DEER LAKE Humber Valley MHA and opposition leader Dwight Ball wants the attacks to stop in the discussion over the proposed Muskrat Falls project
Responding after hearing a media interview with fellow MHA PC Steve Kent, Ball called it “Disturbing and repugnant” to hear Kent argue that imputing personal motives of persons on the other side of the public debate is not only permissible, but also desirable.
“This will have a chilling and corrosive effect on the public’s participation in the issues facing the province,” said Ball. “When it has become official government policy to use the machinery of government to attack the motives of critics, why would anyone say anything?”
The proposed hydro-electricity project would include a transmission link from Labrador to Newfoundland that would cost approximately $2.1 billion, with about $600 million of that coming from Emera Inc. A 30-kilometre underwater connection across the Strait of Bell Isle would also be installed.
Ball said that it has been a longstanding principle of public discussion that you attack the position and not the person. But now, he said, the Kent interview shows a government representative implying that attacking the person is the preferred, legitimate to address matters of public interest.
“The hypocrisy of government’s policy to attack the personal motives of critics is incredible,” said Ball. “They feel entitled to make personal attacks while they vigorously protest whenever their own motivations are called into question.”