"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Irony Ore

This bit of civic boosterism by John Hickey, in the House of Assembly on March 26:
MR. HICKEY: Madam Chair, when we talk about these types of projects, there is one thing on which we have been very clear. Premier Williams has been very clear to all those who have come our way, whether it be the oil companies, whether it be Fishery Products International. I remember one in particular in Labrador West. LabMag was a company, and they had wanted to send the ore out to Seven Islands for processing. It was under the leadership of this Premier and this government that we said: No, you will not get a mining licence in Labrador West if you do not process the ore there.

I am happy to say, Madam Chair, because we stood our ground — this Premier stood his ground, this government stood its ground — we are going to see an expansion over in Labrador West with LabMag and we are going to have 800 new jobs because of that, Madam Chair. Eight hundred new jobs, I say to you, Madam Chair.
has ran smack into this dose of economic realism at the hands of NML:

New Millennium Capital Corp. ("NML" or "the Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:NML) today announced the results of the Preliminary Assessment ("the Study") undertaken on its 100% owned KeMag property ("the Project").


Highlights of the KeMag Study:
- Production Assumption of 15 million tonnes per year ("mtpy") pellets and 7 mtpy concentrate
- Indicated Mineral Resources of 1.349 billion tonnes
- Inferred Mineral Resources of 992 million tonnes
- Total capital cost, including working capital, of US $3.6 billion
- Internal rate of return ("IRR") of 19% (unleveraged and before corporate taxes and mining taxes)
- Return on equity ("ROE") of 30% (before corporate taxes and mining taxes)1
- Net present value ("NPV") of US$ 7.3 billion (before corporate taxes and mining taxes)2
- 5 year payback after the start of commercial production
- Minimum 30 year mine life
- 1,091 direct jobs at the mine, concentrator, pipeline, pellet plant and shiploading facility

(More coverage: Radio-Canada, VOCM.)

Danny Williams' policies may end up creating hundreds of new mining jobs. Just not in the province he's Premier of. If the Kemag project sees first ore, Schefferville and Sept-Iles ought to name streets in Danny's honour.

When is the public hysteria about "giveaways" going to give way to even an inkling of concern about "driveaways"?

How Icelandic we aren't

He's either totally predictable, or humouring everybody by fulfilling this blog's prophecies, but, right on cue (hi, Liz!) this was Danny today during his media availability with the Icelandic Prime Minister:
"Iceland is a country with the ability to manage their own fisheries, which we don't have, unfortunately."
All that other stuff that the Icelandic Prime Minister went to great pains to stress, how, you know, the Icelandic fishery is driven by science and market forces... irrelevant.

Iceland Is A Country.

All you need to know.

Down with the causeway!

Moral autonomy all round!

“Decisions should be made outside the Overpass, decisions should be made outside St. John’s.” – Danny Williams, CBC Radio, July 31, 2007


"We have to devolve to the regions more decision-making power." — Finance Minister Tom Marshall, VOCM Cracktalk, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

Velkommin til Nýfundnaland

How Icelandic We Are.

Bill Rowe: get a clue

Bill Rowe is wrong.

Bill Rowe today repeated the ignorant lie that Marine Atlantic is the only surface route to or from "the province".

Leaving aside the geographical ignorance that "the province" and "the island" are not the same thing, and that there are two highways and a rail line, surface routes both, leading into and out of "the province", the "hostage to Marine Atlantic" lie isn't even true of the island of Newfoundland.

There are two other ferries, both run by the provincial government, connecting Newfoundland to mainland Canada. They are the Straits ferry service, which carries 10 to 15% of the number of passengers Marine Atlantic does, linking St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon; and the Sir Robert Bond route connecting Lewisporte to Cartwright and Goose Bay.

In addition, there is private shipping carrying freight and bulk cargoes to and from Newfoundland and various other ports.

Bill Rowe also left unchallenged the assertion by a caller that the headquarters for Marine Atlantic should be in the province.

Newsflash: it is.

Perhaps the Newfoundland nationalist campaigns get so entrenched that people forget when they win one, but: Marine Atlantic's head office moved from Moncton to St. John's — the one in Newfoundland, the city in which Bill Rowe lives and works — at the end of 2000.

That's almost seven years ago. Marine Atlantic's head office is now:
Marine Atlantic Inc.
10 Fort William Place, Suite 802
Baine Johnston Centre
St. John's, NL A1C 1K4
Phone: (709) 772-8957
Fax: (709) 772-8956
What is the speed of misinformation?


PS: Since when is Chuck Furey "an investigator"?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Usage and abusage

If you listen to the grisly display of misinformation, ignorance, and borderline insanity that is the open line shows at their worst — and that's usually the way they're at — you will learn the following "facts" about lobbying and lobbyists:
  • newspapers like the National Post or Toronto Star use their pages to lobby the federal government for stuff.
  • the federal government lobbies, or hires lobbyists, or is comprised of lobbyists.
  • the provincial government lobbies, or hires lobbyists, or is comprised of lobbyists.
  • MHAs and MPs are lobbyists.
  • Jane Doe, in writing to a government official in her own capacity and on her own behalf, is lobbying.
  • private businesses are lobbied to do or not do stuff.

It makes you want to hunt down whoever introduced the verb "to lobby" into the local parlance... and cut his tongue out so he can't do something similar ever, ever again.

The latest entry into the ever-growing We Really Don't Know What We're Talking About When We Use The Word "Lobbyist" club — and boy, this will come as a shocker! — is the Newfoundland Weekly Separatist.

Yip, Scrunchins, in the pages of The Independent, this week informs its readers (both of 'em - ed.) that:

... last week Scrunchins took a swipe at local bloggers Sue Kelland-Dyer, Ed Hollett, Simon Lono and Geoff Meeker. The four have much in common: they're opinionated, somewhat in the public eye, and each has a day job as a communications consultant, meaning they're paid to lobby and advise.

Advise? Yeah, that's what communications consultants do, or any type of consultants, for that matter.

But lobby?

No, Ryan, that's what lobbyists do.

A lobbyist, you see, is someone, outside of government, who is hired on behalf of someone else, and works on their behalf, to advance a political or public-policy goal through persuasive tactics meant to induce a legislative body or a bureaucracy to take a particular action, or to refrain from taking one.

Lobbying is a peculiar profession, and, in recent years, has attracted sufficient concern about ethics and propriety that most jurisdictions now regulate the industry.

And here's the thing: had Scrunchins bothered to do so, Scrunchins would have found that none of the four named individuals turns up in a search of either the provincial or federal lobbyists registry.

So, if its assertion is true, the Newfoundland Weekly Separatist has unwittingly uncovered a scandal involving lobbyists lobbying while not registered, which is contrary to federal or provincial statute (or both, if they are active in both arenas).

But if it isn't true?

Friday, July 27, 2007

State Energy Bureau

Quoth the anti-capitalist Ed Martin in January 2006:
"Today, Hydro successfully operates over 7,200 MW of generation, including a world-class facility in Churchill Falls," said Mr. Martin. "We have over 50 years in the generation and transmission business. Although we understand the drivers of a privately-owned company like Ventus Energy attempting to maximize returns to outside, private shareholders, we have a full-time New Developments group, supported by highly-trained engineering and operations staff who run one of the top systems in the country. We are more than capable of pursuing this type of development for the full benefit of the province.
Would that be a privately-owned company of foreign devils like, say, Frontier Power Systems...

You know, the PEI-based private company that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has partnered with on the Ramea project?
January 18, 2007, St. John's - Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) announced today that it is moving forward with an innovative project to integrate wind power with hydrogen and diesel generation for remote communities.

"We’re excited to lead the development and implementation of the world’s first isolated wind-hydrogen-diesel research and development project located in the community of Ramea," said Ed Martin, Hydro's president and CEO. "This project aligns with our objectives to pursue research and development opportunities in the energy sector."


Located six kilometers off the south west coast of the Island of Newfoundland, Ramea is an island community of just over 700 residents. In September 2004, Hydro began purchasing wind energy from Frontier Power Systems, a non-utility generator in Ramea.
Ed Martin from January 2007 really ought to have a long philosophical chat with Ed Martin from 2006, and decide, once and for all, how they really feel about furriners and the private sector.

Energy plan? What energy plan?

From the March 23, 2007 sitting of the Bow-Wow Parliament:

MS JONES: The joint partnership between the Labrador Metis Nation and Ventus Energy is prepared to invest $2.5 billion in revenue - more than those equivalent to the Atlantic Accord - and give the Province a 25 per cent equity share in the Highland wind project in Labrador that will generate 1,000 megawatts of power.

I ask the minister today: Why have she and the Premier not been able to take the time to even sit down and hear this case for energy development in Labrador, and why are you not encouraging this investment by the Metis Energy Corporation?

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Mr. Speaker, the proposal that is being suggested by the hon. member, the critic for Natural Resources, is part and parcel of an energy plan that is being presently worked on by this government. A plan, by the way, Mr. Speaker, which requires -

MR. REID: (Inaudible) four years.

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Yes, it is four years, but I will remind the hon. member, Mr. Speaker, when I sat in Opposition, it was in 1998 when the government of the day - which was comprised mostly of members opposite - in fact stated that they were ready to start and commence the working of an energy plan. Well, Mr. Speaker, five years later, in 2003, when members opposite were defeated, we in this Province were still waiting for an energy plan.

Mr. Speaker, it is an important issue. We will put the due diligence into this work. It is important work on behalf of the people in the Province. We hope to be in the position to announce to the public in the spring of this year our complete and diverse energy plan on behalf of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. However, Mr. Speaker, if it takes a while longer, that will be the case.

MS JONES: Now, Mr. Speaker, I listened to the minister and it blows me away, and I will tell you why. He stands up and he says that you cannot entertain an energy project in Labrador in the absence of an energy plan. Well, I would like to remind the minister that there are private sector companies investing in wind power and environmental assessments being conducted on the Island of Newfoundland today in the absence of an energy plan. Why the double standard for Labrador, Minister? Why are you not allowing the Metis Energy Corporation and Ventus Energy to move forward with an environment assessment on this particular wind power project? You know it does not grant approval or disapproval by allowing that to happen. So, why aren’t you doing it?

MR. OTTENHEIMER: As just indicated, Mr. Speaker, this proposal that is being presented by the member opposite will be considered in its entirety as part and parcel of an energy plan, which is being put together, which is being worked on by this government, as we speak, and in due course the appropriate announcement will be made.

MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, we already know that there are two standards here. There are projects given the environmental assessment and the go ahead for wind power on the Island, but this company has not been granted the same in Labrador. In fact, this company has been doing wind data on the Smallwood Reservoir on the Height of Land wind project for the past year. They are prepared to share that data with government.

I have to ask, Minister: Why are you not communicating with this company? Why is it that government went in there and put up their own wind towers to conduct their own data? Are your relations and negotiating tactics with private companies so bad in this Province that you cannot even sit down and talk about a project of this magnitude with this kind of capital investment in Newfoundland and Labrador.

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Mr. Speaker, the proposal as suggested and the points being brought forward have validity. They have validity on their own. This particular proposal and this concept must be considered in the entirety of an energy plan which is part and parcel of an energy policy for this government. As we speak, it is being formulated. It is proposed that this government, through the Premier - and presumably my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, will make the appropriate announcement in due course and we will then see whether or not the points and the validity that is made by the hon. member will, in fact, be included.

Energy plan. Gotta have it before anyone is allowed to harness wind, at least in Labrador.

So why not the wind project in St. Lawrence?

Or the one in Ramea?

Why the double-standard?

Any questions, nice questions 'llowed in?

"St. Lawrence welcomes new wind farm", the MotherCorp reports this morning:
The project is the first commercial wind farm in Newfoundland and Labrador. Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale and officials with Crown-owned Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro participated in the launch.
Don't suppose it occured to any of the ink-stained wretches, or faces for radio, who were in attendance, to ask why this commercial wind farm, on the island of Newfoundland, is proceeding, even in the absence of the all-important energy plan?

More boundary bunkum

One last, but very important, footnote from Carl Powell’s rant last Friday to Linda Swain on VOCM Backtalk, this time concerning the maritime boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland in the Gulf of St. Lawrence:
Why is that Mr. Hollett and others of the, particularly, Wells and Grimes governments, never talk about the water and the bottom boundary that Quebec unilaterally drew in the St. Lawrence River basin in 1964, that’s 43 years ago, whose border in particular, just 20 miles of our west coast, has enormous implications and ramifications for our west coast oil deposits. This boundary is recognized both nationally and internationally. The Newfoundland government, when they found out about it, I was in a meeting just after I retired, with the Grimes government, they didn’t know it was there, and they said, oh, of course, we don’t recognize it… It is a very serious issue and Mr. Hollett should start to look at official resources, I don’t know what he’s looking at or what he’s listening to, but that’s what I’m doing.
Since Mr. Powell is so big on “official resources”, he may want to look at a few himself.

He should start with the materials concerning the arbitration on the interprovincial boundary running down the Cabot Strait between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. After all, of the eight potential interprovincial maritime boundaries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the NL-NS line is the only one which has ever been legally settled.

First off, let’s put to bed Mr. Powell’s patently false assertion that Quebec, unilaterally or otherwise, drew the putative maritime boundary lines in 1964. The supposed boundary lines were laid down in what is known as the “Joint Statement” of the four Atlantic Premiers on September 30 of that year. The relevent text of the Statement is as follows:

The Atlantic Premiers Conference held in Halifax on September 30, 1964, with Premier Stanfield of Nova Scotia, Premier Robichaud of New Brunswick, Premier Shaw of Prince Edward Island, and Premier Smallwood of Newfoundland in attendance unanimously agreed:

1. That the provincial governments are entitled to the ownership and control of submarine minerals underlying territorial waters including, subject to International Law, the areas in the Banks of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, on legal, equitable and political grounds. The argument in support of these several grounds set out in the Report prepared in 1959 by Professor Gerard V. La Forest still retains full force and affect. [sic]

4. That it is desirable that the marine boundaries as between the several Atlantic Coast Provinces should be agreed upon by the provincial authorities and the necessary steps taken to give effect to that agreement.

5. That the boundaries described by Metes and Bounds in Schedule A and shown graphically on Schedule B be the marine boundaries of the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.

6. That the Parliament of Canada be asked to define the boundaries as approved by the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland under the provisions of Section 3 of the British North America Act, 1871.

7. That an immediate approach should be made to the Province of Quebec so that a united presentation may be made to the Government of Canada.
The NL-NS maritime boundary arbitration Tribunal notes, in its First Phase Report:

When the Premier of Nova Scotia wrote to the Premier of Québec on October 2, 1964, he sought not the accession of that province to a provincial boundary agreement but rather the “concurrence of the Government of the Province of Québec in our course of action”.66 The Premier of Québec replied that his province “is in agreement with the Atlantic Provinces on the matter of submarine mineral rights [sic] and of the marine boundaries agreed upon by the Atlantic Provinces”.
The putative boundaries suggested in 1964 were done so multilaterally, by all five provinces with an interest in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In fact, not only were the lines not drawn unilaterally by Quebec, they were not drawn by Quebec at all! Quebec was a Ti-Jean-come-lately to the entire process.

Second, Mr. Powell asserts that the putative 1964 boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland is “recognized both nationally and internationally”.

The Tribunal summarized the two provinces’ opposing arguments as to whether a boundary had been agreed to in 1964:

Nova Scotia argued that an agreement existed between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador which effected the delimitation of their respective offshore areas. This agreement, it was submitted, was entered into in 1964 by the premiers of the Atlantic Provinces, an agreement to which Québec subsequently adhered. The terms of the 1964 Agreement were, it was argued, confirmed by the subsequent conduct of the Parties.

Nova Scotia requested that the Tribunal declare that the line dividing the respective offshore areas of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been resolved by agreement.

Newfoundland and Labrador argued that a line dividing the offshore areas between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador has not been resolved by agreement, that there was no evidence of an intent on the part of Newfoundland and Labrador to be legally bound by any agreement or to follow a particular line. Nova Scotia, it was argued, failed to establish the line dividing the respective offshore areas of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia has been resolved by agreement.

Newfoundland and Labrador requested that the Tribunal determine that the line dividing the respective offshore areas of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has not been resolved by agreement.
And, faced with these two opposing viewpoints, the Tribunal concluded:

In the Tribunal’s view, the documentary record looked at as a whole does not disclose the existence of an agreement resolving the offshore boundaries of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, within the meaning of the Terms of Reference. This is true whether the criterion be taken to be the international law of agreements or Canadian public law. In particular, the Tribunal concludes that the Parties at no stage reached a definitive agreement resolving their offshore boundary, in the sense explained in paragraph 3.30 above.

As to the 1964 Joint Statement, the reasons for this conclusion are essentially as follows:

(1) The Statement contains a clear appreciation that the provincial claims required some form of recognition or acceptance from the federal government. In other words it was predicated on the (eventually unfulfilled) hope of federal recognition of the provincial claim for ownership.

(2) In this context there was no clear indication that the boundaries described in Schedule A and shown on Schedule B were agreed to conclusively or for any purpose other than that of the provincial claim to ownership.

(3) That claim, in terms, required further action by both the provinces and Federal Government to give the boundaries legal effect; such action can be regarded as a form of confirmation or ratification..

(4) In key respects, the boundaries were described and illustrated with a lack of precision and attention to detail that were hardly consistent with an intent to enter into a final and binding agreement. This was especially so in relation to the line southeast from Cabot Strait. The inference was that the content of the Joint Statement required further refinement, and would be the subject of further consultation and agreement.
The tenor of the Joint Statement is thus inconsistent with any intent to enter into a final and binding agreement with immediate effect. In the Tribunal’s view, this would be the case even if points 4, 5 and 6 of the items of agreement were the only matters dealt with in the Joint Statement. The terms of the Joint Statement are more consistent with a political, provisional or tentative agreement, which may lead to a formal agreement but which is not itself that agreement. This is the case whether the document is viewed from the perspective of Canadian law or the principles of international law governing maritime boundary delimitation.
The Tribunal decided that no boundary was agreed to between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in the 1964 Joint Statement. It necessarily follows that if that document is the foundation of a claim that a boundary was settled at the same time between Quebec and Newfoundland, or of a claim to any specific interprovincial maritime boundary line, then that claim, too, must fail. The Quebec-Newfoundland maritime boundary, like any of the others in the Gulf, was not set, and so has never been recognized, nationally or otherwise.

So when the Grimes government said they didn’t recognize the 1964 line as a maritime boundary with Quebec in the Gulf, they were telling the truth. Yet somewhere in all that, Mr. Powell still manages to find dark conspiracies.

Can anyone figure out what Carl Powell is looking at or what he’s listening to… well, other than Sue?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Danny Williams on Commitment

Quoth Glorious Leader in his latest anti-Confederate rant:

“After they won our votes, the … Conservatives decided that their promise was meaningless. They completely reneged on that commitment which they made repeatedly in writing and verbally…”
A-hem, cough, cough:

Williams commits to work in partnership
with the Labrador Métis Nation
Corner Brook, October 8, 2003 - At a recent meeting with Todd Russell, president of the Labrador Métis Nation, Progressive Conservative Party Leader Danny Williams outlined a number of commitments that a PC government would undertake with respect to the constitutional rights of the Métis people in Newfoundland and Labrador and the involvement of the Labrador Métis in the benefits that would accrue from development of the Lower Churchill and other resources in the region.

Williams said, "Our commitments to the Labrador Métis are solid.

"A PC government I lead will acknowledge that the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in the Powley case does indeed apply to Métis in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we will participate with the federal government and the Métis Nation in negotiations to define and enforce the specific rights affirmed in the Powley decision and other rights protected under section 35 of the Constitution.

"We will work in partnership with the Métis people of Labrador to promote and strengthen Métis communities and culture and to ensure the Métis and all residents of Labrador share in the benefits that accrue from the development of Labrador resources.

"We will involve the Labrador Métis Nation, as we will representatives of all residents of Labrador, in the process of negotiating a Lower Churchill Development Agreement."

Williams said, "Newfoundland and Labrador needs the participation of the Métis community if the province is going to realize its full potential for social and economic growth. I look forward to working with the Labrador Métis Nation to benefit the Métis community and all the people of Newfoundland and Labrador."

- 30 -

Media contact at PC Campaign Headquarters:
Elizabeth Matthews

More wind than energy

"I was very clear and definitive with the partnership representatives that we are in the process of developing our provincial energy plan and, obviously, the development of wind projects would be a key element of the plan. Therefore, government was not going to make any decision regarding these projects until that process is complete."
That was then-Energy Minister Ed Byrne, a year and a half ago, in a press release, about the Ventus Energy proposal for a $2-billion — with a B, as in Byrne, or Bling — development in Labrador.
"We are not going to give away a wind resource to any individual company without the benefits coming to the people — in this case to Labrador — until we have a plan in place that deals with royalty, fabrication and assembly, and a long-range plan that benefits the people of Newfoundland and Labrador..."

And that was then-Energy Minister and then-MHA Ed Byrne, in May 2006, in the House of Assembly.

So, today's announcement regarding a 27-megawatt wind farm in St. Lawrence — which isn't in Labrador — can only lead a body to wonder.... Where's that energy plan, which was supposedly the prerequisite to any wind energy development? Or was that only a pre-condition in Labrador?

And what are the royalty, fabrication, and assembly benefits, which the former Minister of Energy indicated were also necessary, that the province will derive from the NeWind project on the Burin Peninsula?

Yip... any day now

Once upon a time, not that long ago chronologically-speaking, and, since nothing ever changes, it might as well be yesterday, culturally-speaking, a Tory Premier, in an election year, anxious to look busy, and holding out the eternal show-optimism that he would be the Great Leader who finally developed the so-called Lower Churchill hydro project, blew up a whole lot of perfectly good flour on either shore of the Strait of Belle Isle.

It’s 2007, and maybe things are a little more sophisticated now… but how much more, really?

Perhaps retail stores in the Straits should stock a few extra sacks of flour, just in case.

Hydro begins further field investigation work for the Lower Churchill Project

July 26, 2007 Happy Valley-Goose Bay – Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) announced today that in order to prepare for future activities leading to project sanction, it has begun preliminary engineering field work at both the Gull Island and Muskrat Falls project sites as well as along the potential transmission routes. This field activity is expected to continue until November.

"Hydro has begun surveying and exploration around the site areas," said Ed Martin, President and CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. "This preliminary work will assist the internal Hydro team in gathering information for the environmental assessment and in completing the optimization, and engineering studies necessary to prepare for future front end engineering and design (FEED) work expected to begin in 2008."

This summer’s field program consists of surveying, test pitting, exploratory drilling, seismic investigations and sub sea surveying. As a result of the RFP award for engineering support services, Hydro is working with engineering consultants SNC Lavalin, Fugro Jacques Geosurveys Inc. (FJGI), and a consortium comprised of Hatch Energy, RSW Engineering and Statnett to complete the work. This field investigation work is in addition to the ongoing environmental baseline studies that are also being conducted separately in the project area by Minaskuat and AMEC environmental consultants.

"The field work being conducted this year is another step in the planning of the Lower Churchill Project," said Gilbert Bennett, Vice President, Lower Churchill Project. "The magnitude of the project is such that we must be diligent in our planning and execution of work tasks, and we’re confident we are doing that."

The potential development of the Lower Churchill Project has been the subject of significant environmental and engineering studies for the past several decades and as such there is a comprehensive body of assessment work completed. Further environmental and engineering investigations will build on the data already collected and assist in determining the project’s financial, technical and environmental feasibility. At this point, all development options are still being reviewed, including project configuration, transmission routes and markets.

The Churchill River is an attractive, renewable, clean energy source. The Lower Churchill Project can displace an estimated 16 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually from comparable production from coal thermal generation. Combined with the existing Churchill Falls Generating Station, the three developments could produce the electrical equivalent of 225,000 barrels of oil a day - forever.

All across the province

Since Trevor Taylor is busy, on Danny's behalf, once again questioning our place in Canada, is it not then also time for Labrador to question its place in Dannyland?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Wasteland

Most interesting today to hear Marilyn from Monkstown on Backtalk today, spontaneously calling in to spontaneously pick up on the line that has been spontaneously promoted by several other spontaneous callers in recent days.

These callers, of which Marilyn from Monkstown (who called in totally spontaneously and without prompting on the part of anyone) is merely the latest, praise up the action being taken by one of Her Majesty’s Ministers as he or she waltzes into town, into a district which the governing party doesn’t currently hold, to put out some political fire or another… PC candidate in tow.

Most interesting, that.

It’s the latest iteration of the line that was first field-driven out on the west coast by Leo Bruce, PC nomination contestant in Bay of Islands, whose mission in political life is — and these are his words — to deliver his district from the “wasteland of the Opposition benches in the House of Assembly”.

Mr. Bruce has said that “the people of the Bay of Islands have paid the price for the past four years.”

And what has that price been paid for? Well, for the unpardonable sin of not voting for Danny Williams.

Which brings us round to Marilyn from Monkstown, who said today, in a call to VOCM made of her own initiative, that for four years, her MHA – that would be Percy Barrett, who is not a Tory – has been unable to deliver on the Monkstown highway issue. But there’s hope: John Hickey is no longer saying no to Monkstown.

Or, expressed another way, Percy Barrett’s district has been punished for the same crime as the good people of the Bay of Islands.

And, to avoid the wishy-washiness of the passive voice, the government and party of Danny Williams, its would-be candidates, and its shills, now freely admit: Danny Williams Administration’s modus operandi, Danny Williams’ new way of politics, for the past four years, has been to deliberately punish opposition districts for the political ThoughtCrime of being opposition districts.

This is the necessary implication of Leo Bruce saying that opposition is a “wasteland”, and that his would-be constituents “have paid the price” for not voting Tory. The Tories, after all, have been the ones in the position of doling out prices these past few years.

This is the necessary implication of Marilyn from Monkstown freely admitting that her district’s needs have been sidelined for the past four years because their MHA is a Liberal. Four the past four years, successive Ministers of Transportation, who have all said no to Monkstown in succession, have been Tories.

The further implication is that, if re-elected, Danny and his party will do it for another four years. (Just how will he reward everyone if he sweeps all 48?)

And lest anyone think this is reading too much into such statements, remember, there is ample empirical evidence to back up what the Progressive – one shudders to call such blatant, Smallwoodesque, Duplessiste political tactics “Progressive” – Conservatives are now trotting out as reasons to vote for them. And since the last discussion of victors doling out spoils, there have been more examples of the practice.

This is the updated chart of Provincial Roads Improvement Program funding announced so far this year, by provincial electoral district, handily colour-coded. And that’s just one program, if a highly-visible and heavily-publicized one.

Check your calendar. This is the 21st century. This carrot-and-stick politicking is being carried out a vast scale, on the public dime. Yet not only is virtually no one questioning the 19th-century spoils and patronage system of government and politics that still obtains in Canada’s Newest, Coolest, Province... that system is still being practiced, openly, notoriously, with no sense of shame or conscience.

Not even after this.

So give Leo Bruce credit for being right on one thing. There is a political wasteland, alright.

All forty-eight districts are a wasteland for anyone with moral and modern views of what politics is and should be.

After four years of Danny Williams has anything changed in the way politics is conducted?

Or, more precisely, has anything changed for the better?

The feds take sides

Again, from Sue Kelland-Dyer's Thursday rant on the Labrador boundary non-issue:

If you had North Dakota taking part of Manitoba, if you had New York taking part of Quebec, if you had Ontario taking part of Quebec in a map, it would not be tolerated. It is tolerated here by both the federal and provincial governments, we’re nothing in this nation.
Here is the map of the Quebec provincial electoral district of Duplessis, one of two which abut Labrador (the other is Ungava); the map, issued by the provincial elections office, which raised SK-D's ire when it was portrayed during the Quebec election-night coverage in April:

Pay particular to two territorial divisions, the ones which border the 52 North line that forms part of the Labrador border, namely, Lac-Jérome and Petit-Mécatina. The NO stands for [territoire] non-organisé, meaning that the area is not incorporated into a municipality. Neither of these NOs have any permanent settlements.

Note how, according to the DGEQ, both Lac-Jérome and Petit-Mécatina extend into the headwaters of the seven rivers, north (and in a few cases, east) of the astronomical parts of the Labrador boundary. In case it isn't clear, notice how the internal boundary between the two divisions is project northward across the boundary into Labrador.

How is this bit of cartographical fiction on Quebec's part "tolerated" by the federal government?

Not very well. Here's a detail from the Elections Canada map of the corresponding federal riding in Quebec, Manicouagan:
And here are the official Statistics Canada maps of the two non-organised divisions in question:

Two different agencies of the Government of Canada, both of which, correctly, side with the Constitution and Labrador against the ludicrous cartographic fantasies of some Quebec government cartographers.

And yet, according to SK-D, Quebec's cartographic fiction is "tolerated" by the federal government.

Where, when, and how?

Monday, July 23, 2007

What's your NewfNat 911?

Another little gem from Sue Kelland-Dyer's Thursday call to Backtalk on the Labrador boundary non-issue. Emphasis added in a futile attempt to capture the hilarity of her rage:
I’m going to use several things that have happened, I guess, that would tweak my interest. The Quebec electoral office, in its official map, also has the border changed. And when the provincial election was on in Quebec the last time, CBC Newsworld was covering their election, and guess what map they used?


When you’re sitting in a country where someone is obviously changing your borders on all of their official maps. The Department of Transport. If you go to look for a mineral exploration license in Quebec, you’re looking at that new map. If you’re going to the electoral office, you’re looking at that new map. I mean, we can’t just ignore it, Linda.
Not only can we ignore it... we should. To argue the merits of Quebec's supposed claim is to beg the question of whether that so-called claim has merits to begin with. It does not, and should not be so treated.

In any event, the really funny part of this latest SKD rant is her insistence on the newness of "that new map".

Sue Kelland-Dyer's research skills could use a little up-brushing. "That new map" has been around, off and on, and inconsistently, since the 1960s. Here, for example, is a piece from the Globe and Mail from September 1, 1979:
Not giving up claim, Government says
Quebec map draws new Labrador border

Globe and Mail Reporter

MONTREAL - A new map put out by the Quebec Government redraws the boundary between Quebec and Labrador, giving Quebec a portion of Labrador north of the territory's southern boundary as set in 1927, but apparently ceding the rest of the territory for the first time to Newfoundland.

"We don't know where that map came from or who drew it, but we are certainly going to find out", Michel Remillard, press secretary to Lands and Forests Minister Yves Berube, said yesterday.

The new map, issued by the Lands and Forests Department on Aug. 15, shows the boundary that was set by the Imperial Privy Council in 1927, when Labrador was given to Newfoundland.

But the map also marks a second jagged boundary, north of the 52nd Parallel, that the Privy Council had set as Labrador's southern limits. That new boundary places the headwaters of rivers that flow into the Gulf of St. Lawrence inside Quebec's border.

The G&M story was accompanied by the following graphic:

Sue's "that new map" has been in open and notorious circulation for thirty or forty years. Yet, somehow, it's news to her.

Which makes a body wonder... If she's that slow to twig to a trivial issue, how long would it take her to twig to a really important one?

Facts? Who needs 'em?

More hilarity from the due of Sue Kelland-Dyer and Carl Powell. From the Thursday running of Backtalk, here’s Sue:
SKD: If you had North Dakota taking part of Manitoba, if you had New York taking part of Quebec, if you had Ontario taking part of Quebec in a map, it would not be tolerated. It is tolerated here by both the federal and provincial governments, we’re nothing in this nation.

Linda: But they don’t have any real jurisdiction there…

SKD: I don’t care!
And here’s the equally fact-allergic Carl, the next day:
Carl: I’ve been told that, by the Quebec government, it is now official, as of last fall some time, that any map, that’s printed in Quebec, or any map that’s pertaining to Quebec, or comes into Quebec, must show that new border. And I have right in front of me a map from a diamond company that’s registered in British Columbia, that’s involved with these diamonds I just mentioned up on the Torngat and that area, shows a full-colour map in their brochure, and that full-colour map has that Labrador border changed. And I cannot believe…

Linda: But it’s a brochure!

Carl: No, it’s in a magazine called World Resources.
Perhaps Carl can explain... first, how the fact that it’s in a magazine is more legally-weighty than if it was in a brochure, and then, what official instrument it is that makes it “official” that you can not only not produce a map in Quebec which doesn’t purport to tinker with the boundary, but that you can’t even bring one into the province.

Border battle bunkum

Carl Powell and Sue Kelland-Dyer are trying their hardest these past few days to convince everyone who will listen, through whatever lies and misinformation the task demands, that somehow Quebec has unilaterally changed the Labrador boundary.

Quebec has not only done no such thing, it can’t do such a thing, not with all the maps in the universe.

The latest theory they have expounded is that by damming the rivers which flow out of Labrador into Quebec, Quebec has changed the border.

Never mind that Quebec hasn’t actually dammed any of them yet, nor that any of their proposals to do so involve flooding one square inch of Labrador. Who needs facts when you have a good nationalist Newfoundland rant to peddle?

Take Carl Powell (please!). On Thursday, he told Linda Swain and her listeners:

The headwaters of these rivers, the Romaine, the Natashquan, the Mecatina, the St. Augustine, the St. Paul, all originate in Labrador. They feed those five rivers that go down into the St. Lawrence and go into Quebec territory… It’s very serious… Now Quebec is constructing, Linda, four hydro dams on the Romaine, which comes down from the border, for 1300 megawatts, and plans are now released for hydro development on the Mecatina, that’s getting over towards the east…. All of these Quebec rivers have their vast headwaters and source in Labrador, and our provincial government is legally paralyzed to do anything about it, because all federal, American, state, and international law is quite clear on the construction of third parties on headwaters and sources of dams and industrial and municipal water supplies. This came up in Mr. Peckford’s water reversion rights, that Hydro-Quebec owns the water in the Smallwood Reservoir… Back on this border change, a letter to Premier Williams from engineer Tom Kierans headlined “Potential Problems Could Stem from Labrador Boundary Claims”. Mr. Kierans, quite independently from me, with exact knowledge and maps, and he laid it out, and that was printed in a local paper. And as far as I know that letter was never acknowledged by the government.
Dastardly stuff! He recycled his thesis the very next day:

Mr. Hollett is talking about the border, which is gone. I mean, you don’t expect that Quebec is now budgeting $9- to $12-billion to harness these five rivers and they don’t have an inkling that they own the water that’s in Labrador… What I’m trying to say is the border is changed… Nobody would build this big complex on these five rivers, and somebody up the stream can dam ‘em off or stop the water, they have control right back to the springs, right back to the little tricklets that feed into this new Labrador watershed, that is the new Quebec border… Mr. Hollett and Minister Dunderdale are completely wrong if they think Quebec is going to spend maybe up to $12-billion on these rivers and not have control of the headwaters...
The Powell-Kelland-Dyer thesis is easy enough to test in the real-world.

Their idea is that, by damming a river downstream from Labrador, Quebec would thereby gain jurisdiction over the headwaters. Or that Quebec has already done so. Or something like that.

That thesis must, then, surely be a subset of a broader principle: If X builds a dam on a river in X, which flows across a border from Y, then X gains jurisdiction over that portion of the watershed in Y.

This is what Sue Kelland-Dyer and Carl Powell have been arguing. It’s a good thing that they aren’t in any position of power, because they have just made concessions of argument that, in a future tribunal, would hurt the province they profess to love.

So, let’s play along and pretend it’s true.

It must also then mean that the province of Labrador and Newfoundland — there, constitution notwithstanding, that’s the new name — could take over territory in the neighbouring province of Quebec.

You see, there are two rivers whose headwaters actually rise on the Quebec side of the border, but which flow into the Strait of Belle Isle in Labrador. They are the Forteau, shown here highlighted in red, and the Pinware (only partly shown below), in orange, both of which cross the Quebec-Labrador border, the thick black line:

So, build a dam anywhere on the lower reaches of these streams, entirely within Labrador, without flooding any bit of Quebec, and voilà! you will have seriously tweaked the noses of the territorially-sensitive Quebec government.

There are two possible outcomes to your experiment.

Either the “watershed” thesis that Carl and Sue have been expounding will be proven right, and they can gloat. Or, Quebec will deny that there is any legal implication whatsoever, thereby setting a precedent that will further confirm Labrador and Newfoundland title in the headwaters of the seven rivers.

Of course, there’s really no need to go through such extremes, especially not building dams on the sensitive salmon rivers of the Labrador Straits.

Manitoba has hydro-electric stations on watercourses which originate in Ontario and Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan, in turn, has dammed rivers which originate in Alberta. New Brunswick’s hydro production relies on water flowing in from Quebec and Maine. Yukon has a hydro station on the Yukon River not far from where it flows in from northern British Columbia. Even Hydro-Quebec has installations which rely on water flowing into the province from Ontario and the United States.

Can Sue Kelland-Dyer or Carl Powell point to one — just one — example of where the construction of a hydro-electric generating plant in Canada resulted in a change to a pre-existing, legally-defined border?

Just one.

Put up, or shut up.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

They only come out on July 22. And April 1.

Bob Wakeham, who used to be a journalist, spouts this Newfoundland nationalist crypto-separatist conspiratorial drivel today in the pages of something that ought to know better:

There’s also intrigue in the possibility that the July 22 vote actually favoured Responsible Government, but that the British-Canadian combo of contrivance ordered the count surreptitiously reversed, a scenario that has been making the rounds in Newfoundland for decades, ever since the alleged confession of a retired English civil servant that he was part of the illegal manoeuvre that gave Confederation its victory.
There is nothing wrong with this ludicrous claim that a clothbound copy of Peter Neary's Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World couldn't fix, if the conspiracy theorists would just take off their tinfoil hats and bonk themselves on the head with it.

Then they could read the book, too.

Meanwhile, here's a challenge for Bob Wakeham and his loathsome ilk:

In the second referendum on July 22, 1948, Confederation took 78,323 votes compared to Responsible Government's 71,334. If, as you suggest, the count was "surreptitiously reversed", then you have some interesting math to do.

You see, the district-by-district vote counts are also available. And, interestingly enough, the district-by-district results are entirely consistent with what was predicted before the vote, and what was discussed afterwards. St. John's and the Avalon voted Anti, Labrador and Newfoundland-beyond-the-Isthmus voted Confederation. Your "surreptitious reversal" hypothesis somehow has to take this well-known pattern into account.

Since you can't simply reverse the overall total without doing violence to the historical pattern, you somehow have to reverse the results in a certain number of districts, but not all of them, in order to change a net 6989 votes from Confederation to Responsible Government. If, in making up this 6989-vote change, you reverse the result in a a district so as to give it a result that is not consistent with the historical voting pattern, you have to be prepared to explain the inconsistency. And in at least one district, Labrador, and possibly one or two others, you will be further constrained by the fact that poll-by-poll results also exist, and are again consistent with the voting pattern that was expected, which puts them all but off-limits for vote-flipping.

So there you have it, Wakeham and conspiratorial company. Since the conspiracy is your theory, you should either prove it, or shut up about it, even if — no, especially when — couched in the weaseliest of conditional phrases.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Zone 19 nord

As already patiently explained in small words that even morons can understand (but won’t), the Labrador boundary cannot be changed without the consent of the House of Assembly in St. John’s. End of story. But that’s just the beginning.

There’s an easy way for Sue Kelland-Dyer, or Carl Powell, or any other delusional Newfoundland nationalist, to prove this, or, in the alternative, to prove that they aren’t delusional. But first, the geography and history lesson.

Having been first placed under the jurisdiction of Newfoundland in 1763, then back to Quebec in 1774, Labrador was re-annexed to Newfoundland in 1809:

Be it therefore enacted, That such Parts of the Coast of Labrador from the River Saint John to Hudson's Streights and the said Island of Anticosti, and all other smaller Islands so annexed to the Government of Newfoundland by the said Proclamation of the Seventh Day of October One thousand seven hundred and sixty-three, (except the said Islands of Madelaine) shall be separated from the said Government of Lower Canada, and be again re-annexed to the Government of Newfoundland; any thing in the said Act passed in the Thirty-first Year of His present Majesty's Reign, or any other Act, to the contrary notwithstanding.
In 1825, the part of what was then (and long after) referred to as Labrador, what we would today call the Lower North Shore, was re-annexed to Lower Canada in the following terms:

Be it therefore enacted, that so much of the said coast as lies to the westward of a line to be drawn due north and south from the bay or harbour of Ance Sablon, inclusive, as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, with the island of Anticosti, and all other islands adjacent to such part as last aforesaid of the coast of Labrador, shall be and the same are hereby re-annexed to and made a part of the said province of Lower Canada
The effect of the 1825 act, read together with that of 1809, was, according to the 1927 Labrador boundary decision, that the boundary generally followed the crest of the watershed, except in the south, where, commencing at Blanc Sablon, the boundary followed a meridional line north to latitude 52, then followed that parallel as far as the Romaine River. Or, in the immortal words of the Law Lords themselves:

For the above reasons, their Lordships are of opinion that, according to the true construction of the statutes, Orders in Council, and Proclamations referred to in the Order of Reference, the boundary between Canada and Newfoundland in the Labrador Peninsula is a line drawn due north from the eastern boundary of the bay or harbour of Ance Sablon as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel until it reaches the Romaine River, and then northward along the left or east bank of that river and its head waters to their source, and from thence due north to the crest of the watershed or height of land there, and from thence westward and northward along the crest of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean until it reaches cape Chidley
This means that there is a portion of southern Labrador which is politically and legally within the Labrador boundary, but, viewed by a hydrologist or cartographer, drains into Quebec. The National Atlas of Canada drainage map shows the largest of the boundary-crossing watersheds which drain into the North Shore. The Labrador portion of these watersheds is highlighted here in purple; the boundary, where it doesn’t coincide with the watershed, is shown as a dotted line. (The border is also formed, in part, by the Romaine River itself):

In addition to the four shown above, there is one other largish river (St. Paul’s) and two smaller ones (Napetipi and Coxipi) which drain into the Gulf but have their headwaters on the Labrador side. These river systems are shown here highlighted in yellow, red, and orange respectively:

On some Quebec-issued maps, all of Labrador is shown as if it is part of Quebec. On others, the Labrador boundary is shown in its correct and legal form. And in many, the Labrador portion of the south-draining watersheds is shown as part of Quebec, or with some notation or legend suggesting that the boundary is “non-définitif”.

(Not that it matters in any case: all the maps in the world cannot change the boundary. That can only be done by a constitutional amendment approved by the House of Assembly in St. John’s.)

This last type of map is the case, for example, with this map from Quebec’s Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune:

And here’s where Sue Kelland-Dyer’s crack research skills should come in handy. You see, the Labrador part of the St. Lawrence watershed, for sport fishing purposes in Quebec, is euphemistically referred to as Zone 19 nord. And, according to Quebec’s regulations, the sport fishery is closed, for all species, in Zone 19 nord. That’s right: under Quebec law, you cannot fish in southern interior Labrador!

All Sue needs to do is go fishing in this area, maybe a quiet tributary of the St. Paul, or a secluded valley of the Natashquan, or a pool on the Mecatina. Somewhere in the Labrador portion of one of the seven boundary-crossing rivers’ watersheds.

Document your trip, your location, your activity, your catch. Record everything on paper, video, and GPS logs.

Put together a nice package, and send it, registered mail, to the MRNF.

If they don’t prosecute, there you go: Quebec doesn’t claim jurisdiction in “Zone 19 nord”. And if they do, well, the paranoid Newfoundland nationalists were right, after all, and can gloat.

Alternatively, or, better still, in addition to this test case, Sue could establish a permanent residence somewhere in the headwaters. (This suggestion has already been made on her blog, but, true to Sue, she refused to post it.)

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Sue, like every other Canadian citizen:

has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

Furthermore, the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms provides:

22. Every person legally capable and qualified has the right to be a candidate and to vote at an election.

So, having established her home in her, supposedly, beloved Labrador, somewhere on the banks of the St. Augustin, or on the Labrador shore of Burnt Lake, Sue can then apply to the Directeur-général des élections du Québec to register as an elector, heck, even to run as a candidate, in the Quebec provincial district of Duplessis.

If they grant her that registration, she has again proven that she is right, and can accordingly gloat.

If they don’t, she can bring a case under the Canadian and Quebec charters. If she wins, again, she can gloat.

But if she loses… then the courts will have, once again, upheld the Labrador boundary as defined in 1927. She will have lost the battle for the right to gloat, but won the war.

So, how about it?

Sue Kelland-Dyer: Yip, still wrong

So much for the assertion that "Quebec has never recognized the Labrador boundary", or "Quebec doesn't recognize the Labrador boundary", or whichever tense or mood you care to put the verb "to recognize" in:
The Torngat Mountains, the highest range in Eastern continental Canada, stretch north of the Ungava-Labrador peninsula, defining the Québec-Labrador border.
Straight from the horse's mouth — de la bouche même du cheval, as it were.

Sue Kelland-Dyer: Still Wrong, Day 2

Sue Kelland-Dyer, who never completed the law school education she commenced with great fanfare, states tonight on her blog (no link, no way):
By the way Privy Council ruling aside - this border [i.e., the Labrador-Quebec border] remains one of the largest borders in the world not surveyed. UN DEMARCATED - Border undefined.

Remember: Sue Kelland-Dyer's default setting is "wrong". And she doesn't disappoint.

The Quebec-Labrador border is defined. It is defined in legal instruments from 1763, 1809, and 1825, as interpreted in 1927, and confirmed in 1949.

Undefined borders are, by definition, also undemarcated — border definition, of necessity, comes before demarcation; you can't demarcate a border if you don't know where (or whether) it exists.

However, undemarcated borders are often defined. Or, conversely, many defined borders are not demarcated. This is the case not only with the Quebec-Labrador border, but also with the inter-territorial borders between Yukon, the NWT, and Nunavut. (Their southern borders with the provinces, along the 60th parallel, are demarcated.) The Yukon-NWT border is set forth in the Yukon Act; the Nunavut-NWT border, in the Nunavut Act.

As a curious historical footnote, the Labrador boundary could have been surveyed in the early 1930s as a Depression-era make-work project for unemployed surveyors, but Newfoundland wasn't interested. And why would it be; after all, Newfoundland's plan for dealing with the Depression seemed to revolve around abolishing the Labrador boundary by selling the terrritory to Canada anyway!

Whoa, Nelly

An interesting bit of boosterism from Chairman Dan in a Cliff Wells piece in today's Western Star:

“I think a good example is if you look at the Lafarge employees, they’ve come out with their heads up. They’ve accepted the fact that there’s a downturn in this industry. I think each and everyone of them realize with all the growth and economic opportunity that’s going on here right now, we have a boom here. We have an overheated construction industry here in this region right now, particularly in Corner Brook. I think they see a huge opportunity.”
Perhaps the construction industry overall, and particularly in Corner Brook, is “overheated”.

However, the residential construction industry, in the province as a whole, is not. This chart shows the 12-month trailing average of monthly housing starts, in all housing classes, for Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole:

That downward trend in the last two years, on the far right of the graph, is what economists and captains of industry might call “cooling”, not “heating”, let alone “overheating”. Perhaps it's getting hot in here, but it seems likelier at this stage in the economic cycle that the Emperor has already taken off all his clothes.

With the exceptions of certain markets in Labrador, which, in any event, can probably get their drywall as cheaply, or cheaper, from other places besides Corner Brook, where is the overheated construction industry of which the Chairman speaks? Please post such commercial or economic intelligence in the comments box below.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Carl Powell is wrong

There is a necessary and inevitible corollary to the rule that Sue Kelland-Dyer is wrong, namely:

Carl Powell is wrong.

Carl Powell, when he thinks that the Labrador boundary has been changed by maps published in or by Quebec, is wrong.

Carl Powell, when he thinks that the Labrador boundary has been changed by brochures or prospectuses, or anything else short of a constitutional enactment approved by the House of Assembly in St. John's, is wrong.

Carl Powell is wrong.

Carl Powell's default setting is "wrong."

This afternoon, Carl Powell repeated his usual nonsensical assertions about the Labrador boundary. They are as wrong when he makes them as Sue is when she does.

He also made the ludicrous claim, easily checked, that the Torngat Mountains National Park in Arctic Labrador has been cancelled.

In 2005, the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve — one step short of being a National ark — was created by the enactment of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act.

Meanwhile, on March 28 of this year, Bill C-51, An Act to give effect to the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, was introduced into the House of Commons.

It passed the House, at all stages, on June 13th.

It passed Second Reading in the Senate, and was referred to a Senate committee, on June 21st.

And just what is this "consequential amendment to another Act"?
13. Part 10 of Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act is amended by adding the following after the description of Gros Morne National Park of Canada:


All that parcel of land in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador shown on a descriptive map plan prepared by the Department of Natural Resources, dated November 15, 2004 and recorded in the Crown Lands Registry Office in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, under number SP 367; a copy of the plan is attached as appendix D-1 to the Agreement, as defined in section 2 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act; the parcel contains an area of approximately 9 700 square kilometres.
This is how "cancelled" the Torngat Mountains National Park is... so "cancelled" it's four legislative steps away from becoming law.

And so cancelled it's already been reserved for use as a future, very near-future, National Park.

Carl Powell is wrong.

Never forget that: Carl Powell is wrong.


From Hansard in 1998, this gem from the late Bob French:
If only now the minister could talk to her federal counterparts in Ottawa to see what we could do with the ferry service coming across the gulf. Maybe the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture never travelled that way, but I have. I travelled that way this past summer, and to say that the conditions on The Joseph and Clara Smallwood were deplorable would be putting it mildly, particularly when you see families of four, five and six people with sleeping bags and blankets crawling under stairs on the Gulf ferry to try and find a place to sleep for the night because all the cabins have been booked.

This is Ryan Cleary, writing about Marine Atlantic, in the September 11, 1999 edition of the Telegram:

The ferries ran at maximum capacity for most of the tourist season and there were complaints, with night crossings in particular. The ferries aren't designed to accommodate hundreds of sleepers. So travellers end up sleeping wherever — on a couch, a counter, the floor.

From one of his 1999 press releases as Tourism Minister, here's Chuckles J. again:

"Is the federal government going to opt for a second-rate solution to Marine Atlantic's Gulf ferry service under capacity? If it is, not only will Newfoundlanders and Labradorians be short changed by federal penny pinching, but so will all of Canada and foreign travellers who visit our province. It is no longer tolerable to have substandard conditions for travellers on Marine Atlantic's ferries. We can't afford the negative impact visitors to our province will have when they recount to their friends and relatives their experience of sleeping on the floor of these vessels along with hundreds of others.

From Chuck Furey's exercise in ranting and roaring (about Canada) like true Newfoundlanders, back in 1999, choice excerpts from On Deck and Below:

In addition to inadequate vehicle capacity, there is a pressing need for adequate sleeping accommodations.
On night crossings cabin berths will sell out well before the vehicle capacity is reached. The ferries were never properly equipped with cabins. The alternatives of dormitory sleepers and sleeper/recliners are useful, but still inadequate to meet the demands of consumers. Complaints included such items as the dormitory sleeping area, the uncomfortable sleeper/recliners, the inability to reserve a recliner, the crowded general seating areas where people are asleep, and the crowded floors where people have staked out their overnight sleeping spaces. These and other degrading experiences all provide evidence that a better solution is needed.


The service operator must be completely committed to customer satisfaction and comfort.

Regrettably, there are too many stories of low satisfaction and traveller discomfort. The presenters during the forum were nearly universal in identifying service quality as a problem that urgently needs to be addressed.

Service issues include, but are not limited to, the following:
...people sleeping on floors and throughout the general seating area

And this is what Norm Doyle, MP, told the Telegram's Jamie Baker back in March:

"I believe the province of Newfoundland and Labrador cannot become the tourist mecca that it is capable of becoming if we do not have a top-notch Marine Atlantic ferry service," Doyle said. "It must not be messy. It must not be crowded. Sleeping accommodations have to be excellent.

And with that, here's a glimpse of what the provincially-run Sir Robert Bond service is like these days in high season.

These hardy tourists, with their heavy-duty sleeping bags, were smart. Sleeping al fresco, under the stars, even as the chill set in as the boat took to the open sea, it was, for the cabin- or dormitory-less passenger, far and away the lesser of two evils:

Notwithstanding the notorious decibel levels of the Bond's massive funnels, this was the quiet option. More on that, later.

And here, in the summer of 2007, in the high tourist season, such as it is, is one of Bob French's, rest his soul, families of five or six. (The central portion of the image has been grayscaled and pixellated for the sake of privacy.):

Most of the people sleeping at the end of this hallway are children.

The lack of sleeping capacity — comfortable sleeping capacity being a pipe-dream; for now we can only dream of numerically sufficient bunks — could be remedied, in part, if the Goose Bay to Cartwright leg of the Bond's itinerary were a day ferry, at least some of the time.

But it isn't.

Every run of the Bond, every single 12-hour run of the Bond, from Goose Bay to Cartwright, or Cartwright to Goose Bay, is an overnight trip.* And with the Lewisporte run still on, there is no time or flexibility left in the schedule to put day trips into service within Labrador: the convenience and comfort of Goose Bay to Lewisporte passengers, and traffic originating on or bound to the Apollo on the Straits run, takes priority 100% of the time.

Every single passenger on that segment either has to book well in advance, or, if their trip is on short notice, say, for a family emergency, had better hope the wait-list pans out.

If not... there's the option of floor, deck, or lounge. (More on this last option anon.)

So, Hospitality Newfoundland and Newfoundland, where are your press releases about this?

Charles J. Furey, what about the "unconstitutional cattle boat" that Labrador has to tolerate?

Nationalist Newfoundlanders, PWG-waving Danny Fans, who can summon the anti-Canada Marine Atlantic Hates at will, Ryan Cleary, where is your outrage?


* Not so much at this time of year, but into August, the overnight schedule for the Bond means that passengers, esp. of the tourist variety, sail past scenery like this, the future Mealy Mountains National Park (if Danny will let it), in the dark.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The fix is in

Down with the causeway!


From the (Federal) Ministry of Truth comes this mathematical turdlet:

Quebec seniors swell in numbers, pressure services: census
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 6:25 PM ET
CBC News

Quebecers are aging at a faster rate than ever and that means health care and community services will be squeezed as demands increase, demographers say.


Quebecers are aging at the same rate as everyone else in the universe: one day at a time. This is true, even if Quebec, as an aggregate population, is "aging at a faster rate than ever".


UpChuck Furey's 1999 exercise in fed-bashing, "On Deck and Below", contained the following piece of sage advice in respect of the Marine Atlantic ferry routes across the Cabot Strait:

Beginning the tourism experience on the dock, and on the ferry, is important.

The crossing must be a pleasure trip. It should provide information and hospitality consistent with the brand image of the province and the country. The food, decor, entertainment, gifts and other items in the craft shop, as well as tourism information services, should whet the appetite for more uniquely Newfoundland and Labrador culture and experiences. One presenter referred to the ferry as the "province's biggest billboard." It is the traveller's first and often most lasting impression of the province.
Here are some more lasting impressions, this time of Labrador, aboard the provincially-run ferry service that is the Sir Robert Bond. This is the "craft shop":

Here's a lovely selection of postcards. Oddly, not one of them is identifiably of Labrador, although the berries or icebergs, one imagines, could be Labrador if you squint. They could also be Newfoundland, which is fair enough, perhaps, since one of the three ports the Bond sails into is in Newfoundland. Or, who knows, they could be Alaska, too:

Just visible in the bottom left corner is a cookbook, one of two books available for sale. The other is a self-published memoir of life in Newfoundland, inexplicably described in the price list as "novel". Apparently, no books have ever been published in or about Labrador, or perhaps they are no longer in print.

In the information department, here's the 1982-era Labrador travel map, which dates from just five years after the Bond was pressed into service on the Labrador route. It is still "informing" travellers of the impending completion, in 1983 through 1987, of the coastal Labrador airstrips. It also informs them that there is no highway connecting Labrador West to the Lake Melville area, nor any in coastal Labrador north of Red Bay. It's only 25 years out of date, which is not bad for Labrador, really:

And, of course, here's a sample of the lovely decor, busily whetting away the appetite for more of where that came from. Koyman's, perhaps. Or early Kincade:
So there you have it. Lasting impressions of Labrador alright, courtesy Coastal Labrador Marine.

Just imagine how much better the Marine Atlantic service would be, if it, too, were run by the provincial government or its contractors.

Sue Kelland-Dyer is wrong

There, was that so hard?

No, in fact, it was very easy.

Sue Kelland-Dyer's default setting is "wrong".

Sue Kelland-Dyer, law school dropout or some such, should read s. 3 of the British North America Act (now Constitution Act), 1871:
3. The Parliament of Canada may from time to time, with the consent of the Legislature of any Province of the said Dominion, increase, diminish, or otherwise alter the limits of such Province, upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon to by the said Legislature, and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any such increase or diminution or alteration of territory in relation to any Province affected thereby.
Sue Kelland-Dyer, crack researcher or some such, should read the Terms of Union:
2. The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador shall comprise the same territory as at the date of Union, that is to say, the island of Newfoundland and the islands adjacent thereto, the Coast of Labrador as delimited in the report delivered by the Judicial Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council on the first day of March, 1927, and approved by His Majesty in His Privy Council on the twenty-second day of March, 1927, and the islands adjacent to the said Coast of Labrador.


3. The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1940, shall apply to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the same way, and to the like extent as they apply to the provinces heretofore comprised in Canada, as if the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador had been one of the provinces originally united except in so far as varied by these Terms and except such provisions as are in terms made or by reasonable intendment may be held to be specially applicable to or only to affect one or more and not all of the provinces originally united.
And Sue Kelland-Dyer really ought to read s. 43 of the Constitution Act, 1982:
An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to any provision that applies to one or more, but not all, provinces, including
(a) any alteration to boundaries between provinces...
may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada only where so authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assembly of each province to which the amendment applies.
If Sue Kelland-Dyer — who, let us repeat, is wrong, wrong, wrong-diddley-ong, wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong, and almost always is — could or would read these constitutional statutes, she would have no choice by to conclude the following.

First, the Labrador is included in the province, and with the boundaries set in 1927; secondly, that those facts are constitutionally entrenched by the Terms of Union; and thirdly, that only a constitutional amendment, as laid out in the Constitution Acts of 1871 and 1982 can in any way change the Labrador boundary.

In other words, no province, not even Quebec, can change a boundary merely by publishing erroneous maps.

Back in the early 1980s, Brian Peckford was wrong when he suggested otherwise. He was mongering fear.

John Ottenheimer was wrong when he suggested otherwise. He was mongering fear.

Carl Powell is wrong when he suggests otherwise. He is mongering fear.

And, especially, Sue Kelland-Dyer is wrong when she suggests otherwise. She is mongering fear.

In Quebec, the Dorion Commission concluded, almost forty years ago now, that all the maps in Quebec wouldn't and couldn't alter the Quebec boundary. Crack researcher Sue Kelland-Dyer should have no trouble locating a copy of the report (sub nom. Rapport de la Commission d'étude sur l'intégrité du territoire du Québec; QEII has a copy, Sue) and its massive, seven-volume, 19-tome section on the Labrador boundary. (By way of reference, the famous Privy Council "Joint Appendix" had just thirteen volumes).

And surely crack research Sue Kelland-Dyer, who seems to know everything about everything, would have to conclude: if the Quebec maps which purport to claim all or part of Labrador have, and must be given, legal effect, then so, too, must be the Newfoundland maps, over the years, which omitted Labrador altogether.


In the instant matter of the supposedly eroding Labrador boundary, Sue Kelland-Dyer is wrong.

Her wrong-ness can easily be proven. Here's an easy hypothetical to turn into a real-world set of facts. Sue, build a cabin somewhere in the headwaters of the five rivers. Live in it. Apply to vote in the next Quebec election. When you are denied, sue the Quebec government for breaching your democratic rights under the Charter. If you are so confident that your Labrador boundary theory is right, that these maps somehow have changed the lawful, constitutional definition of the boundaries, you will win, and prove your point. However, in fact, you will lose, and thereby confirm everything you will read above.

Sue Kelland-Dyer is wrong about the Labrador boundary.

She is wrong.

Sue Kelland-Dyer, as frequently happens, is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ship's Time

From On Deck and Below, Chuck Furey's 1999 largely-forgotten and oddly bit-bucketted exercise in Canada-bashing:

The service exists for the benefit and convenience of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The gulf ferry service is no longer an Atlantic-wide service; it serves Newfoundland and Labrador. The views of provincial residents, therefore, must be central to the future direction of the service.
There are many things that can be said about the Labrador ferry service.

For starters, though, contemplate the symbolism inherent in this: the Sir Robert Bond connects one port in Newfoundland (Lewisporte) to two in Labrador (Cartwright, Goose Bay).

Yet the ship runs on Newfoundland time:


What Would Chuck Furey Do, if the Caribou and Smallwood ran on Atlantic Time as "Ship's Time"?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Curses, tagged again

1) I assiduously avoid the use of “I” and “me” around these parts, preferring to write in the “editorial mode”, so this feels kinda weird.

2) The last time I did a book census, I had over 3,000, not including my retail stock. That was years ago. I’m overdue for another one. The tally will scare even me.

3) I have never yet been to Saskatchewan, B.C., 45 of 50 states, or, well, anywhere off the North American continent.

4) I have always lived in places small enough to walk everywhere or big enough to walk everywhere, thus, no license.

5) I think the new theme music for Crosstalk sounds like what CBC usually cuts away to when they are having network tech.problems, and I expect a mellifluous recorded voice to cut in and advise me to please stand by. I want Kraftwerk back. Please?

6) I am not on Facebox, or Faceborg, or whatever that thing is.

7) Sometimes even I can’t read my own scrawl.

8) I try not to go shoeless as much as is possible, tasteful, or decent.

Since eight – eight?!? – tagees is a pyramid scheme, and not a “tagging” exercise, this branch won’t fork. That, and, well, Watton tagged everyone I would have, anyway, the S.N.F.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Any day now... any day

Another week, another press release from the Premier — and not the Minister of Natural Resources — pumping up the latest prosperity-inflicting Lower Churchill plan.

Did you need any reminding that this is an election year?

If you think you have seen this movie before — undersea cables, “go it alone”, attracting industry like flies, construction is right around the corner — you have.

Many, many, many times:

Newfoundland is planning a $2,000,000 hydro-electric power development on Labrador’s Hamilton River, 150 miles downstream from the proposed 6,000,000 horsepower Hamilton Falls project. In a preparation statement presented following a meeting of the cabinet, Mr. Smallwood said his Government had notified the British Newfoundland Corp. (Brinco) of its decision to bring large blocks of electric power from the lower Hamilton to the island of Newfoundland. “Our plan is to bring this power to Fortune Bay and Hermitage Bay and Bay D’Espoir on the south coast of Newfoundland.” – Globe and Mail, March 20, 1964

It now appears economically feasible to transmit power from Hamilton Falls in Labrador to the United States by submarine and overland cables, Attorney General Leslie R. Curtis of Newfoundland said…. Mr. Curtis said in a statement the Newfoundland government has been studying for some time the transmission, distribution and marketing of the low-cost power to be generated at Hamilton Falls… Mr. Curtis said that under the new plan, the Hamilton Falls project would develop 6,000,000 horsepower compared with 2,000,000 horsepower under the previous proposal. A further 3,000,000 horsepower may be obtained from the same sites [sic]. – Toronto Star, July 15, 1964

Smallwood said development of the potential of the upper Churchill River by the British Newfoundland Co., mostly for sale to Hydro-Quebec, will take until 1975. But development of the other 3,000,000 horsepower further downstream and on another 6,000,000 on other Labrador rivers would take a second decade. – Toronto Star, November 4, 1966

…field work and site investigations for feasibility studies on the development of the Gull Island hydro site on the lower Churchill River are continuing on schedule. – CP, November 25, 1969

Below [Churchill Falls], on the lower Churchill River, there is an additional power potential of 3,500,000 horsepower. Ontario’s Premier John Robarts has indicated that his province might be in the market for some of that power in the 1970s. There are suggestions that an old scheme might be revived to route Labrador power through Newfoundland and the Maritimes to the U.S. via undersea cables. – Toronto Star, November 2, 1970

The Brinco report said that Gull Island will be the next site for development of power on the Churchill River. Located 130 miles downstream from Churchill Falls, Gull Island could provided 1.8 million kilowatts or 2.4 million horsepower of installed capacity. Expenditures on this project now exceed $3 million. Should arrangements be completed by the end of 1972, power may be available in 1977. – CP, April 4, 1972

Power from a proposed development of the lower Churchill River in Labrador is to be used solely for the benefit of Newfoundlanders and will not be exported, Premier Frank Moores told a news conference… all the energy from the lower Churchill will be retained in Newfoundland – Globe and Mail, August 1, 1973

[Frank Moores] said many industries are likely to want to establish in Newfoundland when power from the Lower Churchill River [sic] in Labrador becomes available on the island. Some “trigger industries” would be needed to make the Lower Churchill project feasible, especially in view of the cost of transmitting power to the island form [sic] Labrador by undersea cable across the Strait of Belle Isle, a distance of between 10 and 15 miles. None of the power from the Lower Churchill, which has a potential of three million horsepower, would be sold outside the province… “We are developing the Lower Churchill to bring power here… people in Newfoundland will have cheap power, unlimited power, in 20 or 50 years when in the United States they’ll be rationed or paying for expensive solar energy.” A trigger industry for Lower Churchill power could be a third newsprint mill, possibly built on Newfoundland’s east coast, perhaps at Come by Chance. – CP, November 23, 1973

Some site preparation work is being done on the Lower Churchill power development, a program that will cost more than $1-billion… The Lower Churchill project is to develop 1.8 billion kilowatt hours a year, tripling the province’s present capacity. Newfoundland’s hope is that the power will attract new forms of industry, giving the province a more diversified economic base. Mr. Crosbie estimates the transmission facilities to connect the Lower and Upper Churchill projects with Newfoundland will cost about $500-million. The province wants the federal Government to finance that and recover the money through user charges. A provincial Crown corporation is going to develop the Lower Churchill generating plant and other facilities at an estimated cost of $650-million. Negotiations are under way with Ottawa and the earliest Newfoundland can expect Churchill power is 1979 or 1980. – Globe and Mail, July 27, 1974

Development of the lower Churchill River hydro-electric project will continue with or without financial assistance from the federal government, Premier Frank Moores has pledged. But Mr. Moores added he believes that Ottawa will lend the province the $550-million needed to build a transmission line and a tunnel across the Strait of Belle Isle from Labrador to the island of Newfoundland. The province intends to finance construction of the power site 50 miles west of Goose Bay at Gull Island on the lower Churchill River… “We should have the final word by the end of the year. And if Ottawa doesn’t come through, we’ll have to look elsewhere.” He declined to elaborate. The provincial Government, which has already committed $14-million of its own money for preliminary work on the project this year, hopes to have power from the lower Churchil on stream in 1979. – Globe and Mail, August 24, 1974

Although [Newfoundland] has deferred construction at Gull Island for one year it is proceeding with the under-sea tunnel across the Strait of Belle Isle which is intended to bring Churchill River power from mainland Labordor [sic] to the island of Newfoundland. – Toronto Star, December 26, 1975

The Newfoundland Government has begun preliminary discussions with the Ontario Government in an attempt to sell Lower Churchill power directly to that province, Premier Frank Moores says. Mr. Moores said Newfoundland would be “ready to go” with the proposed $2.3-billion hydro development in Labrador if Ontario or another customer could be persuaded to pay competitive rates for surplus power from the project… Mr. Moores said Newfoundland would need only about half the 11.65 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to be generated annually by the Lower Churchill. He added that the province desperately needs a viable market such as Ontario for the surplus power to finance the venture. “We obviously can’t borrow the money on spec.” The federal Government is committed to providing 50 per cent of the transmission costs for the project, but has refused so far to pay anything towards the cost of the generating plant itself. But the Premier said there is a possibility Ottawa will agree to a 50-50 cost-sharing arrangement on the generating station. – Globe and Mail, July 10, 1976

Newfoundland Energy Minister Brian Beckford says he is optimistic that a start can be made this year on the Lower Churchill River hydro-electric power development. He said the Lower Churchill situation is more optimistic than it has been for the past two years. Fairly intense negotiations are proceeding with Quebec, and negotiations are also continuing with the federal Government. Premier Frank Moores will talk to the Prime Minister and other federal ministers about the project during the first ministers’ conference in Ottawa next week. – Globe and Mail, February 11, 1978

The investment picture looks somewhat more promising for next year, however, as the Government hopes to renew construction on a giant hydro-electric development in Labrador and is also banking on concluding a multi-million dollar agreement with the federal Government for reconstruction of the Trans-Canada Highway across the province. About $80-million has already been spent on the $2.3-billion Lower Churchill power project, but further work has been held up pending an agreement with Ottawa for help in financing the deal. A federal-provincial committee has been working on a joint proposal for the past several months, and provincial sources expect an agreement to be reached in time for work to begin next spring. – Globe and Mail, July 22, 1978

The federal and Newfoundland governments have agreed to establish and jointly fund a Lower Churchill Development Corp., setting the stage for development of a second, large-scale hydro-electric project on the Churchill River in Labrador. Under the agreement, Ottawa initially will provide up to $5-million for completing economic, marketing and financing studies on the hydro-electric potential of the Gull Island and Muskrat Falls sites, as well as on transmission facilities and long term financing. – Globe and Mail, November 29, 1978

The [throne] speech said a year-round, deep water port is needed in Labrador because of potential heavy demand from industry that is expected to take advantage of hydro-electric power from the harnessing of the lower Churchill River. A federal-Newfoundland corporation has been established to supervise development, expected to start at two sites on the river within two years. – December 5, 1978

The Newfoundland Government is turning its attention to a costly and complex alternative to transporting Labrador power through Quebec, a spokesman for Premier Brian Peckford says. The so-called Anglo-Saxon route would carry power from Labrador hydro-electric developments by underwater cable across the Strait of Belle Isle, through Newfoundland, across Cabot Strait, and into Cape Breton Island, where it would join an existing power grid for distribution to other parts of Canada and the United States. – Globe and Mail, April 29, 1980

Early development of two hydro-electric power projects in Labrador has been recommended by the board of directors of Lower Churchill Developments Corp., a joint venture of the federal and Newfoundland governments. The directors said in a report that two hydro-electric sites at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls could produce the energy equivalent of 27 million barrels of oil annually. A decision on whether to proceed with the projects is still several months away and will require joint consultation between the two governments. – Globe and Mail, July 4, 1980

Because of the difficulties and delays the Lower Churchill Development Corp. seems to be experiencing in developing Gull Island’s 1,700 megawatts, it seems likely the Muskrat Falls site will be the first project started, but no date has been set for the start of construction. If development could start next year, the project might be generating power by 1986, and would eventually be able to put out about 600 megawatts at a cost of $3.2-billion. Barring a breakthrough with Quebec, or a change of heart by the federal Government, which has refused to step into the Churchill Falls dispute, the only hope for Newfoundland appears to be striking a deal for exporting surplus power from other projects. This is complicated by the need to use submarine cables to transmit the electricity under the Cabot Strait, since Quebec will only approve land lines if it can buy the power at the border and act as a broker. – Globe and Mail, September 22, 1980

A five-year economic development plan being prepared by the Newfoundland Government is expected to show whether the province sees the New York State Power Authority as the financial and marketing key to harnessing the hydro-electric potential of the Lower Churchill River. The plan is expected to cover all potential markets for untapped power. A decision on whether to develop the 2,300-megawatt potential of the Lower Churchill is to be made by the end of the year. Gull Island, capable of producing 1,700 megawatts would cost $4.5-billion. Muskrat Falls, with a potential of 618 megawatts, would cost $3.2-billion and would supply the province’s domestic power needs well into the future. – September 30, 1980

Thursday, Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford released a letter from the head of the Power Authority of the State of New York agreeing in principle to buy 600 megawatts of electricity from the undeveloped Lower Churchill Falls. At a press conference, Mr. Peckford said Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had told him at the constitutional conference the federal Government would intervene with Quebec if Newfoundland came up with a contract to sell its power. – Globe and Mail, October 4, 1980

Despite major uncertainties about Newfoundland’s future hydro-electricity developments, the province and the federal Government have agreed to invest $10-million in equity in the Lower Churchill Development Corp. The corporation, set up by the two governments in 1978 to develop hydro-electric power from the lower Churchill River in Labrador, will use the money to finance an engineering study of a proposed underwater transmission-cable crossing of the Strait of Belle Isle. The crossing is a key element in the potential transmission of power from two proposed hydro sites at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls to Newfoundland and the existing Churchill Falls station. Officials said that, by approving funds for a study this year, they hope to maintain momentum for power development of the lower Churchill from either of the two proposed hydro sites by 1987. – Globe and Mail, July 18, 1981

Quebec, in the past, has been unwilling to alter the Upper Churchill contract and wanted to develop the Lower Churchill co-operatively. Newfoundland insists on revision of the Upper Churchill contract before proceeding with the new project. Mr. Peckford told reporters yesterday he is optimistic a deal may be arrived at because there is a new Premier at the helm and a new mood in Quebec. – Globe and Mail, June 17, 1986

Quebec and Newfoundland are making real progress in resolving their dispute over development of hydro power from the Upper Churchill River in Labrador, Premier Brian Peckford said yesterday… Peckford said he discussed the project with Mulroney yesterday. “He is very keen on it,” Peckford said of the PM. “He said: ‘I think we’ve got an opportunity over the next couple of years to put together a big deal.’ “ – Globe and Mail, August 28, 1986

Quebec and Newfoundland officials will meet in the next few weeks to discuss possible joint development of hydroelectric projects in Labrador, the premiers of the two provinces said yesterday… Earlier in the day, Peckford said his province wants joint development projects to give Newfoundland more electricity for itself and for export to New England. The profits from the exports “would tend to rectify the other inequity,” which is the word Newfoundland uses to describe the 1969 Churchill Falls contract. Peckford said any projects would have “to recognize some of the unfairness that is inherent in the present situation.” But he wouldn’t say what kind of deal would be acceptable to Newfoundland or whether the province would demand more than a 50-per-cent share of profits. – Globe and Mail, June 15, 1988

The Quebec and Newfoundland governments already are discussing a second joint power development on the Lower Churchill and other rivers straddling the Labrador border. – Globe and Mail, August 5, 1988

Talks between Quebec and Newfoundland officials about development of two hydroelectric sites on Labrador’s Lower Churchill River are going well, Quebec Energy Minister John Ciaccia says… Frank Petten, spokesman for Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford, said Newfoundland expects an agreement will be reached by next spring. He also said the premier has been hinting at a spring election. Newfoundland Energy Minister Neil Windsor insists that concessions by Quebec on the Churchill Falls agreement must be part of any new deal to develop additional sites. He described what was on the table as a “framework for negotiations.” Newfoundland would tap about 500 megawatts from the two projects, by way of a tunnel to be built under the Strait of Belle Isle, with the remainder sold to Hydro-Quebec. – Financial Post, November 29, 1988

Mr. Wells’ plan is to go to Ottawa, hopefully with an Ontario purchase contract in his pocket, and demand that the federal government help finance part of the Labrador development and also force a hydro corridor across Quebec. – Globe and Mail, August 28, 1989

Ontario Hydro is negotiating the possible purchase of substantial amounts of power over a long term from both Manitoba and Newfoundland, Energy Minister Lyn McLeod confirmed yesterday…She also confirmed that negotiations are underway with Newfoundland and Quebec for a scheme to develop power resources on the Lower Churchill Falls in Newfoundland and transmit it through Quebec to Ontario. – Globe and Mail, November 9, 1989

Since the demise of the Meech Lake constitutional accord, the Newfoundland Premier has become, for Quebeckers, a symbol of the intransigence and pettifogging that is English Canada at its worst. Barely a week goes by without Premier Robert Bourassa or one of his ministers taking Mr. Wells’ name in vain or uttering in his direction that most Gallic of dismissives: “pfff. . .” Yet throughout all this, senior representatives of Hydro-Quebec and a negotiating team from Mr. Wells’ own electrical utility have been meeting a couple of times a month to discuss further joint development of the tremendous power potential of the lower Churchill River in Labrador… The negotiations are too secretive at this point to get a true handle on them. But in broad strokes, they can mean only two things: that the lower Churchill project is so financially attractive it can withstand even the rigours of Canadian federalism in the nineties, and that Hydro- Quebec’s own grand plans for the second phase of James Bay hydro development are hitting some rough waters. – Globe and Mail, March 8, 1991

Hydro-Quebec and Newfoundland are close to reaching an agreement to develop two major hydroelectric sites in Labrador jointly, says a Hydro executive. Pierre Bolduc, Hydro-Quebec’s vice-president in charge of external markets, said that an agreement could be reached within six to 12 months. The first power from the dams could come on stream in the year 2000. – Ottawa Citizen, August 27, 1991

After years of humiliation over the pittance Quebec pays for electricity from Churchill Falls in Labrador, Newfoundland is poised to extract some revenge… Just over a week ago, representatives of both provinces met in Montreal, trying to smooth the last wrinkles out of a contract that could provide Quebec with almost three-quarters of the power that Great Whale would produce - without flooding an acre of Cree land. An official at Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said in a recent interview that after almost two years of negotiations, the two sides are close to a deal. “We are cautiously optimistic that over the next two or three months we are going to get an agreement,” Donald Barrett, manager of corporate affairs for the Newfoundland utility, said from St. John’s. – Montreal Gazette, December 4, 1991

Hydro-Quebec executives are optimistic they will soon strike a deal to purchase a massive amount of hydroelectric power from Newfoundland. The deal concerns the proposed Lower Churchill project in Labrador, scheduled to begin generating electricity around the year 2000. Newfoundland needs a contract with Quebec so it can go to the money markets and borrow $10-billion needed for this second development on the Churchill River. The first, Churchill Falls, began production in the early 1970s. “We are very close to a deal,” said Claude Dube, Hydro-Quebec’s vice- president for external markets. “This is not a game here; we want to buy that power. We’ve been negotiating with Newfoundland for two years and have finally put a comprehensive offer on the table.” In St. John’s, Newfoundland Energy Minister Rex Gibbons said his negotiating team is studying the offer and hopes to get back to Hydro- Quebec “within a couple of weeks.” – Globe and Mail, January 16, 1992

…Quebec controls the fate of an ambitious $11.4- billion scheme to develop the long-awaited second phase of Churchill Falls - two dam sites downstream at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls. A letter of intent that would commit Quebec to buy power from the project well into the next century could be signed within months, officials in Quebec and Newfoundland say. That vote of confidence would allow construction to begin in 1995 or 1996 with the first power deliveries around the year 2000... Although still not a reality, prospects for the Lower Churchill project appear brighter than at any time since 1976 thanks to hurdles facing Hydro-Quebec’s own dam projects and Newfoundland’s crying need for the jobs that come with a megaproject. – Globe and Mail, June 22, 1992

Parizeau likes to pretend the vote in Quebec is already won. He talked repeatedly about ``Quebec and the provinces,” as if he leads a nation and the rest are provincial pols. His real audience was undecided Quebec voters, to whom he offered reassurance that he’ll cultivate continuing good relations with the Rest of Canada.

In Quebec city, [Jacques Parizeau had] already announced he’d amend Quebec law to permit Ontario construction companies to bid on an equal footing for building jobs in Quebec. Here, he snuggled with Premier Clyde Wells and held out hope for a solution to the 20-year impasse which prevents Newfoundland from shipping power from the lower Churchill Falls in Labrador across Quebec to potential customers in the United States. – Toronto Star, August 25, 1995

Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard have agreed to bury the hatchet in hopes of settling a bitter 28-year-old fight over the Churchill Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador. Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Tobin, both travelling on a Canadian trade mission in Asia, announced yesterday in Bangkok that they have directed senior officials to open “exploratory talks” on resolving the Churchill Falls standoff… “We have to work together on eventual developments,” Mr. Bouchard said. “There are rivers, on both sides of the Quebec-Labrador boundary, that haven’t been developed. There are projects to develop. There are things we can do together. There is a lot of [potential] economic development and jobs to be created.” – Globe and Mail, January 18, 1997

Quebec and Newfoundland are in intensive negotiations over the Churchill Falls hydroelectric contract, a source of acrimony between the two provinces for more than a decade. Quebec, which has refused to renegotiate the Upper Churchill Falls contract, now appears willing to reverse its position. The new climate of co-operation is the direct result of deregulation in the U.S. electricity market, which has opened new opportunities for the development of the Lower Churchill Falls project in Labrador. Quebec is seeking a major stake in that project… “The negotiations are going smoothly; they are quite harmonious,” Hydro-Québec CEO André Caillé said at a news conference yesterday. On Tuesday, the working groups tabled a joint report to the premiers, who decided during a private meeting to pursue the talks. Mr. Bouchard said recommendations “on the energy situation” between the two provinces will be made in September. – Globe and Mail, June 5, 1997
A $12-billion plan to develop hydro-electric power at Churchill Falls is quietly taking shape as the Newfoundland, Quebec and federal governments discuss the financial and technical details of the megaproject… Furey estimates the backroom discussions could lead to formal negotiations between the provinces within one or two weeks. Over five to seven years, the project would mean thousands of construction jobs - 60,000 person-years of work - for Quebec and Newfoundland, which both need new employment growth. As well, Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard would like to announce the Churchill project as a springboard to an early election in the province, sources say. – Financial Post, February 18, 1998

Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard will meet Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin in Labrador on Monday to announce that negotiations are set to begin for a major hydroelectricity project between the two provinces. Bouchard said yesterday that work isn’t set to start right away at Churchill Falls, but progress has been made to help make the project a reality. “We will announce that formal negotiations will begin,” the premier said at a Parti Quebecois caucus meeting. “I think that we have done good work until now but a lot of work remains to be done. I’m quite hopeful.” The agreement is for development of a $12-billion hydroelectric project on the Lower Churchill River. Tobin said Monday an agreement of such importance should be subject to public scrutiny. He said a Newfoundland election would allow the public to adequately scrutinize the project between the two provinces. “Ultimately, one of the real tests to find out whether the public wants it or not is to put it to the people,” Tobin said. The deal is believed to include the construction of two dams and a $2-billion, 800-megawatt transmission line to the island portion of the province. Power would flow by 2007. – CP, March 4, 1998

Quebec and Newfoundland will end more than 20 years of bitter dispute today, signing a $12-billion pact that Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin says demonstrates “an agreed vision for the future of hydroelectric development.” Mr. Tobin and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard are scheduled to meet in the isolated Labrador community of Churchill Falls to give the go-ahead for formal negotiations toward a jointly owned, 3,500-megawatt power project. – Globe and Mail, March 9, 1998

Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin scored a major triumph Monday with his sweetheart deal from Quebec’s Lucien Bouchard to build a new hydro megaproject on Labrador’s Churchill River… The proposed $12-billion project -- the largest in the world after China’s Three Gorges dam if it goes ahead -- was agreed to in broad outline by the two premiers in the expectation that all the details can be worked out over the next nine months to produce an agreement-in-principle and a formal go-ahead… Thanks to very favorable financial terms from Quebec, the proposed project goes a long way towards righting the wrongs of the original Churchill Falls project. That hydro project which saw Hydro Quebec benefit massively at Newfoundland’s expense, soured relations between the two provinces for 20 years… In return for putting up 35 per cent of the project’s equity capital, Newfoundland will reap between 65 per cent and possibly as much as 80 per cent of the profits over the project’s 30-year life, worth billions of dollars. And the province will also win the lion’s share of the project’s construction jobs -- estimated to peak at 6,400 in 2004 -- thanks to the ready availability of workers coming off the Hibernia offshore oil project. – Southam News, March 10, 1998

The starting gun has been fired in the nine-month countdown to a final deal between Newfoundland and Quebec for a hydroelectric project in Labrador. Now some observers wonder if negotiators have legs long enough to leap the hurdles that could be put on the course by aboriginals, the federal government and the unpredictable marketplace… Newfoundland and Quebec broke through a 25-year impasse in energy talks this week with the beginning of formal negotiations to develop 3,200 megawatts of new power from the Churchill River system. The $10-billion deal, if finalized by a target date of Dec. 15, would include a $3.2-billion dam on the Lower Churchill, the diversion of water from two Quebec rivers into a new generating station on the Upper Churchill and $3 billion in new transmission lines in the two provinces. – CP, March 11, 1998

Hydro-Québec says it can finance most of its share of the proposed $11.8-billion Churchill Falls hydroelectric development through its cash flow, eliminating any need for new borrowing. In fact, the provincial government-owned utility maintains that its long-term debt-to-equity ratio, which stands at about three to one, will improve during the project’s five-year construction phase that begins in 2002. That’s because higher profit will allow Hydro-Québec to repay borrowings while financing new investments in transmission and generating capacity… Hydro-Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro-Electric Corp. last month received the go-ahead from their respective governments, under a framework agreement signed by Premier Lucien Bouchard and Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin, to reach an agreement on building new generating stations on Labrador’s Churchill River. – Globe and Mail, April 10, 1998

Newfoundland and Quebec announced a framework agreement in March that would see hydro development at Gull Island on the Lower Churchill River and expansion of the Upper Churchill River. Both sides want to strike a final deal by Dec. 15. – CP, May 20, 1998

[Brian Tobin’s] other asset is that, like all premiers, he can do things. Say No to Inco over Voisey’s Bay. Says Yes to Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard over development of the lower Churchill Falls, on which, provided all continues to go well, the two provinces will sign a memorandum of understanding before year’s end. – Richard Gwyn, September 11, 1998

Mr. Tobin said he wants to finish what his government started in 1996 -- turning Newfoundland into an economic “have” province. To him, that means negotiating the best possible deals on projects such as the Lower Churchill River, the Voisey’s Bay nickel development, and Innu and Inuit land claims. – Globe and Mail, May 15, 1999

Newfoundland and Quebec continue to make progress in their efforts to reach a deal to develop hydroelectricity in Labrador, despite recent threats by Quebec Innu leaders to halt the project, Brian Tobin, Newfoundland Premier, said yesterday. “I believe very strongly there is going to be a Lower Churchill development,” said Mr. Tobin, admittedly buoyed following a meeting on Tuesday with Lucien Bouchard, Quebec Premier, to discuss the status of the $10-billion project. – National Post, October 14, 1999

A private meeting between premiers has kick-started the multi-billion dollar Lower Churchill Falls power project in Labrador. Brian Tobin of Newfoundland and Lucien Bouchard of Quebec met Thursday in Montreal and agreed to restart talks to develop the massive hydro development jointly, Heidi Bonnell, Mr. Tobin’s spokeswoman, confirmed yesterday… The Lower Churchill Falls project would likely proceed in three stages, but the question is how quickly to move on each of them and when to begin. The two sides have been in discussions for two years. Thursday’s meeting grew out of an encounter at the recent premiers’ meeting in Winnipeg between the two men. Mr. Tobin, in characteristic fashion, softened the ground ahead of the Thursday meeting with a comment, reported the morning of the get-together, that a number of U.S. partners are interested in participating if Quebec is not. – National Post, September 2, 2000

The Newfoundland government has quietly scaled down its long-promised Churchill Falls power megaproject, Mines and Energy Minister Paul Dicks confirmed yesterday. The project is now proposed to cost $3.7-billion, less than a third of the $12-billion for the scheme that was originally proposed by former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin during negotiations with the Quebec government over the past two and a half years. The smaller project will produce 1,700 megawatts of power and would be financed by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. – Globe and Mail, November 10, 2000

Quebec and Newfoundland still plan to salvage a drastically scaled-back version of the Churchill River power project, the provinces’ premiers said Tuesday. One subject left to tackle is whether Quebec would help build -- or simply buy energy from -- the proposed Gull Island generator on the Lower Churchill River, the two premiers said. After his first meeting with Quebec’s Bernard Landry, Premier Roger Grimes gave mixed signals on who might build the generator and how much of it would actually belong to Newfoundland. On one hand, he suggested that building it without Quebec’s help could be more “viable” if American investors come forward. In the same sentence, he talked about “a stand-alone entity, 100- per-cent owned by Newfoundland and Labrador.” – CP, June 6, 2001

Newfoundland and U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. said yesterday they would conduct a feasibility study into reviving the stalled Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador. – Globe and Mail, July 27, 2001

The world’s largest aluminum producer will hold further talks with Newfoundland’s government before deciding if it will help build a Labrador hydroelectric project. Energy Minister Lloyd Matthews said Alcoa officials want to discuss the costs of building a transmission line from the Lower Churchill River to the island. Matthews said provincial officials will take between 30 and 45 days to consider a $1-million feasibility study done by the company on the project. – Montreal Gazette, December 19, 2001

Newfoundland and Quebec have laid the groundwork for a new deal to build a $4-billion, 2000-megawatt hydroelectric project on the Lower Churchill River in Labrador. The project is expected to bring an estimated 8,300 person-years of employment, but the provinces must first win the agreement of Innu communities. – Globe and Mail, August 2, 2002

Newfoundland and Quebec are finalizing a multibillion-dollar deal to build a 2,000-megawatt hydroelectrical project that should be signed by October. Roger Grimes, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, said yesterday his negotiators worked through the summer - without vacation - on the agreement with Quebec and Hydro-Quebec, adding that the power would be exported to the United States. Grimes said the announcement would be made in “ six, seven or eight weeks.” – Southam News, August 27, 2002

There is much speculation that the current round of negotiations with Quebec over the proposed Lower Churchill project will have to take a new tack. The next move would see Newfoundland Premier Roger Grimes approaching the federal government for support for the power plant as part of Ottawa’s commitment to produce clean energy in honouring its Kyoto commitments. That could reopen discussions about construction of a transmission tunnel to move electricity from Labrador to the island of Newfoundland… Quebec leaders, including Premier Bernard Landry, insist they are ready to sign an agreement for the Lower Churchill Falls development. But the deal that Mr. Grimes said was only days away in mid-November has been held up as he and other senior government officials try to appease political and business leaders who fear the Lower Churchill development will be yet another giveaway of the province’s natural resources. – Globe and Mail, December 10, 2002

The blackout that recently rattled much of North America has sparked new optimism for the Lower Churchill Falls electricity project between Newfoundland and Quebec that has been on and off for two decades. Untapped hydroelectric potential in Labrador could provide Ontario and the northeastern United States with a much needed reliable new source of energy, according to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Roger Grimes. – CP, August 27, 2003

The Newfoundland government will issue an official call for expressions of interest next month to develop a Labrador hydroelectric project that has eluded the province for decades. Facing a crushing debt and a decline in offshore oil revenues, Premier Danny Williams made it clear Monday a hydro development on the Lower Churchill River is a priority for his government. – CP, September 21, 2004

Newfoundland’s government has received 25 proposals to develop Labrador’s Lower Churchill hydroelectric project, including an offer from the Ontario and Quebec governments partnered with engineering giant SNC Lavalin, the report said. Details of the other offers have been kept secret, but at least 10 are serious enough to kickstart the $3.3-billion project, TD economists Derek Burleton and Priscila Kalevar wrote in their report. Building a new hydroelectric facility down river from the Churchill Falls dam in central Labrador has been bandied about since the early 1970’s. Numerous delays hampered work on the project. “Despite encountering storm clouds since the mid-1970s, the lower Churchill development’s day in the sun may have finally arrived,” the economists wrote. – Financial Post, June 17, 2005

Earlier this year, Newfoundland’s government sought expressions of interest to develop the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project and there has been no shortage of parties willing to toss their hat into the ring. The government heard from about 25 suitors, including a partnership struck between the governments of Ontario and Quebec and SNC Lavalin Inc., a Montreal engineering giant. Danny Williams, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Premier, is keeping a tight lid on the names of interested parties and didn’t want to discuss the project. But there is speculation U.S., European and even Chinese interests are all eyeing Lower Churchill. In the next few weeks, Newfoundland is expected to whittle that list down to a handful of names, the first step in a process that could see Lower Churchill built over the next decade at a cost of between $5-billion and $9-billion. (Quebec has agreed to supply power to Ontario from its other hydroelectric sites until Lower Churchill is finished.) – Financial Post, July 15, 2005

With a midsummer heat wave pushing North America’s electrical demand to record highs, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams says his province is considering going ahead on its own to develop a massive hydroelectric project in Labrador. Williams said the time is right for the Lower Churchill development, and that an in-house proposal will be among four possible developments that will be under close consideration in the coming months. “Our financial situation is starting to improve,” Williams said Monday. With $2 billion from the federal government under a renegotiated offshore accord, he said the province’s financial capability has improved greatly. “We’re in a position to seriously consider it,” Williams told reporters. – CP, August 9, 2005