Nfld. & Labrador·Weekend briefing

After all these years, Danny Williams still has the power to be instantly divisive

Start your weekend with a look at some of the interesting stories we've offered.

Start your weekend with a look at some stories we've been tracking

CBC reporter Terry Roberts takes a photo of former premier Danny Williams at the Muskrat Falls inquiry. (Marie-Isabelle Rochon/Radio-Canada)

Danny Williams – love him or hate him, and there are certainly enough people on both sides of the aisle of that Newfoundland and Labrador political theatre — was back in the public eye this week.

Hard to believe, but it's been almost eight years since Williams startled many of his loyal supporters (and much of the rest of us) by walking away from the premier's office.

Williams's decision to get out of politics came just one week after he made another whopper of an announcement: that Newfoundland and Labrador had reached an agreement with Nova Scotia and Halifax-based Emera Inc. to develop Muskrat Falls.


Muskrat Falls has been a glint in the eye of N.L. politicians for decades, but it was usually bundled together with a much larger hydroelectric project at Gull Island, which remains very much undeveloped. For all those years, the working assumption was that Newfoundland and Labrador would have to make a deal with Hydro-Quebec, which is no small feat given the hard feelings over the ruinous terms (for N.L.) of the 65-year Upper Churchill contract. 

Muskrat Falls means the smaller site only is being developed, and that the power will get to market while bypassing Quebec. 

Danny Williams testified for two days this week at the Muskrat Falls inquiry. (Marie-Isabelle Rochon/Radio-Canada)

Williams was all smiles in November 2010, when he unveiled the plan in a hotel conference room. Eight years later, we are in the middle of a commission of inquiry parsing the details of how his government came to reach that decision, and — more to the point — how decisions were made in the weeks, months and indeed years after he left office. It's worth noting that Kathy Dunderdale was at the helm when the key decisions were made on sanctioning Muskrat Falls in 2012. 

Williams, incidentally, was not smiling much during his two days of testimony. Still, he was not backing down from his core beliefs about the project. 

And he's still very much dividing the public. A colleague shared this screengrab after we posted the story, with back-to-back reactions from opposite points of view. 

(CBC)

#nlpoli in a nutshell, huh? 

Who says kids are unmotivated? 

If you know your theatre scene, particularly in St. John's, you probably have heard of Peter MacDonald. 

You may not have heard — yet — of Peter MacDonald, junior. 

The younger namesake appears to have the same talent, and with help from some pros of the local theatre community (including his dad as well as his mom, Ronalda Hutton), he and collaborator Spencer FitzGerald did something remarkable. 

To use a showbiz cliche, they said, "Let's put on a show!" 

Jeremy Eaton went backstage for a rehearsal. Here's his report from Here & Now

Trummp the Musical opens in St. John's 2:41

Man, you guys love photos 

You want to know one way to put a smile on Carolyn Stokes's face? Keep sending in those photos!

Carolyn has been covering the weather desk on Here & Now since Ryan Snoddon d̶e̶f̶e̶c̶t̶e̶d̶ departed for CBC in Nova Scotia, and until Ashley Brauweiler arrives later this month. 

As you know, we love showcasing beauty shots on the show, just as much as we love bringing them to you on the web. 

Earlier this summer, we introduced a new email address that gets your photos to everyone at once: nlphotos@cbc.ca. We could not be more impressed — and many days, amazed — by what has been arriving. 

When Carolyn mentions the address at the end of the show, our account goes pop-pop-pop. We love it. We're seeing photos from all over. 

We do try to post as many photos as we can online, and through our social media accounts, too. You can always find the latest gallery on our homepage; to give you a sense of why we're so delighted with your contributions, here's our latest gallery. 

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      By the way, what am I reading? 

      Welcome to something new we want to try: a note for the weekend that takes a look back at the week that was, gives you a bit of context about the stories we've been bringing you, and hopefully which will take you behind the scenes at CBC Newfoundland and Labrador. 

      We're calling it — for now — Weekend Briefing. Hope you like it. 

      Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador