Abitibi's out-of-tribunal settlement of its NAFTA claim, arising from Our Dear Expropriation, means the Premier won't be travelling to Florida any time soon... at least not to Cape Canaveral.
As Spaceman Spiff rashly promised the legislature back on April 21st:
PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member opposite thinks we are going to pay $500 million to Abitibi she must be losing her mind. Under no circumstances do we have any intention of paying out any 500-million-dollar lawsuit. Now if they want to rely on her questions to the House when they present their NAFTA argument, that is all very fine, but it will not carry any weight or any water, I can tell you right now.
The chair of Abitibi himself at one point in time indicated that this was worth $300 million. At another point in the negotiation, they agreed to negotiate for less. At another point, the federal government had been involved in trying to get this resolved, because the federal government are the ones that are on the hook for this at the end of the day. They have indicated that they are prepared to put some money up to get it resolved. What we are trying to do, and we have throughout this negotiation, is protect the interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador because Abitibi owes us anywhere from $200 million to $300 million in environmental liabilities for the mess that they left us, in addition to the severance for the workers that have paid, in addition to what we as a government have put into Grand Falls-Windsor and the Central Newfoundland region.
So we have done, if I might say so myself, an exemplary job of protecting the interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and they can take it to The Hague or the Supreme Court of Canada, or whatever court in the world or in the galaxy they want to take it to, and we will fight them to the very end, I can guarantee you that.