Sunday, June 01, 2014

This Day In Snookland...In Which Ron Gets Even More Obvious Than Usual.


On Saturday Gary Mason looked at the Dippers' opposition to Jessica McDonald's appointment to run BC Hydro and didn't like what he saw.

Because, well, you know, Ms. McDonald once ran things for the pre-Snooklandian regime leader, and thus is as qualified as anyone:

...(Ms. McDonald) held the top position in the B.C. bureaucracy under former premier Gordon Campbell when she was still in her 30s. Her rapid ascent surprised many. And any time you leap-frog over older, more experienced people there are bound to be some bad feelings generated along the way. Consequently, it’s not a huge surprise that inside the B.C. government there are also people who don’t believe she’s cut out for this job. And that’s okay. Jessica Ms. McDonald has proved people wrong before.

Except, in a classically obvious 'Now Let's Jump The English Channel' bit of flippity-floppity, Mr. Mason then tells us, in the very next graph, that we needn't worry, really, because Ms. McDonald didn't actually run things back in the day anyway.


...Ms. McDonald is associated with many of Mr. Campbell’s most contentious public policy experiments, including his ambitious Green agenda, which foisted Independent Power Producers upon Hydro. Resentment continues to linger inside the utility over that decision, but understand that was Mr. Campbell, not Ms. McDonald...

But here's the thing....

As he skated, flipped, flopped and slid over the surface of pretty much everything Mr. Mason, as per usual, refused to go any deeper and look at what, specifically, Ms. McDonald was involved with regarding the affairs of BC Hydro back when she was running with the devi.....errrrr...Gordon.

So, given that it would appear that Mr. Mason doesn't like to use the Google when he's on deadline we thought we would make you aware of an excerpt from a 2006 profile of Ms. McDonald by Paul Willcocks in BC Business Magazine:

...Aside from her brief stint as a relatively junior manager, McDonald had spent barely 18 months in the premier’s office before she got the top job. Managers learn by making mistakes on the way up, where they matter less, says one public service veteran. “You make a mistake at this level and you’re wearing it,” he notes. There have been stumbles. A couple of the elements of the post-election re-org had to be reversed, most notably the shuffling of responsibility for child mental health out of the children and families ministry – a move that left others in the public service grumbling about the lack of consultation in the top-down effort. And the government’s embarrassing last-minute rejection in December of BC Hydro’s long-term energy plan sparked suggestions the premier’s office had fumbled. Hydro executives trusted that the rest of the government was being canvassed. It wasn’t, and when the caucus saw the plan – which includes the controversial multi-billion-dollar Site C dam on the Peace River – everything went off the rails...

'Nuff said?

In fairness to Mr. Mason regarding his Google usage, or lack thereof, it was Mr. Willcocks himself who drew our attention to his BCBiz piece in the comment thread attached to a previous post...And in fairness to Ms. McDonald she clearly has shown some consultative and management skillz in the past, particularly when backed by Mr. Campbell's iron fist wrapped in the think tag rags, as Mr. Willcocks also makes clear...The point, however, is that given Mr. Horgan's stated position on Site C and the precarious situation Hydro finds itself in with over-leveraging and all those 'future obligations' instituted back in said 'create a market out of nothing' day...Well, if Mr. Mason dug into that kind of stuff maybe he wouldn't be so quick to diss the Dippers' position as 'same old same old' especially when he himself, in an ultimate act of columnistic lameoisity, ends his piece with the following: "... she has to know there are people out there just waiting, and possibly hoping, she screws up."
Oh, and we thank an Anon-O-Mouse on the same thread (SH perhaps?) for pointing out the passage from Mr. Willcocks quoted above.



Norm Farrell said...

Some political pundits might make fine sports writers.

However, few sports writers make good pundits.

Probably because all that rah, rah jock sniffing around really, really important people kind of becomes a habit.

Anonymous said...


T'was not me.

If only the spiral staircase could speak...


Anonymous said...


Skeletons can be so damned inconvenient...

ps re the leap-frogging eventually the bottoms start croaking...

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile back at the chinrus ranch

Anonymous said...

I first became aware of Ms. McDonald in the mid 90's when she was an entry level policy analyst. I'd say average, but certainly not a star.
She, along with some other entry level policy analysts as well as an ADM were known to be the resident 'spooks' operating on behalf of Gordo when he was still in opposition. they were all richly rewarded when, with the help of local media, Gordo gained the keys to the economic kingdom.

Unknown said...

Hey didn't Bill Good, the RTDNA Award winning journalist, start out as a sports announcer/jock sniffer? I neglected to mention his other award, as BC Liberal Cheerleader of the Decade. Enough said.

RossK said...

Thanks for the insights Anon-A-Couple-Above--

Would it be worth looking into, for example, the cases and ministries worked by a certain consult shop?


kootcoot said...

As I pointed out elsewhere today, most of the decent writing in what passes for newspapers today can be found in the sports section. Once today's "journalists" (to use the term loosely) try to deal with policy it becomes necessary to lie in order to please the Cons in Ottawa or the mini-Cons, disguised as Liberals in Victoria.

Trying to turn untruth into truth leads to tortured reasoning, tortured grammar and generally BAD prose.

Anonymous said...

PatRiotchick ‏@PatOndabak · May 29
New BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald's hubby involved in dirty tricks with Dave Basi in BC Rail fraud #rosedeer #bcpoli …

Anonymous said...

Mason up-sells McDonald...Wuz up Gary? Blinded by Power Blonde???

"... you have to have unimpeachable integrity and a clear set of values. And Jessica Ms. McDonald certainly has those."

"...While it may be true she doesn’t have any specific experience running a major energy company, neither did most of the other Hydro CEOs who have been named in recent years. (And I don’t remember much concern being raised about their energy bona fides.) It’s also true that most premiers and prime ministers don’t have a record of running a province or a country before they do either."

Ok then, using your logic, a blogger doesn't need any specific experience related to journalism?

Well, we already know that...even a news commenter can achieve depths of discovery the MSM seem to find too troublesome...

DNinPoCo 2 days ago

"unimpeachable integrity and a clear set of values. And Jessica Ms. McDonald certainly has those"

Umm no ... going to have to strongly disagree with you there Mr. Mason.

Her actual route to the top BC Hydro job looks more like this:

1) Marry Mike McDonald, Gordon Campbell's key supporter
2) Intern in Gordon Campbell's inner circle fresh out of a BA & enjoy a completely unexplainable & meteoric rise to power along with other besties like Lara Dauphinee & Marytn Brown
3) When Campbell exits stay friends with other besties in high places, like Christy Clark, Mark Marrissen, Bruce Clark, Kim Haakstad & Athana Mentzelopoulos 'cause you never know ...
4) As Gord slinks off get yourself some credentials for free - a parting gift of an exclusive & costly management course courtesy of BC taxpayers
5) Now you need some private sector experience: so quit government & spend a few years running a 1-person consulting shop with loads of sweet government contracts delivered from above friendly contacts (ignore the rules about not using previous connections ... rules aren't for the Campbell/Clark crew)
6) Some corporate experience would look nice on the resume so accept a consulting job from another friend, fellow Campbell apologist Geoff Plant
7) Run BC Hydro!

See how easy & no integrity or values required!

kootcoot said...

Excellent analysis SH (I hope you aren't that SH - you know the one trying to make Canada unrecognizable)!

Anonymous said...

SH @ koocoot Thank you...SH=Sadly Hooked (to the disappointing MSM that is)

Norm Farrell said...

" '...unimpeachable integrity and a clear set of values. And Jessica Ms. McDonald certainly has those.'

"Umm no ... "

211 words from SH provide a clear picture of reality, but won't result in $5,000 speaking engagements.

On the other hand, 721 words from Mason may not serve his readers particularly well but they could do well for him.

Friends, that is political reporting in British Columbia today.

Anonymous said...

SH @kootcoot Funny you should mention sports writing koot, consider the following analysis of sport writing...sounds just like BC's "news hounds" doesn't it?

"Entertainment values, local identification, boosterism, hero worship and a reluctance to undermine the collective or individual pressures of rabid ‘fandom’ have all weakened the commitment of sports departments to balanced and objective reporting.

Lowes asserts that “Sports news is ideological precisely because it constitutes a discourse that serves the promotional interests of the major-league sports industry’s primary stakeholders. … This means that there is little room for news that doesn’t promote the industry.”(p.99) Lowes is here defining news as copy. The impact of such a conclusion for reporters must be “why write it if it doesn’t get printed?”

Anonymous said...

SH: @kootcoot and Norm,

I can't take credit for comments 1-7, if you look just above "unimpeachable" you can see:

DNinPoCo 2 days ago

RossK said...



Thanks SH


Lew said...

Given this effort, and the significant missing details in Mr. Mason’s account of John Furlong’s past in the book he co-authored about Mr. Furlong, it would seem that biographical research is not Mr. Mason’s forte.

Anonymous said...

What no geothermal.?banned.?