Monday, March 14, 2011

Elizabeth Matthews pulls her name out of the Offshore Petroleum Board ring

I don’t know Elizabeth Matthews. I don’t think I ever saw her face until today in the online version of The Telegram. The only thing I know is that when I read her statement this morning, all I could think was “the pot calling the kettle black ass”.

One sentence in her press release caught my attention: “But the politicalization of this issue has gone too far.” Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. Her appointment was the stuff of political legend – serve your time in the Premier’s office and then get a job that pays nearly $200-thousand a year in a field that requires very special expertise and instead get someone nominated for the gig whose claim to fame is being a spinmeister for Danny Williams.

Matthews goes on to say, “In that role, I was a part of a team that advised the Premier and Cabinet on major policy and negotiations including energy and other projects. Despite Opposition Party claims to the contrary, I was also a part of the team for several projects related to offshore oil and gas development including the Hebron offshore development, the renewed Atlantic Accord, Hibernia South extension, White Rose extension and the Lower Churchill project.”

One thing she should have learned from her time at Danny’s side is the people who work in the petroleum industry are experts in their field. They understand the industry and are good at what they do. That’s why they’re getting mega-rich from the offshore wells and we’re doing pretty good ourselves, thank you. The last thing the industry needs at what we can only hope will be a time of serious transformation in terms of safety issues, is an ex-political flack. Being the first one in the Premier’s office to take the call about the Cougar disaster does not a petroleum industry executive make.

One thing I do give her credit for. She’s apparently got enough savvy and I expect Williams was involved in the decision, to know when the jig is up and you can’t win. There are so many patronage positions out there that you could probably walk on them from here to Twillingate without ever touching the pavement. I think we’re fortunate and the offshore workers are lucky that at least one of them won’t be in a position of authority in an industry that requires expertise. Not to worry. Her name will pop up soon enough again. Just keep your eye out for those $200-thousand jobs.

(If you’re interested in reading Ms. Matthews complete press release, click here)


Brad Cabana said...

Well said! Not to mention of coursee that the Board position only paid $5000 per year and $300 for meetings. You have to hit the full time promotion to Vice Chair before you get the $200,000 per year.

Wisewebwoman said...

Well Veep, the only surprise that I had in this whole porking the barrel fandango was that she offed herself from the board.
You're right. There's another fandango around somewhere and she's bound to fall over it.
Danny's fingerprints are all over this one.

Government Funded Blogger said...

All politicians are divided into three groups crooks ,waiting for the chance to be crooks ,in the slammer.The latter group is very small.

Charlie said...

It was the right decision for her to renege on her appointment. Her qualifications (B.A. Pol. Sci./History) did not make her an expert in the oil industry, but with a combo of that and recent work experience, something along those lines would make more sense.

It is disappointing to think that those that are in positions of influence, think so little of the long-term provincial interests, and would nominate someone best qualified for another field.

Those with specific and relevant credentials only, please apply.

ViewPoint2010 said...

WWW, I don't doubt for a second that Ms. Matthews has talent suited for a variety of jobs, but this appointment was so blatantly political that it upset a lot of people, not only the opposition leaders as Ms. Matthews tried to spin it. She's not ready to grab the pebble from the master's hand just yet.

ViewPoint2010 said...

GFB, there ARE honourable politicians and I've had the good fortune to know some of them over the years. The problem is that power corrupts and while many of them start out from a "helping" perspective, once you realize you can determine your own salary to some extent, the values begin to slip. To me Stephen Harper is the classic example of that power corrupting thing - he's lost sight of his values. Now power is his only interest. That's why he disgusts me so much.

ViewPoint2010 said...

Charlie, your point is a good one - political opportunism trumps the good of the province. That says it so very, very clearly. Thanks.