Pam Pardy-Ghent: Press ‘Con’Ference

Remember ‘‘No more giveaways?’’ Those were fighting words direct from the often spitey and habitually saucy chops of then premier Danny Williams as he battled and bulldozed his way to a seat at the proverbial up-along table to get us what was rightfully ours.

Of course, Williams had a few memorable mouth moments. From the passionate ABC campaign that saw this province shut out the federal conservatives to his offering to give then St. John’s mayor Andy Wells a you-know-what knockin’, Williams was nothing if not colourful and entertaining. 

‘Burn your boats’

But then he wasn’t the only combative  and quote worthy premier this province had. “Some day the sun will shine and have not will be no more,” Brian Peckford, this province’s third premier eloquently said as he emerged from yet another clash with ‘the feds’ over, what else? Control of the province’s natural resources. But then many a premier have had their moment in the sun when it comes to hard-to-forget quotes, many gems uttered at some press conference or another over the years.

According to the critics of the day, our own Joey Smallwood was famous for putting his money where his mouth was, once saying passionately; “Burn your boats. We won’t need to go fishing any more. There are going to be thousands of jobs on the land,’’ as he launched into his develop or perish era.  

‘tell our children’

Kathy Dunderdale threw her arms in the air in victory announcing, ‘‘This is one of the occasions we should tell our children about…’’ as she presented what she thought was a win, the signing of the loan guarantee that saw us borrow billions over decades to help finance the Muskrat Falls mega project in 2013.

Well, we’ve gone a little over the estimates, and, under the existing agreement, over the next 45 years it would cost tax payers $74 billion, a lot of green to pay for a green energy project, which will see power rates rise from 13 cents a kilowatt hour to 78. Wicket deal, wa?

‘big announcement!?’

Premier Dwight Ball, provincial Natural Resource Minister Siobhan Coady and federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan held a press conference in St. John’s on February 10th, teasing a ‘big announcement.’ Protesters gathered and the media showed up. And, what was announced? Not much besides the fact that the feds are there to help fix a $30-billion-plus problem, but no one seems to know exactly how. 

Band-aids? Life-preservers? Airfare? Move upalong  or along folks, there’s nothing to see here, and certainly no memorable quotes to add to our colourful collection, save for one. 

It was opposition leader Ches Crosbie who stole the show, telling NTV’s David Salter that he was very unimpressed by the non-announcement, adding cutely; ‘‘like we used to hear Mike Critch say on VOCM, details are scanty.’’ Folks, there’s one for the history books.

Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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