Danny Williams: a political persona built in boom times

We shouldn’t forget how much oil royalties helped Newfoundland’s bottom line


 

To hear Danny Williams tell the tale in his resignation speech a little while ago, you’d think the economic rise of Newfoundland and Labrador has been propelled by his own pride and a province-wide determination not to be held down any longer.

Not to detract from the spirit of place, but it doesn’t hurt to be riding an oil boom. These handy figures come from our friends at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: the province collected $1.8 billion in offshore oil royalties in 2009-10; an impressive 31 per cent of all Newfoundland and Labrador’s revenues comes from the oil and gas business.

Williams was first elected premier in 2003, six years after start up of the Hibernia oil field, a year after Terra Nova’s production began, and two years before White Rose’s start up. It’s been boom times all the way.

That’s not to deny Williams due credit for moves he made in a surging economy. He fought intemperately to keep federal equalization payments (remember how he pulled down Canadian flags?) and bargained hard with the oil companies involved in the Hebron consortium. (Here’s a good 2006 story on Williams’s fighting style from my colleague Nicholas Kohler.)

But however the outgoing premier’s accomplishments are assessed today, it would be silly to miss the fact that the most important factor reshaping Newfoundland over the past decade wasn’t politics, it was petroleum.


 

Danny Williams: a political persona built in boom times

  1. I'm generally not a Williams fan, but it's nice to see a politician who's willing to play tough with the oil sector for the benefit of citizens, unlike some (*cough* Alberta…)

  2. To extend the premise somewhat…

    The recent rash of political resignations and rumours of more: a leading indicator of (even tougher) economic times or simple coincidence?

  3. I'm generally not a Williams fan, but it's nice to see a politician who's willing to play tough with the oil sector for the benefit of citizens, unlike some (*cough* Alberta…)

    • Yes and when Alberta raised royalty rates, drilling slowed down and moved to Saskatchewan and BC. (*cough* brilliant move Alberta).

      • Unless they could move the oil with them it ain't the province makin' the "brilliant move", buddy.

        • Exactly, the provincee cowered to the oil companies. If they don't want to take the oil at slightly higher royalty rates, I bet I can find companies that would be glad to drill & sell at those rates. This is exactly my point. Danny didn't run away when oil companies said they didn't like the royalty rates.

      • Damn, now the oil stuck in the ground in Alberta will never be extracted and never produce more royalty income over a longer period.

        It's treasonous.

  4. To extend the premise somewhat…

    The recent rash of political resignations and rumours of more: a leading indicator of (even tougher) economic times or simple coincidence?

    • The secret reptillian party has finally started recruiting candidates.

      • I, for one, welcome the impending thousand-year reign of our reptilian overlords.

        As long as they don't eat kittens.

    • Coincidence. Campbell was forced out by public hatred of the HST, not because of the bad economy. Williams, on the other hand, is leaving while he's ahead, after accomplishing a major goal (the electricity deal with Nova Scotia).

      • It's a pie in the sky paper deal at this stage.

      • NL premiers almost always resign right after they strike a deal on the Lower Churchill project.

        • So will he join Peckford in retirement here in BC, providing his profile to third-party right wing startup meetings?

  5. Yes and when Alberta raised royalty rates, drilling slowed down and moved to Saskatchewan and BC. (*cough* brilliant move Alberta).

  6. "He fought fiercely to keep federal equalization payments (remember how he pulled down Canadian flags?) and bargained hard with the oil companies involved in the Hebron consortium."

    And for that he should be harshly condemned. Its not enough that his province was on welfare when things were bad, they wanted to keep the welfare checks coming when things were good too. What a stupid buffoon.

    END EQUALIZATION NOW!

  7. "He fought fiercely to keep federal equalization payments (remember how he pulled down Canadian flags?) and bargained hard with the oil companies involved in the Hebron consortium."

    And for that he should be harshly condemned. Its not enough that his province was on welfare when things were bad, they wanted to keep the welfare checks coming when things were good too. What a stupid buffoon.

    END EQUALIZATION NOW!

    • Of course you do know that it was Harper who had in his 2006 election platform that NL receive equalization for a finite period of time after reaching the national average don't you? He pointed out that Canada did that very thing for Alberta decades ago, and that Canada should do the same for NL. Maybe you voted to support that Harper platform? I guess you forgot all about these facts when the Harper spin cycle grabbed you after the election?

      • "Canada" did no such a thing for Alberta.

        • Hey Dave, here's part of a CTV media report back in 2004:

          **********

          "Harper tried to win friends and support earlier Wednesday when he announced in St. John's that a Conservative government would let Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador keep millions more in royalties from offshore oil and gas development.

          Federal equalization payments would be restructured to avoid the clawback that now occurs, he said.

          "If Alberta had been subjected to these kinds of clawbacks it would still be a have-not province," Harper said in a luncheon speech to the St. John's Board of Trade."

          **********

          I thought that bit of research would help you.

          • Here's some more research for you: the reason Alberta wasn't "subjected to clawbacks" was because in the earliest days of its oil industry there was no equalization to "claw back", and then because the equalization program didn't include natural resources revenue, oil or mining, in the calculation. In other words, not because of some special side-deal with Alberta and Alberta alone.

    • Still insulting Newfoundland! What welfare! Quebec gets 1.8 billion from NL every year, than's far more than any welfare we receive.
      There are only 500.000 people in NL and maybe 80 per cent are working so that leaves only a relatively small number on welfare, less that one fraction of the population of Toronto,………. there are probably more people on welfare in Toronto that all of NL.
      Get your facts straight!
      There was no 'welfare' in NL befor Confederation in '49 and that came about because of the depletion of the fisheries by the Federal Government.
      I 've gone to several mainland universities, including the U of T and have seen more poverty up your way that I've ever seen here.
      Why such vindictiveness anyway! Come here and see for yourself.

  8. Can the media mention his divorce now?

  9. Can the media mention his divorce now?

    • I thought this bit about his personal life was way over the top:
      http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh

      • Google playing games today.

        • Dot catching up to 5 year old jokes.

          • I had considered, to give your comments the attention they deserve, linking to a Lawrence Welk clip, but I feared you would fine that blasphemous, and we'd never hear the end of it.

          • Dot…just FYI….we were discussing Ignatieff last night, not me.

            I'm an atheist who's fond of George Carlin and doesn't think any drug should be illegal….so you can give the Victorian nonsense a rest.

            People on here often confuse the topic with the poster I've noticed.

          • Actually, if you were to go back and review your commentary there, you claimed you spoke for the majority of voters. Clearly, given the additional demographic info supplied, you do not.

          • I know what I said….the majority of voters don't like what he said….either the language or the cavalier attitude. Anyone tuned into Canadian politics would know that….they could even find out by doing a quick circuit of the web.

            You can analyse politics without making it personal.

            It was a stupid thing for him to say

    • Ah, I noticed that he skipped any mention of his wife in his 27 minute farewell speech.

  10. Unless they could move the oil with them it ain't the province makin' the "brilliant move", buddy.

  11. I thought this bit about his personal life was way over the top:
    http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh

  12. "[T]he most important factor reshaping Newfoundland over the past decade wasn't politics, it was petroleum."

    Yeah, I don't think so. Sure, the Newfoundland oil boom is an incredibly important factor in the province's recent history, but the change in Newfoundland and Labrador over the last ten years is far more profound than that.

    Oil offered more than just money, it offered Newfoundlanders and Labradorians an opportunity. Oil offered the opportunity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to prove to themslves and everyone else that when given the chance they could seize the day and succeed as much there as any place else. This, in turn, gave Newfoundlanders and Labradorians the leverage and determination to start thinking big and demanding better.

    Danny Williams–and his decisions on the Atlantic Accord, Hebron and the Lower Churchill–are the embodiment of this transformation in the province.

  13. "[T]he most important factor reshaping Newfoundland over the past decade wasn't politics, it was petroleum."

    Yeah, I don't think so. Sure, the Newfoundland oil boom is an incredibly important factor in the province's recent history, but the change in Newfoundland and Labrador over the last ten years is far more profound than that.

    Oil offered more than just money, it offered Newfoundlanders and Labradorians an opportunity. Oil offered the opportunity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to prove to themslves and everyone else that when given the chance they could seize the day and succeed as much there as any place else. This, in turn, gave Newfoundlanders and Labradorians the leverage and determination to start thinking big and demanding better.

    Danny Williams–and his decisions on the Atlantic Accord, Hebron and the Lower Churchill–are the embodiment of this transformation in the province.

    • And would apparently make a great "Glee" episode.

    • Now that Danny piddled away the entire one-off oil-boom surplus, he hasn't really transformed much has he?

    • What "decision" did Danny Williams make on the Atlantic Accord? What "decision" has he made on Lower Churchill?

      • Williams made decisions on all three of these issues to take a hardline negotiating position with counterparties rather than just saying–as most Newfoundland leaders have over the years–"oh well, we're just one small powerless province that'll have to accept whatever offer is on the table ".

        In the case of the Atlantic Accord, that hardline position took the form of lowering the Canadian flag. On the Lower Churchill it took the form of making a deal with Nova Scotia to lay an underwater transmission cable rather than simply accepting the terms offered up by Quebec. On Hebron it took the form of holding out for a better deal threatening to form a crown corporation to develop the oil field if private firms didn't improve their offer.

    • I'll take Clyde Wells anydays.

      • clyde lied…remember how much taxes came in after clyde was premier. he claimed no more taxes yet he added a ton at the gas pumps, we had to pay more for driver's licenses and other fees and overall he was a lackluster leader. amazing how quick history is forgotten.

  14. Ah, I noticed that he skipped any mention of his wife in his 27 minute farewell speech.

  15. Google playing games today.

  16. Damn, now the oil stuck in the ground in Alberta will never be extracted and never produce more royalty income over a longer period.

    It's treasonous.

  17. Dot catching up to 5 year old jokes.

  18. I had considered, to give your comments the attention they deserve, linking to a Lawrence Welk clip, but I feared you would fine that blasphemous, and we'd never hear the end of it.

  19. Exactly, the provincee cowered to the oil companies. If they don't want to take the oil at slightly higher royalty rates, I bet I can find companies that would be glad to drill & sell at those rates. This is exactly my point. Danny didn't run away when oil companies said they didn't like the royalty rates.

  20. The secret reptillian party has finally started recruiting candidates.

  21. Dot…just FYI….we were discussing Ignatieff last night, not me.

    I'm an atheist who's fond of George Carlin and doesn't think any drug should be illegal….so you can give the Victorian nonsense a rest.

    People on here often confuse the topic with the poster I've noticed.

  22. Actually, if you were to go back and review your commentary there, you claimed you spoke for the majority of voters. Clearly, given the additional demographic info supplied, you do not.

  23. I found Danny quit funny when he appeared on 22 minutes making fun of himself – a dry sense of humour with a deadpan delivery. He was the right premier for the right time. Timing is everything.

  24. I found Danny quit funny when he appeared on 22 minutes making fun of himself – a dry sense of humour with a deadpan delivery. He was the right premier for the right time. Timing is everything.

  25. I know what I said….the majority of voters don't like what he said….either the language or the cavalier attitude. Anyone tuned into Canadian politics would know that….they could even find out by doing a quick circuit of the web.

    You can analyse politics without making it personal.

    It was a stupid thing for him to say

  26. Coincidence. Campbell was forced out by public hatred of the HST, not because of the bad economy. Williams, on the other hand, is leaving while he's ahead, after accomplishing a major goal (the electricity deal with Nova Scotia).

  27. And would apparently make a great "Glee" episode.

  28. It's a pie in the sky paper deal at this stage.

  29. I, for one, welcome the impending thousand-year reign of our reptilian overlords.

    As long as they don't eat kittens.

  30. NL premiers almost always resign right after they strike a deal on the Lower Churchill project.

  31. Now that Danny piddled away the entire one-off oil-boom surplus, he hasn't really transformed much has he?

  32. What "decision" did Danny Williams make on the Atlantic Accord? What "decision" has he made on Lower Churchill?

  33. He was living proof that anyone (with a large fortune) can do well in Canadian politics. A real novelty.

  34. He was living proof that anyone (with a large fortune) can do well in Canadian politics. A real novelty.

  35. I shall add this piece to my collection for an upcoming anthology: Damning With Faint Praise. The first story is about a man that had to walk to and from school up hill both ways, through the snow.

  36. I shall add this piece to my collection for an upcoming anthology: Damning With Faint Praise. The first story is about a man that had to walk to and from school up hill both ways, through the snow.

  37. I like Danny Williams, but just as with Ralph Klein, I've always gotten the impression that in his mind, he would have been exactly as succcessful and popular if he'd been the premier of Manitoba or New Brunswick.

  38. I like Danny Williams, but just as with Ralph Klein, I've always gotten the impression that in his mind, he would have been exactly as succcessful and popular if he'd been the premier of Manitoba or New Brunswick.

    • Williams & Kline on the ballot…?

      • What ballot?

  39. Oil revenues didn't stop Hugo Chavez from running Venezuela into the ground. So, despite the similarities with Williams, you can at least give Williams credit for not sabotaging his own province in the same way that all previous premiers of Newfoundland did.

  40. If all premiers sabotaged the province, where did the oil revenues come from?

  41. Oil revenues didn't stop Hugo Chavez from running Venezuela into the ground. So, despite the similarities with Williams, you can at least give Williams credit for not sabotaging his own province in the same way that all previous premiers of Newfoundland did.

    • If all premiers sabotaged the province, where did the oil revenues come from?

      • Are you claiming that you cannot use the word sabotage until a premier has literally destroyed the economy? Are you actually claiming Newfoundland's leaders have been a success story prior to Williams? Are you serious? Was Churchill Falls a success story? Smallwood's greenhouses? Prior to Williams, Newfoundland was traditionally the poorest province in Canada and you think the premiers bear no responsibility?

        • *Smallwood's* greenhouses?

          What about Danny's alpaca farm?

          • Correction: Brian Peckford presided over the greenhouse fiasco.

    • Not that I'm a huge Hugo Chavez defender, but Chavez certainly did not "run[] Venezuela into the ground". Venezuela suffered massive economic disruption in 2001-2002 when the economic elite deliberately sabotaged the Venezuelan economy by shutting down the publicly owned national oil company, but economic growth exploded in the years 2003-2008. Real GDP in Venezuela DOUBLED in just five years. Moreover, poverty fell from 54% in 1997 to 26% in 2008.
      http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/venezu

      (Yes, inflation in Venezuela is ridiculous, but it has always been that way. It has actually been a little lower under Chavez than in the two decades prior.)

      • So you argue Chavez is less of a disaster because of the preceding disaster.

        GDP doubled during those five years because in the preceding two it had shrunk by 36%, as you note, so the end result was a mere 25% increase from 2001 to 2008. And we all know GDP increased during those five years for one reason: the global bubble in oil prices, which Venezuela did nothing to create.

        But despite that windfall, Venezuela is now experiencing unprecedented electrical blackouts. Inflation is wiping out the savings of all citizens, crime is rampant far more than ever before, and the economy shrank by 3.3% in 2010 (ranking their growth 170 out of about 215 jurisdictions) and is expected to shrink again in 2011.

        Your link does not even cover the last two years, during which the economy has imploded, in part due to nationalization of large sectors of the economy, resulting in food shortages, energy shortages, and shortages of many other goods.

        Chavez has run the economy into the ground.

  42. I wonder who he will work with in the private sector.

  43. I wonder who he will work with in the private sector.

    • AbitibiBlowwater?

  44. Are you claiming that you cannot use the word sabotage until a premier has literally destroyed the economy? Are you actually claiming Newfoundland's leaders have been a success story prior to Williams? Are you serious? Was Churchill Falls a success story? Smallwood's greenhouses? Prior to Williams, Newfoundland was traditionally the poorest province in Canada and you think the premiers bear no responsibility?

  45. Williams & Kline on the ballot…?

  46. I am still mad at Danny Williams for his stunt of lowering the Canadians flags. I would have told him to sit in a corner and not come back until he could act and behave like an adult.

  47. I am still mad at Danny Williams for his stunt of lowering the Canadians flags. I would have told him to sit in a corner and not come back until he could act and behave like an adult.

    • Right on– he should have been punished 4 a deed of that kind—in my books –he sinks lower than the flags!!!! the only thing is– GO_ help us all if heshould be inducted into the senate–or even worse– run 4 the conservative party. With all his millions— he just quietly vanish!!!!!

    • To MBToday, Danny Williams did not just 'lower' the Canadian flag, in his mind he 'removed' it, and as far as I am concerned he can lower it and remove it any time he likes.
      We were dragged into Confederation in '49 and have been abused ever since.

  48. Danny Williams was the one politician in Canada who put the interests of his constituents and his constituency before his own. Other Canadian politicians of all stripes should take note that this is the best way to both ensure re-election and sky-high popularity numbers.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

  49. Danny Williams was the one politician in Canada who put the interests of his constituents and his constituency before his own. Other Canadian politicians of all stripes should take note that this is the best way to both ensure re-election and sky-high popularity numbers.

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/

      • I would give history a chance to start working its magic before assuming he was good for his province.

        • I do kind of agree with you!!

  50. AbitibiBlowwater?

  51. Lucky ? Sure, the energy boom happened but he did more with the opportunity than a true
    corporate shill like Tobin would have done.
    The Atlantic Accord/Equalization kerfuffle was purely an effort to hold Harper to an agreement
    that he tried to walk away from. If it was a bad agreement …. the centre of the universe seemed to
    think it was … Harper should not have made it.
    There is a list of things he did that I applaud. One of the first was to ignore the Atlantic Fishery
    Mafia in its' self-serving attempt to "save" the fishery.
    Doesn't mean I like him personally.
    His chief area of luck was getting into a regional cable franchise when it was a license to print
    money. Many fortunes were made via that route … including that of Big MacKay.

  52. Lucky ? Sure, the energy boom happened but he did more with the opportunity than a true
    corporate shill like Tobin would have done.
    The Atlantic Accord/Equalization kerfuffle was purely an effort to hold Harper to an agreement
    that he tried to walk away from. If it was a bad agreement …. the centre of the universe seemed to
    think it was … Harper should not have made it.
    There is a list of things he did that I applaud. One of the first was to ignore the Atlantic Fishery
    Mafia in its' self-serving attempt to "save" the fishery.
    Doesn't mean I like him personally.
    His chief area of luck was getting into a regional cable franchise when it was a license to print
    money. Many fortunes were made via that route … including that of Big MacKay.

  53. Williams made decisions on all three of these issues to take a hardline negotiating position with counterparties rather than just saying–as most Newfoundland leaders have over the years–"oh well, we're just one small powerless province that'll have to accept whatever offer is on the table ".

    In the case of the Atlantic Accord, that hardline position took the form of lowering the Canadian flag. On the Lower Churchill it took the form of making a deal with Nova Scotia to lay an underwater transmission cable rather than simply accepting the terms offered up by Quebec. On Hebron it took the form of holding out for a better deal threatening to form a crown corporation to develop the oil field if private firms didn't improve their offer.

  54. Not that I'm a huge Hugo Chavez defender, but Chavez certainly did not "run[] Venezuela into the ground". Venezuela suffered massive economic disruption in 2001-2002 when the economic elite deliberately sabotaged the Venezuelan economy by shutting down the publicly owned national oil company, but economic growth exploded in the years 2003-2008. Real GDP in Venezuela DOUBLED in just five years. Moreover, poverty fell from 54% in 1997 to 26% in 2008.
    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/venezu

    (Yes, inflation in Venezuela is ridiculous, but it has always been that way. It has actually been a little lower under Chavez than in the two decades prior.)

  55. *Smallwood's* greenhouses?

    What about Danny's alpaca farm?

  56. So will he join Peckford in retirement here in BC, providing his profile to third-party right wing startup meetings?

  57. I'll take Clyde Wells anydays.

  58. I guess the author missed the whole point of leadership and being a Premier. The only aspect that Geddes focuses on is money Danny's legacy won't be all economics. It was Danny's leadership skills, his vision, his ability to change the public personna of NL and its residents that will be remembered. Sure, he had a thin skin, name a few politicans that don't.

  59. I guess the author missed the whole point of leadership and being a Premier. The only aspect that Geddes focuses on is money Danny's legacy won't be all economics. It was Danny's leadership skills, his vision, his ability to change the public personna of NL and its residents that will be remembered. Sure, he had a thin skin, name a few politicans that don't.

  60. I have to admit I was surprised when it was mentioned that Williams is only on his second term. Yes, he was given a good hand to play, but I would be hard pressed to find a Canadian politician that has been so effective in moving an agenda forward in this century.

  61. I have to admit I was surprised when it was mentioned that Williams is only on his second term. Yes, he was given a good hand to play, but I would be hard pressed to find a Canadian politician that has been so effective in moving an agenda forward in this century.

  62. John Geddes should ensure he has greater knowledge of his subject before writing his report.

  63. John Geddes should ensure he has greater knowledge of his subject before writing his report.

  64. Newfoundlanders … ya gotta love 'em. As for Williams, he may have "helped" guide the province toward a more stable economy but were all the tantrums and nastiness he brought into the process necessary. I don't think so … glad to see him gone.

  65. Newfoundlanders … ya gotta love 'em. As for Williams, he may have "helped" guide the province toward a more stable economy but were all the tantrums and nastiness he brought into the process necessary. I don't think so … glad to see him gone.

  66. This article makes sense if we also say that Ontario's success was a result of wininng the Great Lakes lottery, Alebrta's success was a result of winning the oilsands lottery, British Columbia's success is a result of winning the Pacific rim lottery, etc., etc., etc.

    But nooooo, it's only NL and Danny Williams that fluked into success. Typical central Canadian mentality, frustrated with the new billions flowing from the Rock to Ottawa, and unable to grasp the new Canadian reality. Enjoy the new riches we are sending you.

  67. This article makes sense if we also say that Ontario's success was a result of wininng the Great Lakes lottery, Alebrta's success was a result of winning the oilsands lottery, British Columbia's success is a result of winning the Pacific rim lottery, etc., etc., etc.

    But nooooo, it's only NL and Danny Williams that fluked into success. Typical central Canadian mentality, frustrated with the new billions flowing from the Rock to Ottawa, and unable to grasp the new Canadian reality. Enjoy the new riches we are sending you.

    • What new billions are those?

      • Oh lets see now … were you aware that the Hebron deal alone is expected to add $4 billion to the federal coffers? Check it out.

        Do you wish for me to educate you on the other NL off-shore deals, or are you willing to inform yourself for a change?

        • How much of that $4-billion has already flowed since the Hebron project doesn't exist yet?

          And what is that $4-billion anyway? (Hint: it's the same federal income and consumption taxes that Ottawa collects from any economic activity in any province. Don't act like NL, or any province, is doing the federal government any great favour.)

  68. Of course you do know that it was Harper who had in his 2006 election platform that NL receive equalization for a finite period of time after reaching the national average don't you? He pointed out that Canada did that very thing for Alberta decades ago, and that Canada should do the same for NL. Maybe you voted to support that Harper platform? I guess you forgot all about these facts when the Harper spin cycle grabbed you after the election?

  69. I have not always supported the views of Premier Danny Williams as a writer.However, I do admire his love for Newfoundland and Labrador and our people. He did put his whole heart into trying to help Newfoundlanders through a very difficult time with the downfall of the Newfoundland fishery, the forestry and battles with Quebec that wanted to keep our province hostage when it came to growth through our own electrical power.
    The health services has been a major problem for him and he did not have the ministers in his cabinet who were experienced to help him.

    The next election will tell the real story of Danny Williams. Unless his party comes up with someone who can be a good leader, the Conseratives will sink beneath the waves of Newfoundland and Labrador. Presently, his party does have one good possibility, Kevin O'Brien.

  70. I have not always supported the views of Premier Danny Williams as a writer.However, I do admire his love for Newfoundland and Labrador and our people. He did put his whole heart into trying to help Newfoundlanders through a very difficult time with the downfall of the Newfoundland fishery, the forestry and battles with Quebec that wanted to keep our province hostage when it came to growth through our own electrical power.
    The health services has been a major problem for him and he did not have the ministers in his cabinet who were experienced to help him.

    The next election will tell the real story of Danny Williams. Unless his party comes up with someone who can be a good leader, the Conseratives will sink beneath the waves of Newfoundland and Labrador. Presently, his party does have one good possibility, Kevin O'Brien.

  71. "Canada" did no such a thing for Alberta.

  72. What new billions are those?

  73. You say Newfoundland gets 1.8 billion dollars from off – shore oil, off the shores of Newfoundland remember, but do you realize that Quebec gets more than that from Churchill Falls hydro in Labrador.

    Newfoundland and Labrador's resourses are probably greater than those of any other province in Canada.

    Realizing this, maybe you will now stop abusing and bullying us as you have been doing since Confederation in 1949;

    'Newfoundland should be dragged out to sea and sunk.' Charley Lynch.
    'Newfoundland is the most attractive welfare getto in the world', and on and on it goes.

    What is wrong with you anyway that you should be taking your wrath out on us, a province of only half a million people.

    I went to several mainland universities, including the U.of T. and never heard a negative word about Nfld. It all seems to be coming from the Ontario press, especially the Globe and Mail.

    As for Danny Williams I am sorry he is leaving, not that I blame him and would be all for him lowering the Canadian flag again if necessary.

  74. You say Newfoundland gets 1.8 billion dollars from off – shore oil, off the shores of Newfoundland remember, but do you realize that Quebec gets more than that from Churchill Falls hydro in Labrador.

    Newfoundland and Labrador's resourses are probably greater than those of any other province in Canada.

    Realizing this, maybe you will now stop abusing and bullying us as you have been doing since Confederation in 1949;

    'Newfoundland should be dragged out to sea and sunk.' Charley Lynch.
    'Newfoundland is the most attractive welfare getto in the world', and on and on it goes.

    What is wrong with you anyway that you should be taking your wrath out on us, a province of only half a million people.

    I went to several mainland universities, including the U.of T. and never heard a negative word about Nfld. It all seems to be coming from the Ontario press, especially the Globe and Mail.

    As for Danny Williams I am sorry he is leaving, not that I blame him and would be all for him lowering the Canadian flag again if necessary.

  75. Correction: Brian Peckford presided over the greenhouse fiasco.

  76. Oh lets see now … were you aware that the Hebron deal alone is expected to add $4 billion to the federal coffers? Check it out.

    Do you wish for me to educate you on the other NL off-shore deals, or are you willing to inform yourself for a change?

  77. So you argue Chavez is less of a disaster because of the preceding disaster.

    GDP doubled during those five years because in the preceding two it had shrunk by 36%, as you note, so the end result was a mere 25% increase from 2001 to 2008. And we all know GDP increased during those five years for one reason: the global bubble in oil prices, which Venezuela did nothing to create.

    But despite that windfall, Venezuela is now experiencing unprecedented electrical blackouts. Inflation is wiping out the savings of all citizens, crime is rampant far more than ever before, and the economy shrank by 3.3% in 2010 (ranking their growth 170 out of about 215 jurisdictions) and is expected to shrink again in 2011.

    Your link does not even cover the last two years, during which the economy has imploded, in part due to nationalization of large sectors of the economy, resulting in food shortages, energy shortages, and shortages of many other goods.

    Chavez has run the economy into the ground.

  78. Danny Williams was a no nonesence premier / crossed the line a couple of times. And was unable to stop the rape by Quebec on the Churchill Falls Hydro deal. This was written in another era and the debt has been paid off many times.

  79. Hey Dave, here's part of a CTV media report back in 2004:

    **********

    "Harper tried to win friends and support earlier Wednesday when he announced in St. John's that a Conservative government would let Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador keep millions more in royalties from offshore oil and gas development.

    Federal equalization payments would be restructured to avoid the clawback that now occurs, he said.

    "If Alberta had been subjected to these kinds of clawbacks it would still be a have-not province," Harper said in a luncheon speech to the St. John's Board of Trade."

    **********

    I thought that bit of research would help you.

  80. clyde lied…remember how much taxes came in after clyde was premier. he claimed no more taxes yet he added a ton at the gas pumps, we had to pay more for driver's licenses and other fees and overall he was a lackluster leader. amazing how quick history is forgotten.

  81. It really is sad how many articles by the media try to divide Canadians. I'm a Newfoundlander, living in Ontario. Everyone I have met in this new province has said how they would love to visit NL and how the people were all so friendly. I feel the same about the people here in Ontario. Am I a fan of all their politcians whether provincially or federally? Of course not, but that's what democracy is about.

    Back to Danny. I voted for his government in his first term and wish I could have done so in his second. He brought out a sense of pride to NL that was always there, but we were ready to shout it out. I remember where I was when he brought that $2 billion dollar check home and shouted at the airport "WE GOT HER B'YS!" I remember where I was when he stood up for a small seal fishery against celebrities Paul and Heather McCartney. I remember how he used his business sense to not only gain royalties from offshore oil, but to have a stake in the oil so when the price of oil skyrocketed to $150 a barrel, NL reaped what it sowed. I remember about how just days ago NL would no longer have to abide by the pitiful unfair contract signed by former leaders who were less apt than Danny boy. He had his fights with unions too claiming that public employees could not expect huge raises with the budget in the red. He made sure the teacher's pension was funded and not continued to go unaccounted for after previous governments spent that same money.

    It's always nice to have a budget in the black. It's always nice to just hear the media reports of the fights that Danny got himself in, but how many other politicians would put themselves in the ring for a whole province…and win?!? All the while not taking a salary, but giving it to charity. Sure he was a self-made millionaire, but he didn't have to give a cent away. So with regards to this article, it essentially asks the question would Danny be a good leader without the oil revenues? I would ask the question, if Danny could do all of that, what else could NL have benefited from if he was still the premier?

  82. It really is sad how many articles by the media try to divide Canadians. I'm a Newfoundlander, living in Ontario. Everyone I have met in this new province has said how they would love to visit NL and how the people were all so friendly. I feel the same about the people here in Ontario. Am I a fan of all their politcians whether provincially or federally? Of course not, but that's what democracy is about.

    Back to Danny. I voted for his government in his first term and wish I could have done so in his second. He brought out a sense of pride to NL that was always there, but we were ready to shout it out. I remember where I was when he brought that $2 billion dollar check home and shouted at the airport "WE GOT HER B'YS!" I remember where I was when he stood up for a small seal fishery against celebrities Paul and Heather McCartney. I remember how he used his business sense to not only gain royalties from offshore oil, but to have a stake in the oil so when the price of oil skyrocketed to $150 a barrel, NL reaped what it sowed. I remember about how just days ago NL would no longer have to abide by the pitiful unfair contract signed by former leaders who were less apt than Danny boy. He had his fights with unions too claiming that public employees could not expect huge raises with the budget in the red. He made sure the teacher's pension was funded and not continued to go unaccounted for after previous governments spent that same money.

    It's always nice to have a budget in the black. It's always nice to just hear the media reports of the fights that Danny got himself in, but how many other politicians would put themselves in the ring for a whole province…and win?!? All the while not taking a salary, but giving it to charity. Sure he was a self-made millionaire, but he didn't have to give a cent away. So with regards to this article, it essentially asks the question would Danny be a good leader without the oil revenues? I would ask the question, if Danny could do all of that, what else could NL have benefited from if he was still the premier?

  83. What do you mean, the debt has been paid off many times;
    Quebec still gets over a billion dollars a year from Churchill Falls hydro in Labrador whild Newfoundland only gets eight million.
    The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been fleeced and made fun of since Confederation in 1949.

    Maybe now, thanks a lot to Danny Williams, we will get some respect.
    I just hope his departure is not too soon!

  84. What do you mean, the debt has been paid off many times;
    Quebec still gets over a billion dollars a year from Churchill Falls hydro in Labrador whild Newfoundland only gets eight million.
    The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been fleeced and made fun of since Confederation in 1949.

    Maybe now, thanks a lot to Danny Williams, we will get some respect.
    I just hope his departure is not too soon!

  85. Danny Williams has more than 'a huge fortune', he is also an Oxford graduate, (Rhodes Scholar), a lawyer and a 'born leader'.

    Also Newfoundland & Labrador has more than 'oil'.
    How about Churchill Falls Hydro, and also the two lower Churchills, yet to be developed, and there is also Voiseys Bay to be developed,etc.

    Granted we were known mostly for the fisheries, having had the largest fishing grounds in the world (The Grand Banks), untill the Federal government depleted that, due to mismanagement.

    It is time (62 years) for mainland Canada to realize what a treasure they got in 1949.

    I just hope Danny has not left too soon!

  86. Danny Williams has more than 'a huge fortune', he is also an Oxford graduate, (Rhodes Scholar), a lawyer and a 'born leader'.

    Also Newfoundland & Labrador has more than 'oil'.
    How about Churchill Falls Hydro, and also the two lower Churchills, yet to be developed, and there is also Voiseys Bay to be developed,etc.

    Granted we were known mostly for the fisheries, having had the largest fishing grounds in the world (The Grand Banks), untill the Federal government depleted that, due to mismanagement.

    It is time (62 years) for mainland Canada to realize what a treasure they got in 1949.

    I just hope Danny has not left too soon!

    • Voisey's Bay is already developed, and was done under a deal that Danny demonized in opposition, but whose government benefitted to the tune of hundreds of millions while in power.

      • Yes, Voisey's Bay is being developed, my mistake, I think the 18 month strike put me off.
        I was not following NL politics at the time of Voisey's Bay so do not know about his opposition to the deal.
        Still admire him as our leader and wish he was not leaving.

  87. It is amazing how the master politician is still using his half-truth rhetoric and people are swallowing it. He told a Toronto radio audience that Newfounland and Labrador had contributed a billion dollars to Canada in oil revenues. What he failed to mention is that the ocean floor 300 kilometers of the coast never did, does not now, nor ever will, belong to the province. He regaled his back home audience with his tale of how the rest of the world kept the province from progressing. Great election campaign ranting, but in actual fact Canada literally carried our province for forty years before oil came in stream. That being said, his deals with oil companies, and Lower Churchill developments are great for the province. However, being the egoist, with the messiah complex that he has, he should not get to write his own history. Oh yes, I am a Newfoundlander as well as a proud Canadian.

  88. It is amazing how the master politician is still using his half-truth rhetoric and people are swallowing it. He told a Toronto radio audience that Newfounland and Labrador had contributed a billion dollars to Canada in oil revenues. What he failed to mention is that the ocean floor 300 kilometers of the coast never did, does not now, nor ever will, belong to the province. He regaled his back home audience with his tale of how the rest of the world kept the province from progressing. Great election campaign ranting, but in actual fact Canada literally carried our province for forty years before oil came in stream. That being said, his deals with oil companies, and Lower Churchill developments are great for the province. However, being the egoist, with the messiah complex that he has, he should not get to write his own history. Oh yes, I am a Newfoundlander as well as a proud Canadian.

    • i think if anything danny has been humbled by his experience to serve our province. funny thing is that my grandmother used to talk the same way. "I'd never vote for him" she would say. But when I asked if he ran for the Liberal Party would she vote for him, she had a smirk on her face. If roles were reversed and Roger Grimes had won that first election that Danny swept the province Blue, NL would be in a much worse shape than it's current condition. Grimes would never have had the business savvy to take a stake in the oil fields, negotiate a fair agreement with Voisey's Bay, pay back the pension deficit that his own teacher's pension had, nor even dream that hydro could be connected from Labrador and sent to NS. Personally, if I did all that I would pat myself on the back, but Danny didn't keep the glory for himself…he shared it with all Newfoundlers and Labradorians. Where is this Messiah complex coming from?!?

      • Grimes did negotiate the Voisey's Bay deal, a year before Danny Williams became Premier. And Premiers have been dreaming about building a power line from Labrador to the island since forever. Nothing innovative there.

        We'll see how "savvy" the ownership stake is, if and when there's a blowout.

  89. A true rarity in modern politics that Danny Williams argued passionately for his constituents. Not only ensuring that Newfoundland and Labrador would be the benefactors of their resources but strengthening Atlantic Region as whole by being a reasonable business partner.
    Danny if we can't have you in Ottawa, perhaps you might continue the work bringing the Atlantic Region to a path of financial independence from Ottawa. The resources exist, we just need leadership in managing them.

  90. A true rarity in modern politics that Danny Williams argued passionately for his constituents. Not only ensuring that Newfoundland and Labrador would be the benefactors of their resources but strengthening Atlantic Region as whole by being a reasonable business partner.
    Danny if we can't have you in Ottawa, perhaps you might continue the work bringing the Atlantic Region to a path of financial independence from Ottawa. The resources exist, we just need leadership in managing them.

  91. i think if anything danny has been humbled by his experience to serve our province. funny thing is that my grandmother used to talk the same way. "I'd never vote for him" she would say. But when I asked if he ran for the Liberal Party would she vote for him, she had a smirk on her face. If roles were reversed and Roger Grimes had won that first election that Danny swept the province Blue, NL would be in a much worse shape than it's current condition. Grimes would never have had the business savvy to take a stake in the oil fields, negotiate a fair agreement with Voisey's Bay, pay back the pension deficit that his own teacher's pension had, nor even dream that hydro could be connected from Labrador and sent to NS. Personally, if I did all that I would pat myself on the back, but Danny didn't keep the glory for himself…he shared it with all Newfoundlers and Labradorians. Where is this Messiah complex coming from?!?

  92. How much of that $4-billion has already flowed since the Hebron project doesn't exist yet?

    And what is that $4-billion anyway? (Hint: it's the same federal income and consumption taxes that Ottawa collects from any economic activity in any province. Don't act like NL, or any province, is doing the federal government any great favour.)

  93. Danny Williams is hardly unique in terms of "fighting for his constituents". Most premiers (of course you get the odd Bill Davis here and there) are very happy to go up against Ottawa, big business or foreign celebrities when their interests are challenged. What makes Danny unique is that he generally succeeded, where many others did not.

  94. Danny Williams is hardly unique in terms of "fighting for his constituents". Most premiers (of course you get the odd Bill Davis here and there) are very happy to go up against Ottawa, big business or foreign celebrities when their interests are challenged. What makes Danny unique is that he generally succeeded, where many others did not.

  95. Here's some more research for you: the reason Alberta wasn't "subjected to clawbacks" was because in the earliest days of its oil industry there was no equalization to "claw back", and then because the equalization program didn't include natural resources revenue, oil or mining, in the calculation. In other words, not because of some special side-deal with Alberta and Alberta alone.

  96. What ballot?

  97. I would give history a chance to start working its magic before assuming he was good for his province.

  98. Voisey's Bay is already developed, and was done under a deal that Danny demonized in opposition, but whose government benefitted to the tune of hundreds of millions while in power.

  99. Grimes did negotiate the Voisey's Bay deal, a year before Danny Williams became Premier. And Premiers have been dreaming about building a power line from Labrador to the island since forever. Nothing innovative there.

    We'll see how "savvy" the ownership stake is, if and when there's a blowout.

  100. I do kind of agree with you!!

  101. Yes, Voisey's Bay is being developed, my mistake, I think the 18 month strike put me off.
    I was not following NL politics at the time of Voisey's Bay so do not know about his opposition to the deal.
    Still admire him as our leader and wish he was not leaving.

  102. A good man that did a good job resigned, and instead of writing an article about all of his accomplishments you find a way to still put down our great province. I am sick to death of people like you. You think your province is so wonderful? Why don't you write about your own province and stay the hell away from ours!

  103. A good man that did a good job resigned, and instead of writing an article about all of his accomplishments you find a way to still put down our great province. I am sick to death of people like you. You think your province is so wonderful? Why don't you write about your own province and stay the hell away from ours!

  104. Right on– he should have been punished 4 a deed of that kind—in my books –he sinks lower than the flags!!!! the only thing is– GO_ help us all if heshould be inducted into the senate–or even worse– run 4 the conservative party. With all his millions— he just quietly vanish!!!!!

  105. You can dismiss his "accomplishments" as much as you like but I think we'd all be hard-pressed to find another politician who could do as much with as much. He is a good buisnessman, a good leader, a shrewd negotiator, and a passionate Canadian…and like most of us he has no time for condescending beauracrats and self-serving politicians. He wasn't perfect and he did make some mistakes but he wore his heart on his sleeve and he worked hard to help his home province…Funny…The whole of Canada is being fleeced by Quebec and we just accept it…How ironic.

  106. You can dismiss his "accomplishments" as much as you like but I think we'd all be hard-pressed to find another politician who could do as much with as much. He is a good buisnessman, a good leader, a shrewd negotiator, and a passionate Canadian…and like most of us he has no time for condescending beauracrats and self-serving politicians. He wasn't perfect and he did make some mistakes but he wore his heart on his sleeve and he worked hard to help his home province…Funny…The whole of Canada is being fleeced by Quebec and we just accept it…How ironic.

    • I agree, the whole country is being fleeced by Quebec and getting away with it and I wonder why.

      Mainland Canada seems to be afraid of Quebec, and also of the United States.

      Maybe they are afraid of their power, but NL is their scapegoat and that helps them cope.

      What will happen when they realize that NL has power too and they were grossly misinformed about us.

  107. I agree, the whole country is being fleeced by Quebec and getting away with it and I wonder why.

    Mainland Canada seems to be afraid of Quebec, and also of the United States.

    Maybe they are afraid of their power, but NL is their scapegoat and that helps them cope.

    What will happen when they realize that NL has power too and they were grossly misinformed about us.

  108. Still insulting Newfoundland! What welfare! Quebec gets 1.8 billion from NL every year, than's far more than any welfare we receive.
    There are only 500.000 people in NL and maybe 80 per cent are working so that leaves only a relatively small number on welfare, less that one fraction of the population of Toronto,………. there are probably more people on welfare in Toronto that all of NL.
    Get your facts straight!
    There was no 'welfare' in NL befor Confederation in '49 and that came about because of the depletion of the fisheries by the Federal Government.
    I 've gone to several mainland universities, including the U of T and have seen more poverty up your way that I've ever seen here.
    Why such vindictiveness anyway! Come here and see for yourself.

  109. To MBToday, Danny Williams did not just 'lower' the Canadian flag, in his mind he 'removed' it, and as far as I am concerned he can lower it and remove it any time he likes.
    We were dragged into Confederation in '49 and have been abused ever since.