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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

“Boss” Williams calling the shots

Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, seems to see himself as a political boss in the old “party   boss” mold. The financially independent Progressive williamsConservative premier, is not content to rule his own 44-member caucus—the PCs have all but four seats in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly—but seeks to control who gets elected federally as well.

Now “Boss” Williams wants to control how Newfoundland and Labrador members of federal parliament vote in the upcoming budget vote. And he’ll get away with it too.

During a 2004 dispute with then Prime Minister Paul Martin, Williams ordered all Canadian flags removed from provincial buildings, proving that to him Canada is simply a cash cow to be milked for all he can get. And during the 2008 Canadian federal election, he launched his “easy as A, B, C” campaign—Anything But Conservative. His campaign was a success with the Conservative government losing all representation in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prime Minister Stephen Harper was narrowly denied majority government status.

Boss Williams has decided Canada in not doling out enough bucks in federal charity payments to his province—notwithstanding the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador is finally a “have” province and should be contributing to those less fortunate members of our federation.

He has made it clear to his province’s seven MPs—six are Liberals—that he expects them to vote against the Conservative budget, which he claims will cost Newfoundland $1.5 billion in transfer payments. (The changes he has alluded to do not appear in the budget, but Boss Williams says he is certain the changes are being made.)

So here we have Boss Williams triggering a mini-revolt within Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal caucus after supporting that same party in the last election. This incongruity must have occurred to Danny Boy because I notice he seems to have backed off from his attack on the federal Liberals (see story at the Globe and Mail Web site).

Don’t you just love politics?smleaf

3 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I just heard on CTV Newsnet, Iggy is planning a News Conference in a few minutes. I am sure he will blame this on the Tories - and take no action against his liberal MPs. However, the arena is now set - Iggy does not have control over his caucus, the same way Dion didn't - and Danny williams is calling the "shots" for his NFLD liberal members. f Iggy wants to blame this on PM Harper - so be it - but it will become very clear - he has no control over his NFLD caucus, and it will be Danny Williams who will be making all decisions from his little perch in NFLD on every vote that comes up in the house. The first big test of his Iggy's leadership shows great weakness. It was funny, when a "South Shore Member in my Province of NS" would not vote for a previous budget and PM Harper had to kick him out of caucus, we had Oliver and Fife on every 5 minutes saying how Harper had a crack in his caucus - Harper was a control freak - Harper had no choice but to dump him out even though maybe he should give him another chance - on and on - but nothing on this matter. Maybe they are afraid of their boss - The Liberal Party!....

  2. If Ignatieff won't whip his caucus, can he really expect the rest of his MP's to NOT vote their conscience - could be a defeat for the Liberal leader tonite. WOW! Bob Rae may not be dead - he should sharpen up his knife and go for the stiletto to the heart. Maybe the Coalition is viable - I'm sure the Bloq and NDP are still game. There is still enough time to pursue a revolt. Don't you just love the melodrama - better than the soaps.

  3. The Canadian confederation is a sham. It is nothing more than. Tyranny of the majority, Per Capita Colonialism, Democratic Discrimination by all of the national proxy parties of the majority ON/QU against the minority, Reverse robin hood. Steal from the poor minority and give to the vote rich majority. And those are the nice terms. Don't give us your crap about feed us please on a per capita basis NL'ians have contributed four times as much as the next nearest province.


    Under the Atlantic Accord NL was supposed to be the principal beneficiary of the resources on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland when the Accord was signed in 1985 by the Mulroney-Peckford governments. Mulroney oxymoronically said that he was not afraid to inflict prosperty on NL. During the Chretien government, the primary beneficiary was clearly Ottawa. Martin, the then finance minister took over top job and was likely embarrassed by his government's unashamed rip off of the intent of the Atlantic Accord. During a preelection visit, he agreed to a one time payment of 2 billion dollars to make amends. The Liberals tried to weasel out of the commitment. Williams had a fit, flags down, etc. One disturbing comment made by an Ottawa minion at that time was NL will pay (for this acrimony). In the new budget, Ontario gets $1 billion and NL looses $1.6 billion. It is a puzzle to me how the feds can unabashedly change these agreements/accords. What became of the principle 'a contract is a contract' a la Churchill Falls. Incidentally, the equalization payments beginning in January 2009: Ontario - $347 million Quebec - $8.35 billion Manitoba - $2.1 billion New Brunswick - $1.69 billion Nova Scotia - $1.57 billion P.E.I. - $340 million NL - $O