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

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Whose side are you on? De quel côté êtes-vous?

Perhaps it is a job best left to the political scienticians to figure out what, precisely, is the deeper significance of the fact the the Parti Québécois in one province, and the Progressive Conservatives in another, resort to more or less identical rhetoric.

From debate in the House of Assembly, December 12, 2009:
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Premier stated that the Department of Justice has completed a review on the Upper Churchill deal and had received some legal opinions from Quebec lawyers. These legal opinions have since been forwarded to CF(L)Co, as we know, and they have asked Hydro-Quebec to have discussions around renegotiating the deal.

I ask the Premier today if he is prepared to table those legal opinions so that they are available to the public.

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, the level of betrayal of the hon. member opposite to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador never ceases to astound me.

House of Assembly, May 20, 2010:
MS JONES: Mr. Speaker, the difference here is that in 2008 the Premier stated that the expropriation action would not cost the taxpayers of this Province. Yet, Mr. Speaker, this is what we know so far, that we will have to pay for the brick and mortar assets of Abitibi. We know that we have to pay out millions of dollars in legal fees for lost challenges in the courts. We know that we are paying millions of dollars for maintenance and security. We are paying millions in compensation as far as we know at this stage, probably even for Fortis and Enel. On top of that, we have a $500 million NAFTA challenge, and we could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

I ask the Premier today: Why not come clean with the people of this Province and tell them the amount of money that we are on the hook for as a result of this expropriation?

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Mr. Speaker, and I ask the Leader of the Opposition: Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, or are you trying to build the case for Abitibi so that they can go to NAFTA and say the Leader of the Opposition said this is worth $500 million or $600 million or $700 million? That is what you are saying; that is what you are doing.

MS MICHAEL: When his legal people were putting this legislation together, did they look at the implications of the CCAA and that ruling that would come into place when bankruptcy happened? Did he think about that? Did his legal minds think about that? If they did, why were they not ready for what happened in the courts in Quebec this past week?

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Absolutely, Mr. Speaker, we had opinions from the best people we could find in this particular field. They advised us on exactly what the consequences were of various options, whether it was a CCAA proceeding, whether there was a bankruptcy proceeding, whether there was no bankruptcy, whether assets were sold. We looked at every possible avenue, and we were provided with all those alternatives.

What we probably could have predicted but we would have thought hopefully would not have happened, is that Quebec and the Quebec judges and the Quebec courts would have shafted us once again, and that is exactly what has happened in every single decision that we have had out of that Province in the last month. That Régie decision, as I said in the House, was absolutely shameful.

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

PREMIER WILLIAMS: Quebec lovers –

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

PREMIER WILLIAMS: If we could only keep the Quebec lovers quiet, Mr. Speaker, it would be nice.

House of Assembly, May 31, 2010:
MS JONES: I ask the Premier again if he will confirm to the people of the Province today that there are no technical issues that will impact upon the feasibility of the Maritime transmission option under the Lower Churchill project.

PREMIER WILLIAMS: There absolutely will be technical issues that will impact upon the project. Anybody with a clue at all would know that there is going to be some technical issues when you do a $6 billion to $12 billion project.

I can tell the hon. member opposite that there will be no technical difficulties that will be a complete obstacle that would ever prevent that project from happening. All she has to do is read the journals.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

PREMIER WILLIAMS: The problem is what the hon. member opposite is doing is reading the nonsense that is being put out by Hydro-Quebec, that is being put out through journalists that write articles in The Globe and Mail that say this technology is not available anywhere else in the world when there are all kinds of examples. Whether they happen to be in Europe, whether they happen to be in Tasmania, they are everywhere. So she should stop reading Quebec propaganda and believing in it, and believe in Newfoundland and Labrador.

And finally, an exchange between Quebec Natural Resources Minister Nathalie Normandeau, and PQ MNA Bernard Drainville, who represents a Montreal South Shore suburban district of Marie-Victorin, on Wednesday in the Quebec National Assembly:

Mme Normandeau: M. le Président, de notre côté, nous avons agi de façon responsable en s'assurant justement que les préoccupations des Madelinots soient prises en considération, et c'est précisément ce qui va...

Le Président: En deuxième complémentaire, M. le député de Marie-Victorin.

M. Drainville: M. le Président, la ministre ne comprend pas son dossier. Elle passe son temps à défendre Terre-Neuve, elle vient de le faire encore à nouveau. Elle n'a pas l'air de comprendre que, si Terre-Neuve commence à pomper de son côté, ils vont venir siphonner la ressource de notre côté également. Il n'y a pas de cloison, là, on boit dans le même verre, si je peux me permettre, c'est le principe des vases communicants.

Alors, au lieu de défendre Terre-Neuve, quand est-ce qu'elle va se mettre... quand est-ce qu'elle va commencer à défendre le Québec? Quand est-ce qu'elle va se lever en cette Chambre pour dire: Je vais défendre les intérêts du Québec parce que c'est mon travail non seulement comme ministre des Affaires inter, mais comme vice-première ministre du Québec?

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