A couple of weeks ago we considered the nascent détente between the US and Venezuela and asked this question: is DW more captive to his populist nationalism than Chávez is to his populist socialism? http://orwellianspin.blogspot.com/2009/04/danny-chavez-reconsidered.html
We now have our answer: Yes.
Since that post, Obama and Chávez have met, shaken hands, and started the process of burying the hatchet: http://orwellianspin.blogspot.com/2009/04/odds-hatchets-nadirs.html
In a gesture of goodwill, Venezuela has returned an island to the US: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8013592.stm
Meanwhile, the ABC folly continues to cast a dark shadow in NL. Yesterday, the Tely editorial noted its effects on federal funding; today, it's being discussed as a block to negotiating a settlement for the laid-off workers in Grand Falls-Windsor.
In a Tely story by Moira Baird, "On Notice," which is not available online, the provincial representative for the Communications, Engery, and Paperworkers had this to say: "The federal government and the provincial government are going to have to bury the hatchet -- they need to do a forestry worker adjustment program similar to what's being contemplated in other sectors."
If DW is unwilling or unable to bury the hatchet, why doesn't he act boldly and autonomously, and announce a special provincial fund to assist the workers while the legal issues get sorted out?
Such a fund would cost a fraction of the multi-millions being poured into NALCO. In fact, it would cost less than setting up a new government bureaucracy: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2009/health/0326n10.htm
If DW wanted to be really bold, Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) could be located in Grand Falls-Windsor, so that the $8.5 million (plus the $275,200 allocated for two new government lawyers) could be used for regional development to help a high unemployment area, rather than further inflate the economic bubble in St. John's.
For more questions on AbitibiBowater-gate, see http://labradore.blogspot.com/2009/04/international-autonomy-in-theory-and.html
AbitibiBowater-gate MIA Update:
Even VOCM has noticed that Dangovt is MIA: http://www.vocm.com/news-info.asp?id=35709
This is the best they can do update? http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2009/tcr/0424n02.htm
Missing Ministers P.S.:
Yesterday, Wiseman was in Clarenville (where the internet access is as good as Town), so he will have a hard time (even for him) saying he didn't know the latest news in health care when Jones asks him about it in the House: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2009/04/24/pain-doctors-stjohns-424.html
By the way, if Wiseman can find the time in his hectic schedule to give a speech to the Clarenville Area Chamber of Commerce and have lunch at the St. Jude Hotel, then surely he can find the time to keep up with developments in his own Department: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2009/health/0423n02.htm
Another day, another serious health care problem in a have-province. Any idea of when no longer being a have-not province will actually produce better health care?
My guess is that this will begin to happen when the Minister of Health devotes more time to his own Department and less time to chatting up local Chambers of Commerce.