I am enjoying most of the discussion on the NB Power issue (with the exception of some of the funky stuff that I have had to block). I am surprised at the visceral reaction to this – people talking about sovereignty, and constitutionality and arguing it is a point of pride to have crown ownership of the power company. And the issue of the Premier breaking a promise – that so outraged the folks calling into the CBC this morning – all politicians change their minds. Have you ever witnessed one that didn’t?
I have to admit this is strange to me. This should be debated on its merits no question but this other stuff is bringing a weird level of emotion, feelings and pride into it. People are acting like their feelings have been hurt by this.
The telephone company is not a crown corporation anymore. PetroCanada was sold off. The electricity utilities in PEI, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are owned by the private sector. Where was the outrage? The constitutional rights debate?
Why would people care who owns the utility? Again, the case needs to be made one way or the other but if the average resident in New Brunswick or the average business recieved lower rates and rate stability who would care about the ultimate ownership?
I understand that ownership is a part of this and the debate should be had but this visceral reaction crowds out serious debate.
Ask yourself if deep down you really care who owns the electricity utility. I realize there are folks that want to score political points and others who dislike certain politicians and others who just like to fight the power but ask yourself if you really deep down care as long as you get good service at a reasonable cost.
And as to the deja vu reference in the title – remember back to the toll highway debate in New Brunswick. Some of the biggest public voices against the NB toll highway were coming out of Nova Scotia and PEI – two provinces with significant toll highways already in place. Now voices from those provinces (and NL) are also speaking up – some of the stuff in the Chronicle Herald is downright angry – against the deal as if their own electricity utilities were owned by the crown. They are not.
Instead of all this righteous indignation over New Brunswick looking to sell its power company the same way they did years ago – maybe they should provide some reflection and insight into what went right and what went wrong. When Nova Scotia sold off NS Power in 1992, what learning should New Brunswick take into its discussion with HQ? Beyond that, the sniping is just bad form in my opinion.