Tuesday, 7 June 2016



By: Ryan Young

When Al Hawkins, Minister for Transportation and Works, stood up in the House of Assembly during question period and admitted the department’s role in the removal of posters that were plastered along Prince Phillip Parkway in St. John’s calling for Dwight Ball to resign, our government officially admitted that democracy holds no place in their version of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Opposition Leader Paul Davis asked if the removal of the posters had been ordered by government and we were told by Minister Hawkins that it was an “operational decision” made within the department. An “operational decision” to pay employees to go out at three in the morning and remove posters that were placed there by protestors exercising their democratic right over the weekend. Hawkins was quick to throw this mysterious official under a white van by saying that if the order had come across his desk the outcome might have been different. It was later reported that the department had paid a private contractor $200 to remove the posters in the middle of the night. Bizarre does not even begin to explain this story.

Premier Ball denied any involvement from his office, but with his track record with the truth lately, we can take that denial with a grain of salt. According to the official government story we are supposed to believe that some Dwight Ball admirer at the Department of Transportation & Works ordered the use of taxpayer money to send contractors out in the middle of the night to take the posters down. Apparently this official never bothered to check with either the minister’s office or the premier’s office before making this “operational decision.” They acted on what Minister Hawkins tried to pass off as standard procedure. Just to be clear, we heard in the House of Assembly that it is standard procedure to send out an unmarked white van at three in the morning to remove posters that just happen to call for the resignation of the premier. Have we got that clear? Yeah okay…

So back here in the real world that exists outside of the egos that fill the House of Assembly, it has become painfully clear that this is just another half assed effort by this government to do some damage control. For some reason, some official in government thought it would be less damaging politically to use taxpayer money in the middle of the night to tear down the posters than to just leave them up. Even people who didn’t have much of an opinion on Ball resigning are now outraged that taxpayer money could be wasted in such a trivial and petty manner. Even the $200 figure that the government threw out seems absurd. Who were these contractors they hired anyway? A couple of guys they found in a white van over by Costco? The whole thing would be funny if it did not cut to heart of the sad reality we must now face. This government does not have a sweet clue what they are doing.

The protestors have already started putting the “resign” posters back up and requests are being made from all over the province for copies. This is just another Liberal controversy that ended up as an exercise in futility. Well it won’t be exactly futile I suppose, they did manage to give the people one more example of just how incompetent they really are. With such a simple lack of foresight on matters like this how can we expect them to successfully navigate our troubled economic waters? From the time they have taken office they have gotten everything wrong. The funny/sad part is that these ministers sit at the table with their little armies of bureaucrats wondering how to make things better, seemingly not realizing that these are the same bureaucrats who ran things for the Tories for the last 12 years. The same bureaucrats that crafted the Tory policy that the Liberals habitually blame for each and every problem they now have to manage. It’s like a video of a dog chasing his tail, it’s funny at first but then it just gets sad. It seems like this crop of Liberals had no idea of how to run a government from the start, and decided to rely on the team already in place to get the job done, despite the obvious track record of that team. Sound like incompetence? Maybe you are starting to see the pattern.

It doesn’t even matter if Minister Hawkins or Premier Ball are telling the truth about their lack of involvement in #POSTERGATE at this point. There have been so many lies now that nobody believes a word that is coming out of any of their mouths. They have lost the confidence of the people and there is no miracle that Dwight Ball has up his sleeve that can get it back. Dwight’s resignation is only a matter of time. If he wanted to rally the masses to make sure, #POSTERGATE was the perfect choice. Using taxpayer money to take his smug mug off of poles is the perfect way to show us how you really feel the people’s concerns. As much as I don’t want to see another election in a year, how much more can we really take?

*Author's Note* You can get a PDF version of the RESIGN poster here:



  1. I don't know what the answers are to these problems, but someone had better come up with some Soon! I'm outraged even though I don't live in NL now!

  2. What makes you think there will be another election in a year. The Liberal Party will almost certainly force Dwight Ball out sometime in the near future, and he will be replaced as leader. I have little faith that any of the pretenders to the throne will be any more competent, but they will not call an election and risk losing power until their four year mandate is up. That would be just silly.

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