Goin’ down slow

Despite all the rhetoric. Despite all the hyperbole. Despite all the grinning and shaking of hands, the vast majority of New Brunswickers are still well entrenched in our belief that New Brunswick is going down slow.

I used to say this with the last government. The same week that Premier Lord was running around yakking about prosperity, his Finance Minister was going around the province with his officials telling universities to be prepared for the huge coming decline in student populations.

Now, I’ve cut a few lines out of a T&T story this morning for your edification and then I’ll comment below:

At this point, even before those mills went out, we were talking well into 2020 before we’d need additional generation,” said NB Power CEO David Hay. “Now that obviously gets extended even beyond that date.”

The drop in demand raises questions about the case for a second reactor pumping out 1,100 MW “” possibly half of that destined for the Maritimes — at Point Lepreau, said David Coon.

“You also have the (Brunswick) mine going down in 2010 and likely the smelter with it,” said Coon, policy director for the Conservation Council and a long-time critic of nuclear power. “NB Power’s industrial load is rapidly shrinking. And that’s base load.

“If your base load is shrinking, and you actually are spending all this money refurbishing (the existing reactor at) Pt. Lepreau, why would you be looking to supply even more base load when demand is less?”

David Coon,the leading proponent of a major decline in New Brunswick saying “nah, nah, nah – we’re going down. Told you so.” – like some nasty kid on the playground. But then you have Hay, also assuming not only that our forestry industry will collapse but that nothing will happen to replace the demand.

They build these negative expectations into their scenarios. It’s sick.

David Coon talking about the closure of the Brunswick Mine and smelter and just assuming nothing will be coming along to replace it. Or better yet, use more energy.

David friggin’ Hay should be the first one up saying we expect to replace this loss of demand with 50 data centres brought in by BNB. Or, we need to get our rates in line with North American jurisdictions to keep our large forestry players or some other growth expectations.

They say they are just being ‘realistic’. Good ‘planners’. Good stewards of the trust put in them by New Brunswickers.

The bottom line is very simple folks. If the heads of all the government departments, agencies and NB Power are planning for decline – they will get it ipso facto.

And no goofy grinning Premier will stop them.

Maybe it’s because my father was a Baptist minister, but I feel like serving up a parable every time I read this crap.

The parable tells of a master who was leaving his home to travel, and before going gave his three servants different amounts of money. On returning from his travels, the master asked his servants for an account of the money given to them. The first servant reported that he was given five talents, and he had made five talents more. The master praised the servant as being good and faithful, gave him more responsibility because of his faithfulness, and invited the servant to be joyful together with him.

The second servant said that he had received two talents, and he had made two talents more. The master praised this servant in the same way as being good and faithful, giving him more responsibility and inviting the servant to be joyful together with him.

The last servant who had received one talent reported that knowing his master was a hard man, he buried his talent in the ground for safekeeping, and therefore returned the original amount to his master. The master called him a wicked and lazy servant, saying that he should have placed the money in the bank to generate interest. The master commanded that the one talent be taken away from that servant, and given to the servant with ten talents, because everyone that has much will be given more, and whoever that has a little, even the little that he has will be taken away.

I know New Brunswick has gotten the short end of the stick. The ‘one talent’ if you will. But assuming a loser posture is not the solution.