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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First time for everything

Over at BondPapers, srbp himself makes the comment:
The LC isn't an energy project or a business project: it's a re-election prop, first for Tobin and now for Williams.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

Not "first for Tobin".

Canadian Press, July 17, 1967:

Mr. Smallwood said the Churchill project would be only the beginning of power development in Labrador. There is another 3,000,000 horsepower elsewhere on the Churchill River and millions more on other Labrador waterways.

“It will go on for the next 20 years. There will be no stop. It will take 10 years to develop the Upper and Lower Churchill and another 10 years after that to develop the other.... They’ll overlap.”
Canadian Press, November 26, 1973:

[Premier Frank Moores] said many industries are likely to want to establish in Newfoundland when power from the Lower Churchill River in Labrador becomes available on the island.

Some “trigger industries” would be needed to make the Lower Churchill project feasible, especially in light of the cost of transmitting power to the island from 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.
Terrance Wills, Montreal Gazette, August 28, 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.

At a news conference after meeting with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Peckford said his government has met four times with the government of Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa about hydro power from Labrador, and another meeting is scheduled this fall.

"We are not just talking concepts - we are down to specifics on how to solve the impasse between us," Peckford said.

"We've actually put some things on the table and they have responded and are looking at it," he said. "So we are making some progress. But it's a big deal and it's going to take some time. It'll take a year for sure."
Canadian Press, October 1, 1991:

Negotiations with Quebec on a $10-billion deal to develop Labrador's power potential are coming down to the wire, Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells said Tuesday.

“We're probably getting near the end... where we're going to have a decision pretty soon,” Wells told the Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association in a luncheon speech.

Wells said there are “a couple of key areas” that remain unsettled in talks between the two provinces on a deal to build two new hydroelectric plants on the Lower Churchill River.

“I cannot give you an indication today as to whether or not we will reach agreement on that,” he said.

“But I can assure you that the government has no intention of entering into an agreement that will see those water powers developed other than in a manner that will provide for the residual economic benefits coming to this province. `We will not see a repeat of the original Churchill deal.”


The latest round of talks on the new stations began about two years ago.

“They have progressed in detail to a far, far greater extent than ever they did at any time over the last 15 or 20 years when similar discussions have taken place,” said Wells.



At 9:35 AM, September 12, 2009 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

1991 wasn't an election year, the project died the year after and the talks started in 1989. The others are just examples of long this thing has been kicking around.

The LC didn't become a nakedly obvious election prop until 1998 when Tobin kicked it off with a half million newser (which the Innu hijacked) and then spent the summer doling out contracts supposedly for the impending launch but really to support his planned election call in September 1998.

Yes, Virginia, he was sworn in as Premier in January 1996, but I digress.

As it is the election was postponed until January 1999 and the project died a mysterious death al most immediately afterward with nothing to come of it.

Williams used ther LC in the run-up to the 2007 election just as Tobin had done a decade earlier and from the looks of things, we are still seeing the same pattern play out. Multi-million contracts for energinerring work on the on-existant project will be let next year.

At 9:26 PM, September 12, 2009 , Blogger WJM said...

Give a guy a small amount of license, wouldja?

All the same, Churchills Upper and Lower were very much part of the pre-1966 and pre-1971 campaigns; Frank Moores blew up a lot of perfectly good flour "building" a "tunnel" under the Strait of Belle Isle before dropping the writ in 1975; and Peckford called elections so frequently that EVERYTHING he did has to be considered a re-election prop.

And remember, Williams used the Lower Churchill as an election prop — well, more like a mace — in the 2002-03 phoney war and real campaign, too.


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