Da Legal Stuff...

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Web Talk Exclusive - NL to Address Labrador Boundary with Federal Agencies

On several occasions over the past years Web Talk has brought the Quebec / Labrador boundary dispute to the attention of its readers. The most recent time was in the February 12th article, “Through the Looking Glass – A Constitutional Crisis in the Making”.

Quebec’s decades old refusal to accept the official boundary between itself and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, specifically in the area of Southern Labrador is an issue that cannot be ignored.

The boundary was officially determined by the Privy Council in 1927, more than 20 years before Newfoundland and Labrador became Canada’s newest “Colony” and was recognized by the Canadian Constitution when it was written into the Terms of Union in 1949, a fact that Quebec continues to openly ignore.

All official Quebec maps depict a border which extends well into Labrador.

This is an issue that has been on the radar of Web Talk and many of its readers for a long time now and while the provincial government recently issued a letter of concern over maps in use by a federal / provincial panel reviewing the environmental impact of Quebec’s Romaine River hydro project, little else has been said about the issue thus far.

Personally I couldn’t care less if the government or people of Quebec want to delude themselves. The real problem becomes clearer when one considers the potential for Quebec’s position to be accepted outside that province.

They say perception is reality and the boundary issue is a perfect example of this adage.

Quebec has been using their “corrupted” maps for so long now that they are now beginning to convince Federal agencies that their fantasy is factual.

The use of erroneous maps by a joint Federal / Quebec environmental panel, which finally spurred the Newfoundland and Labrador government to voice its concerns, is just one case that proves the point.

Shortly before publishing the February 12th article Web Talk, as it has done in the past, brought the issue directly to the attention of the provincial government.

This time, instead of simply focusing on maps issued by Quebec, Web Talk also provided the government with maps currently in use by Federal agencies, specifically the CBC and the Department of National Defense, which also depict the erroneous border.

A response to that correspondence arrived a few days ago.

While it seems they still do not believe the issue is a major concern, at least nobody in government can claim they are not aware of the growing acceptance of Quebec’s position within Canada. The Minister of Natural Resources, Kathy Dunderdale, has committed to address the concerns presented to her by contacting both of the federal agencies involved.

Here is the Minister’s response in its entirety.

RE: Quebec Boundary

On behalf of Premier Williams, I thank you for your e-mail in which you provided examples from numerous sources of the erroneous Labrador/Quebec boundary line.

The inaccurate depiction of the boundary between Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec, as described in your e-mail, is a matter of concern for the Province. However, we are confident in the legal and binding nature of the interprovincial boundary as set out in the 1927 decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the Constitution of Canada by Term 2 of the Terms of Union of Newfoundland and Labrador with Canada. The Government of Quebec is well aware of our displeasure about their use of the fictional boundary. Their continued use of that depiction is disrespectful, but will have no real effect on the constitutional reality of Canada.

The inaccurate depictions of the boundary in images used by the federal government and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are new developments and we appreciate you bringing them to our attention. We will contact the Department of National Defense and the CBC to ensure that these errors are corrected immediately.

I thank you for your interest in this matter. We will continue to be vigilant in the protection of our sovereign territory, including the Labrador/Quebec boundary.

Yours sincerely,

Kathy Dunderdale

c. Honourable Dave Denine, Minister Intergovernmental Affairs


Anonymous said...

How old is that website picture?

Patriot said...

The picture accompanying this article was downloaded about 3 months ago.

The one from the CBC, which was sent to government, was available during the most recent Quebec provincial election and depicted what was supposed to be the Quebec electoral boundaries. One of which included part of Labrador.

Anonymous said...

How come you didn't give the map that's on the ranger website too?


Patriot said...

I don't know what map you are talking about Anon. Clearly I don't know about every map on the web. I can't access the link you provided. Feel free to send it along if you have a copy and I'll take a look.

Ussr said...

Yet another let down from canada, how "Canadain" can you get.

While Ottawa spends Billions upon Billions of Newfoundlands and Labradors off-shore Oil wealth, people that own it go without.

Then they have the Odasity to walk around the world giving criticism to others on how to run thier countrys.And they can't even get there own maps right.

Very hypocritical if i can add my two pents.

" Republic Of"

Anonymous said...

You had to go past that picture on the rangers home page to get to the map you used. It shows the country with all the right borders.


Cut and paste the link into Explorer.

Patriot said...

To Anon 9:59,

And your point is what? Because a valid map exists on the site then it's acceptable that a map depicting parts of Labrador inside Quebec is alright for a Canadian Department to present?

That's B.S. and the most convoluted logic one could use.

It's like saying "Well, I told you I like Newfoundlanders so it's OK when I walk across the room and tell my buddy I just spoke to the stupid newfie"

No sale.

Ussr said...

"It's like saying "Well, I told you I like Newfoundlanders so it's OK when I walk across the room and tell my buddy I just spoke to the stupid newfie"

Ha Ha , Your totaly right to think like that.It's the way the world is, and anybody to say diferant is saying a falsehood in my " Mind."

" Republic Of"