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

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Carl Powell: Still wrong

The breathtaking ignorance of Carl Powell, self-appointed defender of the Labrador boundary, really, truly, honestly, knows no bounds.

Wednesday last, he had the following bizarre exchange with Linda Swain on VOCM Nightline:
Carl Powell: Would you go to a stock dealer, a stock market, an investment dealer or you go to anyone and say, "look, I’ve got this map here that says I own this land and we found gold on it". They say, "where’s your claim, where’s your deed?" They have a whole big section in the Confederation Building up there, and I used to have access to it in my job as senior mines inspector, called Deeds. So if you came and you told me, you know, that the Swain Investment Company owned this land somewhere out there and someone said that’s not quite right, I had the permission to go in and see if your land is legal. And I say yes it is because it borders Baker in the north and Smith in the east —

Linda Swain: Yeah, but those are claims —

Powell: — and all the dimensions. And you look in —

Swain: That’s not a legal border as set in the Terms of Union, Carl.

Powell: It is legal.

Swain: Set in the terms of union.

Powell: What’s the Terms of Union said about it? Nothing.
If Carl Powell would bother to read the Terms of Union, he would find, if he were to read all the way down to Term 2:
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.
More subtly, if he were to read the next Term, he would find:
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.
The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1940, include the former British North America Act, 1871, which provides:

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.
Furthermore, the Constitution Act, 1982, notwithstanding Brian Peckford’s hysterics at the time, also serves to further constitutionally entrench an already entrenched boundary definition:

43. 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.
Has the provincial government of the province of which Labrador is a part passed such a resolution? If the answer is no, then all the maps in the world cannot change that clause in the Terms of Union, all the way down in Term 2, which entrenches the Labrador boundary definition of 1927 in the constitution of Canada.

Carl Powell, as usual, is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong.


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