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Friday, January 09, 2009

Joint Review Panel Named for Lower Churchill Development

The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, in conjunction with the federal government, has named a joint environmental review panel to assess the Lower Churchill hydro development in Labrador.

A five person panel will review the proposed project, taking into consideration public comments during the process.

The panel has a mandate to examine the potential environmental impacts of the hydro development and determine means by which to mitigate those impacts.

The Lower Churchill hydro project, which has the potential to provide clean, renewable power to more than 1.5 million households, has been discussed for decades but has yet to become a reality for the Province. This latest action by government is seen as another step forward in bringing the project to fruition.

One of the biggest hurdles facing the project over the years has been the geographical location of Labrador and the inability of developers to reach energy markets hungry for “green” power.

During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the Upper Churchill hydro project was developed in Labrador however at the time Newfoundland and Labrador was forced into a long term contract with Hydro Quebec because the Quebec and federal governments refused to permit the Province to wheel power through Quebec and on to waiting markets.

Newfoundland and Labrador, faced with the prospect of sitting on a massive power supply, that had already been developed, but with no ability to access markets, was forced to sell this power to Quebec at rates obscenely low even at that time.

Those low purchase rates have seen Quebec reap many billions of dollars over the years by reselling Upper Churchill power while Newfoundland and Labrador has barely made enough from its hydro resources to keep the generating station in operation.

The Upper Churchill ontract is still in place today and will remain in effect for decades to come.

As a result of the geographical roadblocks placed in front of it by Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Lower Churchill development plans have been on hold for years.

With the maturing of new technologies the Province's plans for the development now include the examination of an alternate route for the export Lower Churchill power.

This alternate route would see any power not required inside of Labrador delivered via under water cable to the island portion of the Province and then on to the Maritimes and beyond, bypassing Quebec completely.

This alternate route, though more expensive to develop, is considered by many to be a valid option.

With the lopsided Upper Churchill contract always on the minds of the Newfoundland and Labrador people the ability of the Province to position itself in such a way that it can ensure it is not forced into another bad deal with Quebec is critical.

In addition to the local political advantage of developing a Maritime route for Lower Churchill many people are also concerned about what will happen to power produced on the Upper Churchill River if an alternate route is not in place when the Quebec contract expires in 2041.

They see the development of a Maritime route, with the capacity to handle power from the Upper Churchill as well, as the only way to avoid a future confrontation with Quebec over the issue.

Although the federal government has always had the authority to open up a power corridor through any Province, including Quebec (the so called east/west power grid) they have yet to do so.

Plans for such a grid were promoted by the federal Conservative government when they were first elected in 2006. At the time Stephen Harper called the east/west grid the most important development in Canada since the building of the railway opened up the Country.

The government of Quebec voiced its opposition to the plan very early on and since that time there has been no further promotion of the idea by Ottawa.


Anonymous said...

When boyhood's fire was in my blood,
I read of ancient freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
Three hundred and three men.
And then I prayed I yet might see,
Our fetters rent in twain,
And Newfoundland and Labrador, long a province, be
A Nation once again.

A Nation Once Again, a Nation Once Again!
And Newfoundland andLabrador, long a province, be A Nation Once Again!

And from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shone, a far light;
Nor could love's brightest summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head
In forum, field and fane;
Its angel voice sang round my bed,
"A Nation once again."

It whispered too, that freedom's ark
and service high and holy,
would be profaned by feelings dark
and passions vain or lowly.
For freedom comes from God's right hand,
and needs a godly train;
and righteous men must make our land
A Nation once again.

So, as I grew from boy to man,
I bent me to that bidding -
My spirit of each selfish plan
and cruel passion ridding;
For thus I hoped some day to aid;
Oh can such hope be vain;
When my dear country shall be made
A Nation once again.

A Nation once again, a Nation once again!
and Newfoundland, long a province, be a Nation once again!

with alot of help from Thomas Davis :)

Anonymous said...

The Truth Does Get Out There, Sometimes...
"Mr. Higgins... I am currently writing the new Canadian history curriculum for the Province of Manitoba. I was wondering if we could get permission to reprint your article entitled Newfoundland's Blossoming Separation Movement" - email from T. Schmidt, Winnipeg Manitoba

Myles do you have a URL tot hat Blog. I'm intersted in the reaction of thease kind "Canadains"

Patriot said...

First of all thanks for that great poem Anon. It's really something.

To Anon 12:01,

The article in question can be found under my archive listings (left side of page). The Article was originally published in June of 2005.

In case you have difficulty locating it, here is the link:


Anonymous said...

This just goes to show that our place in Canada is as plain as the nose on your face. We are outsiders to be used, abused and silenced.

Anonymous said...


Above is a url address for you to peruse to see how important the province of Newfoundland and Labrador became over the 90 years in the development in Transatlantic Flying.

There are many other areas where Newfoundland and Labrador became very important in Technology development as well, but we won't hold our breaths waiting to be Thanked for them by either Ottawa or the World.

It is amazing how important the province of Newfoundland and Labrador was to World events!

It is also amazing how Ottawa, after dreaming of our province for 80 years according to a quote attributed to Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent in his speech of 1949, and after having its Military situated on our soil during the Second World War because of our strategic position on the North American Continent, choose to neglect our province and make us insignificant.

Wow, what a friend we found in Ottawa? We wouldn't want an enemy with a friend like that, would we?

Anonymous said...

First of all Patriot, I want to Thank You for your great input into trying to educate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on what is going on around them. Your blog Patriot, like no other blog that I have read from Newfoundland and Labrador, is all about telling our people how things came down the chute politically and economically in our dear province and the way it happened was not entirely kosher. Sir please keep up the great work.

Personally, my fervent wish, through my postings on your blog site and the other blog sites to which I write, is that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians emerge out of the past and become more aware of their surroundings with regards to the economical and political environment of our province and that they become more vociferous and that they will take a part in the formation of a province of Canada which will be seen as a model province under Canada's umbrella. After saying that, if that cannot be done, our other alternative will be to go independent. I think that I am fair in saying what I said. But we cannot afford to waste a lot more of our precious time in trying to create a strong economic province under Canada if Ottawa is not willing to show us immediately that they are willing to discuss the matter and get the process rolling.

Patriot below is an excerp from your article on which I would like to make a comment.

Quote..... ONE OF THE BIGGEST hurdles facing the project over the years has been the geographical location of Labrador and the inability of developers to reach energy markets hungry for “green” power.

During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the Upper Churchill hydro project was developed in Labrador however at the time Newfoundland and Labrador was forced into a long term contract with Hydro Quebec because the Quebec and federal governments refused to permit the Province to wheel power through Quebec and on to waiting markets..........End Quote

PATRIOT..... Can't we see what has been stated in the above paragraphs for what it really is worth? The Upper Churchill was an APPEASEMENT FOR QUEBEC. Quebecers were raising the threat of Separation at the time, Ottawa, no doubt, thought it would silence them if such a big contract was done in their honour. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador had zilch to do with that contract! How much longer are we willing to pretend to be unaware of what is and was going on around us?

FOR GOODNESS SAKE the Transatlantic Telegraph cable was laid across the Atlantic in the year of 1865 from Foilhommerum, Valentia Ireland to Hearts Content, NL.

Below is some information on that Historic Event. We weren't too far from the Commercial Markets of North America in 1865 or 144 years ago and we are no further today in distance but in Technology the world has progressed more in the past 144 years than it had in the rest of mankind’s existence.

It is now exactly 144 years ago since that Transatlantic Telegraph Cable was laid, so why, in the year of 2009, is it such an astronomical feat to do anything from the location of Newfoundland and Labrador now when we are living in the age of Nanno Technology and under the umbrella of one of the most prosperous nation on the face of the Earth, Canada?

Below is information on that momentous event for which it was not only a big leap for Newfoundland and Labrador but for the whole world.

Quote from Wiki….THE TRANSATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLE was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from Foilhommerum, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland. The transatlantic cable bridged North America and Europe, and expedited communication between the two. Whereas it would normally take at least ten days to deliver a message by ship, it now took a matter of minutes by telegraph.

Five attempts to lay it were made over a nine year period—in 1857, two in 1858, 1865, and 1866—before lasting connections were finally achieved by the SS Great Eastern with the 1866 cable and the repaired 1865 cable. Additional cables were laid between Foilhommerum and Heart's Content in 1873, 1874, 1880 and 1894. By the end of the 19th century, British-, French-, German- and American-owned cables linked Europe and North America in a sophisticated web of telegraphic communications….. End Quote

Anonymous said...

Patriot I just read an article from today's Report on Business Section of the Globe and Mail on HudBay Minerals Inc. that it going to shut down its Chisel North zinc Mine and concentrator in Snow Lake, Man., due to low metals prices and the slumping global economy.

The article stated that the mine and mill employ about 100 people. HudBay said it expects to suspend operations at the mine in late February, and the concentrator will close by the end of May.

Both operations will be placed on care and maintenance for reopening when the metals market improves, HudBay said Friday.

The company said it will remain closed until "economic conditions warrant re-evaluation." A "small group of employees" will be retained to keep Chisel North on care and maintenance.

Patriot if that were a company shutting down operations in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, IT WOULD NOT BE BLAMING its problems on the economic conditions which exists in Canada and the World, but instead on Premier Williams and his economic policies.

I am wondering HOW STUPID do some of those Industries think we are to believe them when they tell us that they are closing up business because of Premier Williams policies? And the Globe and Mail and other National Media try to propagate such information by printing it in their Newspapers.

We have to let them know that we will not put up with such abuse from now on. No business closes down because of government policies.

The prime reasons Industry will close down are because of lack of business or they close down one operation to strengthen another of their operations in another location.

After all they are in business to make dollars.

The policy of blaming Premier Williams and our province has to stop, and we are the ones who have to make sure it does, through having our voices heard in unison.

Patriot said...

This is slightly off topic, but an anon asked me about the quote concerning racism at the top of this page. In response, here is the link to the article:


I did not post your comment Anon because it was not related to an article on this site and because the language (though I know you were quoting others) was of such an offensive nature that it wasn't fit to print.

Anonymous said...

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Myles I have to say that by reading that article by Jerilyn Dufresne, I have found a new respect my friend for what you are doing. Finally someone has seen how we are treated in this country.Our country. A country that
our forfathers said was a good move for our nation. Although I believe they made a terrible mistake, mistakes can be undone.

What makes me just as happy Myles is that the impact of your voice is being heard by thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. You are making a great contribution to your people my friend, dont ever let anybody tell you Myles that what you are
writing and saying is garbage or that it isnt having an impact . Your writings inspire more people then you could ever believe.

God Bless,

Anon, January 12, 2009 7:50 AM.

PS, pardon me for sending that note. I was simply trying to shed some light on how young people from our province are treated when they leave home. The language was "repulsive " to put it mildly.

Patriot said...

Thanks for your kind words Anon 10:26. There are times when the road seems far too long but it's at times like these, when you realize that someone, somewhere, is taking note of the truth that makes the journey seem like an easy one.

Thanks again and don't worry about the language in your previous comment. Though I didn't publish it for that reason, your reasons for sending it along are clear enough. I was also disgusted by the display of nger, hatred and contempt spewed by whoever that writer was, as I'm sure Web Talk readers would have been, but for the sake of younger readers who may visit this site I decided to not run it.

Suffice to say that there will always be those of such limited mental capacity and ignorance that we can never reach. It is not those, but the average person who is capable of learning the truth and open to accepting that truth we must always reach out and work toward changing.