Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Harper-Williams Strategy?

Although they hate each other, Stephen Harper appears to be taking a page out of Danny Williams' playbook: no more special treatment for Quebec.  (Can you hear the audible sigh of relief out here too?)  The combative Newfie Premier's last act, you will recall, was to sign a deal with New Brunswick to bypass extortionist Quebec re: the transit of Labradorian energy to New York State.  Williams received kudos all around for his end run, and retired from public life mere months after that crowning achievement.  (Quebec even tried to buy New Brunswick's power utility at one point to block le circumvention, but failed.  At the time your humble scribe's B.S. detectors were going crazy - even way out here too - although the reason for the Quebecois sleight-of-hand was at the time unknown to me.  Lucky thing it didn't go through or it would have been another case of my dollars buying Quebec a gift, come to think of it.)  As regular readers of this space will recall, Quebec separatist leader Gilles Duceppe boldfacedly announced last month that the province would need an obscene $5 billion bribe for him to support Stevie's budget.  In past election campaigns a less assured Harper might have caved to such blackmail but, whatever else you want to say about him, Harper appears to have developed some spine where Quebec is concerned.  ("Just say no", Laureen said, and he did?)