When I was a young boy, my Grandfather was a solid Tory. I don’t mean that he voted Tory and …
This leak smells funnyBy Trevor J. Adams | Sep 30, 2010
In parliamentary democracies, caucus confidentiality is a big deal. As they develop their positions, members of a party must be able to speak candidly amongst themselves. When a member of a party breaks that confidentiality, spilling secrets to the media, colleagues tend to react badly. So, the NDP’s reaction to backbencher Howard Epstein’s leaking of the projected cost of Halifax’s proposed new convention centre is decidedly odd. Epstein was chatting with Tim Bousquet (a vocal opponent of the project) of The Coast when the numbers “slipped out.” (Interestingly, the figure that “slipped out” was also broken down into components itemizing how much each level of government would contribute. The slip must have went on for several minutes.)
His caucus mates, however, were unfazed by this apparent breach of caucus confidentiality. In fact, all is forgiven and Epstein has escaped censure. Premier Dexter explains that Epstein is off the hook because of his “deep sorrow” at the mistake.
This raises two possibilities. 1) The NDP has a capacity for mercy and forgiveness that goes much deeper than I’d previously suspected. 2) The leak was planned, to set the groundwork for the government bailing out of the project.
I’m not a mind reader—and no one in the provincial government is saying it. But what other possibility is there? A veteran MLA, who incidentally has no cabinet portfolio to risk, blurted out government secrets in a conversation with a friendly reporter and his party didn’t mind at all.
If the government refuses to back a new convention centre, citing public anger over the projected cost, you owe me a Coke.
What do you think?