Lord of the flies

Before I get to that, it seems that at least one person shares my lack of enthusiasm for the recent Orimulsion settlement. In case you can’t read the link, T&T columnist John Steeves has a piece in today called “No joy in orimulsion settlement” in which he echos my position on this. Once in a while Al Hogan allows a piece that directly contradicts his position on an issue. Maybe he’s on vacation.

The Daily Gleaner – lo and behold – is also cranky about the settlement. Here’s a quote:

But not so fast Tories. What were you thinking? Why would you allow the utility to get involved in such a volatile country as Venezuela? It’s a country that’s been progressively tightening its grip on energy resources, and the views spilled by its president Hugo Chavez against the U.S. and by extension, any of its friends, should have been enough of a warning in the first place.

Of course, before the DG is too critical of the Tories, David Hay’s press release said NB Power was looking forward to a wonderful relationship with the Venezuelans in the future. You know that whole “fool me once shame on you – fool me twice shame on me” thing. I guess the writer of that editorial in the DG didn’t get the same memo from the Irvings that the T&T and TJ did.

Anyway, back to my witty title for today’s blog.

I think the announcement to restore the Petitcodiac River is good news – although the fact that it will take 8-10 years is reminiscent of the new Gunningsville Bridge which took over six years from announcement to completion by the previous government (and it’s still not quite finished). One expects that this is partly to stretch out the political benefits from such a large project.


I do have some sympathy with Riverview residents that are fighting this, however. I have heard from them the apocalyptic vision post river restoration. They are saying that the hugh mud plain that the Petitcodiac Lake will turn into a breeding area for a huge amount of flies that will infest the town. Of course property values in that area will drop and the town will lose a water resource that it has exploited for regattas and other boating activities.

Now, just to put this in perspective, many of the folks that fought hard for the restoration have cottages on the beach in Shediac and environs. One would think they would be “put out” so to speak if the government came along and said it was turning the beach into a protected area and moving all residents back from the beach by one kilometre. Oh, the outrage that would ensue. The same chardonnay slurping crowd that fought so hard for the Petitcodiace River restoration would be outraged and borrowing the same picket signs from the opponents of the Pety restoration.

Of course, they are not the same issue. I’m just saying that to a resident a 30% drop in home value is a 30% drop in home value. To the poor schmuck who docks his boat on Petitcodiac Lake, losing that mooring is still a loss -despite the nobility of the cause.

On the whole, this is a good thing for Moncton – probably a great thing. But have a little pity on those poor folks who are collateral damage. Maybe the UdeM professors, civil servants and lawyers et. al. that fought for the restoration would be kind enough to share their beachfront property out in Shediac with the guy/gal who will have his/her property on the lake reduced to a mud flat.