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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh, come on

Some politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador are determined to find a "dispute" over the Labrador boundary, even where there is none.

From the proceedings of the Bow-Wow Parliament, Conservative vs. Liberal, December 14, 1999:
MR. OTTENHEIMER: I know [the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs] is on top of his job, so therefore he must be aware of a new glossy brochure called The Territory and a new map of Quebec, produced by the Government of Quebec, which includes a large part of southern Labrador in the Province of Quebec.

Has the government protested this claim on our territory directly to Quebec and to the Government of Canada? I would ask the minister to table those letters protesting this act, along with the responses from both Quebec and Ottawa.

MR. NOEL: Come up to the office and I will discuss it with you any time.

As the member well knows, the border between Quebec and Newfoundland is recognized by both provinces. We are content with the level of recognition that exits. Obviously from time to time some questions are raised by particular individuals. I am not specifically aware of the one that the member raises today. I will look into it and have a further answer for him in the near future.

MR. OTTENHEIMER: Following Question Period, I will be pleased to show both a map and brochure, one dated 1998, one dated 1999, both official government documents which make quite clearly the point that I raised earlier. It is a serious matter, I say, Mr. Minister. Quebec is building a legal case by openly claiming ownership of our territory. Every time our government fails to reject and protest Quebec’s claims, we build credibility for their case. Some court, somewhere, some time, may be influenced by the history of Quebec’s persistence in claiming our land and our failure to do anything about it.

I ask the minister: Why are you so silent, as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs? Why are you and why is this government afraid to stand up to the Province of Quebec?

MR. NOEL: Mr. Speaker, our Province has not been silent on this issue when it has been necessary to be vocal, but we do not feel that it is necessary to be very vocal at this particular time because we think that the border is recognized by all Canadians, by the Government of Quebec. I think the Premier of Quebec, just a few days ago, indicated that the border between his province and our Province is not in question.

There is no serious disagreement about that border. From time to time the question is raised by various interests. From time to time we see certain publications that we would prefer would be printed other than they are; but, if we at any time feel that there is a serious issue that has to be dealt with, it will be dealt with. At the present moment we are quite content with the recognition of the boundary that exists in the country.

MR. OTTENHEIMER: I say to the minister, he should really treat this issue much more seriously. Both of these official documents clearly speak for themselves. How can this government keep on doing business with a province that claims our territory, does not recognize our laws, has captured almost all of the benefits from our resources in Labrador, and uses its overwhelming influence in Ottawa to deny federal support for our rights and interests as a Province? How do you continue to do business in this manner, Mr. Minister?

MR. NOEL: Mr. Speaker, I think that recent events will indicate that the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is doing excellent business with the Province of Quebec. We do not feel that there is any credible question raised about the border. I will look into the couple of specific instances that the member has cited -

AN HON. MEMBER: Just to satisfy his mind.

MR. NOEL: - to satisfy his mind and to make sure that he has a peaceful and happy Christmas.
From the proceedings of the Bow-Wow Parliament, Liberal vs. Conservative, May 24, 2011:
MS JONES: The other thing, Mr. Speaker, that the government has not been very proactive on is with regard to the boundary issue between Quebec and Labrador. This is very important, and maybe many members here do not think it is all that important, because like I said on the mining stuff in Western Labrador, when you are out of sight you are out of mind. Mr. Speaker, it is an important issue, the boundary issue, and Quebec continues to take in regions of the southern regions of Labrador on all of their mapping and all of the publications and all of the work that they do, without even a word from the government opposite. To me it is disrespectful that they continue to do it.

Now, either the Premier or the government has absolutely no clout and no respect at all inside of the Quebec government or they are not pushing the issue. I do not know which it is, but I think we need to clarify those boundaries and we need to ensure that they stop using them, because the headlands for a lot of those rivers, Mr. Speaker, in Quebec is actually in Labrador. It is actually in the areas that they are taking in. So is a lot of the mineral resource that we are developing now, and one of these days there is going to be an issue.

I think the issue needs to be on the record today by the government dismissing, Mr. Speaker, that boundary, dismissing it and talking to the Quebec government about it. Not like the government is doing, not like the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is doing, ignoring it, thinking it is insignificant and it does not mean anything. One of these days, Mr. Speaker, we could have some real problems on our hands and we will have all of these cases where Quebec has used this boundary with no disclaimer from the Newfoundland and Labrador government because you guys do not think it is an important issue and that the mapping needs to be detailed. That is exactly what you are saying: it is a non-issue. Mr. Speaker, they do not even take it seriously.
Cf.: In which Dave Denine (of all people) nails it



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