That despite your wealth and influence, or a lack of it, your vote shall have the same effect and influence as all others. There is no caste system in Canadian democracy.
It is an established fact that the District Association nomination meetings allow any interested resident of that area to vote for the candidate of their choice - with the proviso that they support the aims and principles of the Party. It is also an established fact that their membership is instantaneous upon their declaration of support, and that no other steps for membership are required.While this process may be considered open to manipulation, it is also the best guarantee of citizen influence on our democratic process. People simply are normally not that interested in politics, unfortunately, but should they feel their input is required, a process is in place to do that. It is a check on absolute power, and a wise process for any party that wants to stay in touch with the people. It also allows the Party to evolve politically as the people do.
If equality of the person is the foundation that democracy was built on, and if democratic procedures and practices must be followed in accordance with our Constitution, then the membership requirement for nominating leadership candidates must be the same as those requirements in place to nominate candidates for Members of the House of Assembly. To do otherwise would be a contravention of the aims and principles of the Party - an observance of which is necessary for membership.
As if to almost enforce this belief, the Candidate's Entitlement section of the Constitution states that a candidate is only entitled to a list of District Association members, ex-officio delegates, Executive members and the like once they have been accredited. The logical implication of this being that the signatures of endorsement by these people must not be required for nomination. If they were required it would constitute a violation of the principles and aims of the Party in that only people with extensive knowledge of the membership would be able to participate, thus ruling out any others - undemocratic in other words. It would be akin to not giving out voters lists until after the election.
There are clearly many contradictions in the Constitution. However, the one requirement, reinforced over and over again, is the necessity of recognizing the principles and aims. It is clearly the most dominant portion of the Constitution which all other sections are subordinate to. It is my belief that it was written that way to safeguard the democratic rights of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador - the membership at large.
de·moc·ra·cy   /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/ Show Spelled[dih-mok-ruh-see] Show IPA


1.government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

2.a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.

3.a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.

4.political or social equality; democratic spirit.

5.the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

Thank -you to all those people who have shown your support, whether in person or in action.
Brad Cabana

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thank-you Mr Prime Minister

Reacting after the fact has been our political history in this Province, until Danny Williams that is. We often approached national and provincial issues in a defensive way, and assumed good will amongst our fellow man. However, this is not the Law of the Jungle, as it were, in the political realm. In this realm you must fully focus on your objective, believe in your cause, and be prepared to fight it until the end.

Recently I wrote a blog questioning why our federal MP's were NOT standing up for Newfoundland and Labrador's interest in the Gulf of St Lawrence, and in particularily the Old Harry sub-sea oil /gas field. It is with regret that I inform you that not a single MP, all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, has spoken publicly on the issue or even bothered to return my email to them.

Give credit where credit is due. Prime Minister Harper's office answered the call. I would expect Minister Paradis would now follow through and ensure the border dispute is settled prior to granting Quebec an offshore petroleum agreement of any sort. If this occurs, it is a signal to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that the right decision will be made, despite political cost, and that their interests are being defended - rightly in this case. It is that kind of governance that could result in the transformation of a minority government to a majority.

The following is a copy of my Email and the PMO's response:

December 15, 2010 8pm EST

Dear Mr Harper,

I am writing to you today in regard to the Province of Quebec`s ambition to
attain an offshore petroleum board agreement with the federal government. It
is of great concern to me, as I know it will be to my fellow Newfoundlanders
and Labradorians, that the Province of Quebec is seeking to attain such an
agreement without first successfully negotiating administration lines with
our province for the demarcation of exploration rights in the Gulf of St

Quebec Natural Resources Minister Natalie Normandeau has publicly alluded to
a ``special understanding`` between herself and your Minister of Natural
Resources, Christian Paradis, as noted in an editorial of the Montreal
Gazette today. It concerns me deeply that Ms Normandeau has been making many
public remarks on this point. It also concerns me deeply that you have
stated, and in all places Newfoundland and Labrador, that a you see no
reason why an offshore agreement with Quebec cannot be reached.

Specifically, in the case of the Old Harry site, there are legitimate
questions as to whether Quebec has any right to explore there. The Magdalen
Islands, after all, are far removed from Quebec`s natural shoreline, and as
such could rightfully be relegated to a 22.5 km territorial sea, as was the
case with the French islands off Newfoundland`s coast. In any case, without
a maritime administration line agreement how can the federal government give
any credence to Quebec`s assertion that an agreement is possible.

I believe, as our Prime Minister, that it is your duty to also represent
Newfoundland and Labrador`s interests in this dispute. At a minimum, I
believe that Mr Paradis or yourself must publicly state that an agreement
with Newfoundland and Labrador is necessary before the federal government
and Quebec can enter into an offshore petroleum agreement.

Yours sincerely, Brad Cabana.


January 7, 2011 9pm EST

Dear Mr. Cabana:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to thank you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources. The Prime Minister always appreciates receiving mail on subjects of importance to Canadians.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Paradis, so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the Minister will give your views every consideration.

P. Monteith
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre