One of New Brunswick’s problems is that our politics is too rinky dink. Too small town cheap – in the words of Gomery.
Consider Lepreau. NB Power’s board of directors, acting on the results of a thorough study, concluded that it was not economically viable to refurbish the Lepreau nuclear facility. The Premier threatened massive rate increases if the refurbishment went ahead. However, add in a little ‘politics’ and the situation changes. A few lobbyists and Saint John reps. start making a stink and the Feds back out of any refurbishment and – presto – golden political moment. Lord looks like a hero. He states that the refurbishment is good for New Brunswickers – a good economic decision.
Then consider Pickering, Ontario. Now don’t get me wrong. Ontario Power Generation is not the model of an ideal electricity utility. However, the board of directors recommended that two reactors not be refurbished – and that was it. I am sure the construction lobby would have liked the billion dollars in construction activity. I am sure that Pickering would have liked the hundreds of high paying jobs. But, it was not economically viable.
Another example of rinky dink decisions in a rinky dink province. Consider the forestry study as another example of politics and intense lobbying from a few vested interests leading to bad decisions.