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)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lies of Omission, and Half-Truths

"Clever liars give details, but the cleverest don't." Anonomys.

Lying can take many forms. The best, all encompassing definition I could find was from Wikipedia
When it comes to Muskrat Falls, and the circumstances surrounding it, the best descriptions are:

"Lying by omission:

Also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions.

A half-truth is a deceptive statement that includes some element of truth. The statement may be partially true, the statement may be totally true but only part of the whole truth, or it may utlize some deceptive element, such as improper punctuation, or double meaning, especially if the intent is to deceive, evade, blame, or misrepresent the truth."

I, therefore have to respectfully disagree with former Premier Roger Grimes when he said this week: " Sometimes Danny Williams would not know the truth if it smacked him in the face." The fact is that Danny Williams, Kathy Dunderdale, Jerome Kennedy, etc know the truth - they just choose to lie.

Danny Williams attack on Roger Grimes this week was outrageous, and cannot be left unchallenged. Williams accused Grimes of "rapping his arms around Quebec" and that Quebec was blocking this province's development of Labrador. Williams, and his then Minister of Natural Resources Kathy Dunderdale, spent five years in secret negotiations with Hydro Quebec to develop the entire Lower Churchill. The negotiations apparently failed because Williams would not compromise. Bottom line is that Quebec was willing to work with this province, but not at any cost. Williams knew Quebec was acting in good faith. Why else would he spend five years negtiating with them?

Williams also attacked Grimes for suggesting working with a potential seperatist government in Quebec City woukd be a futile and foolish effort. He conveniently neglected to qualify that statement with the fact that both Grimes and Tobin negotiated deals with seperatist governments - although both eventually came to nothing. The Upper Churchill agreement was negotiated with a strongly nationalist government. In fact, nationalist governments in Quebec are a fact of politics in Quebec. Williams should recognize this as he led one in this province.

Williams assertion that Grime's deal was a sellout to Quebec is just utterly and obviously false. In fact, the deal to develop the entire Lower Chuchill, and not just Muskrat Falls would have left the province in a much stronger financial position, and allowed it to retire debt with oil profits rather than ignore debt and in fact grow it substantially to achieve a third of the power. The only potential draw back to the deal was that we would receive only 600 mw of recall power, and it would be streched over a twenty year period. You may ask what difference that would make? Well, given that the mines in Labrador are under development, and may want over 1000 mw of power, that scenario may not have suited them. Recall if you will Dunderdale's tirade against Quebec in the House of Assembly during tbe spring when she decried leaving industrial development in Labrador in the hands of Quebec.
Also this week I raised the question why we need to build two 900 mw hvac lines to the Upper Churchill from Muskrat Falls. Vocm Nightline radio show host Pete Soucy raised the question again on his show. He actually wanted to know if it was true and if so what the lines were needed for. He received a snotty reply from PC MHA Kent that he should stop quoting me. Pete pushed it further, but the MHA would not answer. The next morning the MHA tweeted that yes there would be two lines to help maintain power in Labrador. Put aside the foolish reason put forward for a moment, and note that while he did confirm the two lines he did not identify that they were capable of carrying 900 mw each. That is 200% plus the amount of power Muskrat Falls could possibly produce. Then this week, Jerome Kennedy indicated that the power promised to Emera could come from any source and does not need to come from Muskrat Falls. You see, part truths, but other possibly damning facts left out. In other words, lies by omission, half-truths.

Unfortunately, lies by omission, and half-truths have become the norm in Newfounland and Labrador politics. There has been zero accountability and therefore zero fear to keep them going. Whether its Danny Williams and his assertion that Muskrat Falls will make this province a leader in environmental stewardship, while conveniently leaving out the fact that thermal power generation is actually going to be 2% higher than the isolated island option, or Dunderdale's demonizing of Quebec for holding back Labrador development, or even Steven Kent's sladerous assualt on Cabot Martin, the trend is the same: Clever liars give details, but the cleverest do not.

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