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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday sunshine

Back in the day, the Provincialist Conservatives, when in opposition, made great hay out of demanding that the full text of resource deals be made public.

Take, for example, John Ottenheimer — whatever became of him, anyway? — back in 2002:

Release the Voisey's Bay legal text now

ST. JOHN'S, September 30, 2002 — Opposition Mines and Energy critic John Ottenheimer has challenged the Grimes government to release the legal text of the agreement to development the Voisey's Bay project today.


Ottenheimer said, "It is better for the people of the province to see the final contract before it is signed than to discover after the fact that it has as many loopholes in it as the Statement of Principles presented to the House of Assembly in June."

Or, earlier in the year, these concerned observers as reported by Michael Macdonald of CP in June 2002:

Opposition politicians will have one, simple question for Premier Roger Grimes this week when the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature holds a special debate on the Voisey’s Bay mining project: Where’s the legal text?

The question stems from the Liberal government’s decision last week to sign a tentative, $2.9-billion development deal with Inco Ltd. based on a so-called statement of principles, rather than a legally binding commercial agreement.

"That’s where the truth lies — the devil is in the details," said Ed Byrne, the Conservative house leader. "About 95 per cent of the details have yet to be negotiated."

During the debate, which starts Tuesday and culminates in a historic free vote Thursday, Conservative Leader Danny Williams will argue the final draft must be held up for public scrutiny.


"What about the final deal itself?" asked Peter Boswell, a political science professor at Memorial University. "Is that going to come before the house? If not, then that’s why this whole thing is a charade."
And, on a different but contemporary resource project under contemplation, some guy said:

Williams calls for more information on Lower Churchill

ST. JOHN'S, October 24, 2002 — Danny Williams, Leader of the Opposition and MHA for Humber West, today called on Roger Grimes to provide the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with additional information on the deal now being finalized with Québec to develop the Lower Churchill.

"We are asking for additional information on this deal to develop the people's resource so that we can understand exactly what is being proposed and possibly offer a few suggestions that may be able to help the process. Unfortunately, because it is being negotiated in secret, we know very little about this deal and therefore are not able to provide constructive thoughts and suggestions as to how it can be improved," Williams said in a news conference.

"The agreement-in-principle reached between Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador involves new concepts and new ideas that were not previously discussed. It is fundamentally different from the principles agreed to with Québec in 1998. In fact, this entire arrangement sprang out of nowhere just days after talks between this province and Alcoa fell apart. There has not been a single update provided to the House of Assembly. We were not able to ask a single question in the legislature on behalf of the people, which is our right and duty as the Official Opposition. The government has an obligation to provide the people with this information in order to allow meaningful debate."

So while Kathy Dunderdale diplomatically — and Shawn Skinner condescendingly — suggest that skeptical or insufficiently positive people just need "more information" in order to be convinced of the super-duper nature of the super-duper-megaproject, Dundergov's own web site touting the S.D.M.P., while providing lots and lots of bumpf, including a document entitled Backgrounder – Nalcor Energy and Emera Inc. Term Sheet, is curiously missing one Really Important Thing.

The Term Sheet itself.

Nor is it to be found on NALCO(R)'s own web site, either.

So, knowing how very open and accountable the incumbent PC government is... here you go.

The Term Sheet itself.

Warning: it's a bloated, 18-meg PDF that may not like you very much if you are on a slow connection to teh intertubes. Emera, NALCO(R), and Dundergov, could easily have provided a textual version for public consumption, one which would have rendered the 38-page document in a few hundred kb. But they chose not to.

Oh yeah, incidentally? All that Voisey's Bay information that Messrs. Williams, Byrne, Ottenheimer, et al. demanded be made public?

It was.

Past tense. Was.

It was unceremoniously wiped from DanGov's web-server in 2007 for reasons that have yet to be explained.

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At 3:13 PM, February 27, 2011 , Blogger Ursula said...

Wiped clean , maybe they were too "bloaded".


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