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

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Lower Churchill clause

BondPapers highlights last week's revelation that Himself, Nova Scotia, and an un-named third party, have cooked up a deal to build a submarine line to transmit imaginary hydro-electric power from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia. Having reached this deal to Go It Alone Together, all it awaits now is the funding from Ottawa to Go It Alone with.

The mystery surrounding this blockbuster deal is not only curious for its own sake. It is also curious in light of the long-held convictions of Danny Williams, a deeply spiritual man. As he told the House of Assembly, during debate on amendments to the Access to Information Act, on December 3, 2001, quoting Himself:
MR. WILLIAMS: What I would like to do, first of all, is share with some of the hon. members opposite. Now I do not know if any of them were in the room at the time, but last December 5, when I announced my intention for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party - I am not sure if any hon. members opposite were there on that day when I announced it. In case you were not, I am going to tell you what I said. The reason it is important is because the Minister of Justice indicated that on December 12, 2000, a review committee was set up to look at the Freedom of Information Act. Well, a week before that I made a statement - and you must have reacted to it because I quoted Abraham Lincoln, he said: "Let the people know the truth and the country is safe. We will keep the people of this Province fully informed; there will be no secret documents, there will be no hidden agenda. If you and I know the facts then we will collectively decide the best course for our future.." of this Province. That is what I said at that time, and a week later the committee was struck to review the Freedom of Information Act. I am glad that you took that initiative.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: I think it is important that you know - that anniversary, actually, is in two days time. We will have a cake if you would like to have a cake.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: My anniversary is on Wednesday, December 5.

That is what my platform is all about; no hidden documents, no hidden agenda. That is why our position is so clear on Voisey’s Bay. No secret negotiations, no secret documents. If the people know the country will be safe, and they have a right to know. They need to know the details on major negotiations of a $50 billion resource. They have a right to know. Why should it be kept secret? That is why I said it.
He went on:
[MR. WILLIAMS:] Then comes the important [clause] as well, one that is equally important: information about negotiations carried on by or for a public body for the government of this Province. That is the Voisey’s Bay clause. That is the Lower Churchill clause. That is the one that this government can use to prevent disclosure of negotiations. Their answer to that is: Well, you cannot disclose the negotiations. If negotiations are going on in private, it is not right to get out and disclose those negotiations. You cannot do that.

Well I submit, Mr. Speaker, we should do that. The people of this Province have a right to know what is going on. It should not be done behind closed doors. It should not be a fait accompli. It should not be signed, sealed and delivered and then rammed down their throats after it is all over. That is too late.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: That is wrong. It is these kinds of clauses that are dangerous to the public. Access to information is extremely important, but denial of the right to know what is going on in those negotiations affects our future and affects the future of the children of this Province. If those resources are given away, forever and a day, when hon. members opposite are long gone, who pays the price? It will not be any of us in this House. It will be our children and it will be our grandchildren. They are the ones who are going to pay the price when it is all over.

...

With regard to negotiations, it is the position of this Opposition that there should not be negotiations in secret, especially on major matters, especially on Voisey’s Bay. I would suggest to hon. members opposite that this is the Voisey’s Bay clause. We know why it was there and it is wrong.
The following day, he continued on this theme during Question Period, pilloring the then-Premier:
MR. WILLIAMS: Premier, I can tell you that if I was in your seat I would make sure that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador had a full debate on this issue before any deal was ever signed.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WILLIAMS: That would be my guarantee and commitment to the people of this Province.

Mr. Speaker, when I was elected to represent the good people of Humber West I understood that my role in this Legislature would be to debate issues of importance to the people.

Premier, why are you denying the members of this House the right to debate an issue of such importance to the people of this Province? What are you trying to hide?

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4 Comments:

At 9:32 AM, August 16, 2010 , Blogger Polly said...

"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." ~ Danny Williams .

 
At 5:29 PM, August 22, 2010 , Blogger Shannon Reardon said...

Polly, he meant inaccuracies from other people! He is NEVER inaccurate or wrong!

 
At 5:56 PM, August 22, 2010 , Blogger Shannon Reardon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:55 PM, August 22, 2010 , Blogger Shannon Reardon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

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