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Tangled web

On the newswire
On the newswire

“Driving responsibly and without distraction can prevent accidents and protect the lives of motorists and road construction workers throughout the province.”

That’s a common-sense sentence lifted straight out of a provincial government news release issued yesterday morning.

Now, here’s something that should be common sense but appears to have eluded the premier: if you set out to deceive the people who elected you, you should step down.

It’s a harsh statement, but one that is justified.

Normally, with a new government, we’d be in a honeymoon period right now, with the electorate accepting their choices and the government settling into its role. It didn’t work out that way. Premier Dwight Ball’s government has failed to live up to its promises, arguing that the economics of the province have changed and they’ve been forced to change their priorities as well. That is a situation all too familiar in Canadian politics, the saddest part being that we fall for the same line again and again and again.

There’s a different standard, however, in the tawdry tale of Nalcor boss Ed Martin’s departure, Martin’s severance package, and Ball’s ham-handed — and now, apparently, fictional — explanation of what happened.

For weeks, we’ve been told a lot of things: that the premier wasn’t aware of the circumstances that saw Martin resign, then be fired by the Nalcor board of directors, enabling him to receive $1.4 million in severance (along with a contractual arrangement that may see him receive much more from two separate pensions).

We were told that Ball had asked the Department of Justice to investigate the board’s actions, then, that he had asked the auditor general to start an investigation based on the Justice review.

We heard the premier say he wasn’t involved in the severance issue, heard ministers say the same things, all against the backdrop of a government that tried to suggest that it wasn’t even its job to raise what it later characterized as a rogue action by a board of directors.

Now, we have Martin saying he felt he was being edged out of Nalcor and offered the government two choices: either let him finish the Muskrat Falls project without tying his hands, or pay him the severance he’d get if he was fired.

Martin says that Ball chose the latter — a position supported by Leo Abbass, one of Nalcor’s former directors, who told the CBC that the board was “fulfilling the wishes of government” when it fired Martin.

Now, Ball is saying he’ll speak to the AG, and that he’s got no further comment.

That’s not good enough, and common sense should tell him as much.

If he lied, he should be finished.

 

That’s a common-sense sentence lifted straight out of a provincial government news release issued yesterday morning.

Now, here’s something that should be common sense but appears to have eluded the premier: if you set out to deceive the people who elected you, you should step down.

It’s a harsh statement, but one that is justified.

Normally, with a new government, we’d be in a honeymoon period right now, with the electorate accepting their choices and the government settling into its role. It didn’t work out that way. Premier Dwight Ball’s government has failed to live up to its promises, arguing that the economics of the province have changed and they’ve been forced to change their priorities as well. That is a situation all too familiar in Canadian politics, the saddest part being that we fall for the same line again and again and again.

There’s a different standard, however, in the tawdry tale of Nalcor boss Ed Martin’s departure, Martin’s severance package, and Ball’s ham-handed — and now, apparently, fictional — explanation of what happened.

For weeks, we’ve been told a lot of things: that the premier wasn’t aware of the circumstances that saw Martin resign, then be fired by the Nalcor board of directors, enabling him to receive $1.4 million in severance (along with a contractual arrangement that may see him receive much more from two separate pensions).

We were told that Ball had asked the Department of Justice to investigate the board’s actions, then, that he had asked the auditor general to start an investigation based on the Justice review.

We heard the premier say he wasn’t involved in the severance issue, heard ministers say the same things, all against the backdrop of a government that tried to suggest that it wasn’t even its job to raise what it later characterized as a rogue action by a board of directors.

Now, we have Martin saying he felt he was being edged out of Nalcor and offered the government two choices: either let him finish the Muskrat Falls project without tying his hands, or pay him the severance he’d get if he was fired.

Martin says that Ball chose the latter — a position supported by Leo Abbass, one of Nalcor’s former directors, who told the CBC that the board was “fulfilling the wishes of government” when it fired Martin.

Now, Ball is saying he’ll speak to the AG, and that he’s got no further comment.

That’s not good enough, and common sense should tell him as much.

If he lied, he should be finished.

 

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