Premier Danny Williams legacy continues to be undone by his predecessor.
Just a little note of caution to those in charge, the public is still hugely in love with Danny Williams.
The leadership that promised us determination, pride and strength has been displaced by a secretive, down-in-the-mouth crowd that barely resembles the party William's left behind. The unforgivable alliance with Atlantic Canada despising Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the refusal to provide the former Premier with the contact numbers of his former cabinet ministers was shameful enough.
Premier Danny Williams promised more transparency and accountability. Under his direct approach the Auditor General was able to audit the books of the House of Assembly. Real light was thrown on practices of corruption, thievery and fraud. His own deputy leader and predecessor was cut down and jailed as were three other MHA's and a senior bureaucrat.
He did the right thing and we were proud of him for it.
There has always been a love hate relationship with the media and the opposition when it comes to the provision of briefing notes and cabinet discussions by governments.
The process of making a cabinet decision is rigorous. The public's right to know has to be balanced. That balance was struck. The government would on occasion stubbornly fight to withhold information. The Chief Information Commissioner, the Telegram and the CBC have engaged in legal battles to hold the government to it's past promises of transparency, with mixed results.
The newly passed legislation, has put the blocks to any pretense of a bureaucratic independence when it comes to the provision of information requested by the media or citizens. This current administration would prefer to operate in secret. Who are we too expect accountability?
Some people are remarking that it seems a bit too coincidental the new cost information timeline
for decision gate 3 of the flawed Muskrat Falls proposal and Bill 29 timeline correspond so nicely. Bill 29 will make
briefing notes and the like exempt.
It is a shame that Danny William's legacy of opening the doors of government, letting in fresh air and sweeping away corruption is being undermined by the very people that won their seats on his hugely popular coattails.
Turning back the clocks and returning to an era of partisan oversight will only make for more scandals, unchecked nepotism, patronage and poor public policy.