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Monday, April 13, 2009

NL's Access to Quebec Hydro Grid Raising Questions

Nearly two weeks ago Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, Danny Williams, stood in the House of Assembly and made an announcement touted by papers across Canada as a turning point for his province.

The mainstream media and the Premier have since waxed eloquently about how Newfoundland and Labrador’s new ability to wheel hydro power through Quebec to American markets may herald the dawn of a new day.

The problem is that it actually means nothing of the sort.

Yes, Quebec has refused to allow just such an arrangement in the past but what does it really mean for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador or its ability to reach markets with the proposed Lower Churchill development?

It means absolutely nothing from that perspective which is why I find myself quite puzzled by the Premier’s apparent elation over the event.

The timing and tone of Premier Williams “ground breaking”, “turning point” announcement earlier this month, simply because Quebec will allow a token amount of power to be transmitted on their under utilized grid, has my gut telling me to be wary.

In order to wheel the more than 3000 megawatts to be generated by the Lower Churchill across Quebec a great deal of new capacity would have to be added to the grid and, just as in the past, every Newfoundlander and Labradorian knows, or should know, that Quebec has no plans to allow anyone other than themselves to build new transmission infrastructure inside their “nation” unless they own, control and reap the profits from it.

Over capacity is one thing. New capacity is something else all together.

Newfoundland and Labrador can kick and scream all it wants. Danny Williams can blow a gasket, grow a new one and blow that. The Canadian Constitution can be quoted chapter and verse on this issue (which supports Newfoundland and Labrador’s ability to access markets) and it can be proclaimed from the highest mountains but in the end Ottawa, as it always does, will acquiesce to the demands and desires of vote rich Quebec. Newfoundland and Labrador be damned.

None of that does, or should, come as a surprise to anyone living in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than five minutes. What has come as a bit of a shock is Danny Williams apparent need to “spin” the Province’s ability to export a paltry 200 megawatts of power, with Quebec’s blessing, as some sort of major breakthrough.

It’s more than a little odd to this observer that the Premier would be touting this as a victory and claiming it bodes well for future developments when that clearly isn’t the case.

Has political expediency and the need to “play well at home” trumped reality for yet another of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Premiers?

Has Premier Williams been listening to his own publicity team for so long now that he’s actually started to believe them?

Don’t get me wrong, on the whole I like what the Premier has done over the past couple of terms and I’ve been happy to back him on the issues he’s been strong enough to take a stand on, but this one has me baffled.

Why would the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador consider it a shining moment for his Province simply because Quebec made a token gesture at a time when they plan to develop a multi-billion dollar hydro project just outside the Labrador border?

Ever since that border was defined in 1927 Quebec has disputed its exact location.

Did Quebec really turn a page with this recent announcement or is Premier Charest hoping Premier Williams won’t make too much fuss about the fact that one of the grey areas in the 1927 border decision just happens to contain the headwaters that will feed Quebec’s massive Romaine hydro project?

As has often been said, “He who controls the headwaters controls the project.”

Recently I requested specific clarification from the government of Newfoundland and Labrador concerning the border and its relationship to the headwaters of the Romaine River. To an untrained eye, which I am not ashamed to say I have, it’s debatable as to which Province can stake claim to those waters.

To date there has been no response but I continue to wait (im)patiently.

When it comes to the “big” announcement a couple of weeks ago I’m not accusing anyone of anything underhanded but I certainly have questions.

In 2005 Professors Feehan and Baker released a research paper on the Upper Churchill renewal clause. That paper contained previously unknown evidence pointing to the use of coercion and inside information as the means by which Newfoundland and Labrador was forced into signing the disastrous Upper Churchill contract. It concluded that a legal challenge could be made.

Since that time the Williams’ government has never openly discussed those findings or pursued a legal challenge to the contract. Instead, the provincial government later released the Province’s long term energy plan. A document that makes no mention of attempts to rectify the Upper Churchill debacle and contains a plan that extends until 2041, the same year the contract will have run its entire course (without challenge).

In 2008 the Williams government quietly sent a letter to the joint Quebec/Federal panel reviewing the environmental impacts of the Romaine hydro project. The letter expressed concern about the misrepresentation of the Southern Labrador border on maps being used for the process. It made no mention of any concern with Quebec pushing ahead on a project that might depend on headwaters inside Labrador.

The letter was sent to the review panel without any fanfare, publicity or notification of the media. It was only through a chance discovery but one local reporter that the letter ever became public knowledge in the first place.

Why was so little concern expressed about the project and the headwaters and and why was the letter sent so quietly?

In recent months Premier Williams has publicly stated on several occasions that he has no concern with Quebec’s Romaine River hydro development. How can this be the case given our history?

After being fleeced for decades on the Upper Churchill, if the Romaine’s headwaters are indeed inside Newfoundland and Labrador territory doesn’t that mean that Newfoundland and Labrador should have a stake in the project?

Does the lack of concern mean the provincial government simply plans to let Quebec push forward with no financial benefit accruing to Newfoundland and Labrador from what amounts to yet another of its extremely valuable natural resources?

If so, why would anyone do that?

Could it be that the “token gesture” made by Quebec in allowing a small amount of power to be sold through its grid was a down payment to the Provincial government on a promise to support the Lower Churchill development once the Romaine has been completed?

If so, is a promise like that worth the paper it could never actually be written on?

These are questions that need to be answered.

There may indeed be very rational and reasonable responses to each of them but they need to be asked and answered.

I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I can’t help it. The celebratory position taken by Premier Williams, not to mention the copious level of high praise, encouragement, kudos and smiley faced pats on the back flowing like sweet molasses from the national media over what amounts to a mundane non-event, has me wanting those answers sooner rather than later.


Anonymous said...

Patriot - I have all the same apprehensions about the potential for a Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Energy Project, as you have stated in your article. Matter of fact, I had to digest what you said in small bits.

The Upper Churchill Hydroelectric Project Contract which was signed by the first Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Joey Smallwood with Quebec makes me ill.

I read in an article just recently that Quebec Hydro gets $2 Billion dollars of revenue from that lopsided contract, that figure represents 95% of the revenue generated. It also gets the Kyoto credits which are generated from the clean energy which is produced from that Project.

If Premier Williams signs off on a contract which sounds equally as bad, well then Premier Williams will go down in the annals of Newfoundland and Labrador history as the greatest weasel of all times.

We all know that Premier Williams is quite aware of how Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been cheated out of having becomed the ACE economy in the whole of Canada over the past 60 years, with the development of the Upper Churchill from which Quebec benefitted greatly. Then add to the Upper Churchill mistake all of the other natural resources which have been extracted from NL's resource base and sent out of NL for the benefit of the other provinces' economies, and if Premier Williams goes ahead and signs an equally horrific contract, there will be no excuse to justify such a move.

If Premier Williams signs away the Lower Churchill he will release the late Mr. Smallwood from all of the blame and he will have to wear the full blame himself. It will be his legacy that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador was shafted by its leading politicians.

Premier Smallwood did not have the benefit of all the knowledge which Premier Williams is privy to, given that fact that makes him a little less blameful.

I am sure Premier Williams is smart enough to know that if he gives away the Lower Churchill armed with the knowledge that he has, he will definitely go down in the log books of Newfoundland and Labrador's history, as being the very worse Premier ever.

Patriot, I personally don't think that our present Premier will do such a thing, but I would appreciate if he could give us a few more details to alleviate our fears.

Anonymous said...

Very well said patriot. Why IS Quebec not being challenged over those headwaters? If they are in NL then why doesn't Danny see to it that no development goes ahead without NL getting a good chunk of the revenue? Is he planning to alllow the development using waters flowing from Labrador without a penny coming to NL?

Someone better answer this before its too late, if its not already.

NL-ExPatriate said...

I don't know about conspiracies but I do feel your assertions, assumptions, suppositions and or train of thought are miss placed probably as a result of the media spin.

First off Quebec never did anything out of the goodness of their heart.
QU really didn't have a choice because of RECIPROCITY agreements with the US and agreements like NAFTA.

So in effect the only reason we are getting treated fairly is because Quebec and canada has to treat NL the same as it treats US states and gets treated by US states.
So right there all of your theories are mute and are without substance.

If Qu had refused NL cascading rights across their power lines it would have failed the test in court.

The other area which I'm surprised you have mislead your readers is in the fact that there is an excess of capacity on the HYQU power lines. Don't believe me read the farce of a report on developing the Romaine and building two separate transmission corridors. One along the Lower North shore and one to connect into the Upper lines .

there is a 1000 MW excess capacity available on those Upper Churchill lines according to Hydro Quebecs own report.

Ok if you have ever read BRINCO you will realize that Joey engaged in discussions with Qu concerning the border. Wrong wrong wrong.

There is no reason what so ever why we in NL should discuss any changes give and take for our territory.

By engaging in any such discussions just gives credence to Quebecs assertions.
We should not give one inch or iota for our yes our head waters of the romaine. We should only accept payment and nothing less!

All to often we have given up the bird in our hand for the one in the bush when truth be told both birds were ours to begin with.IE RR, Prov Ferries, etc.

If you still want to believe QU actually gave us the right to cascade power across their lines I submit to you that it is more likely they did it so that CFLCO wouldn't go bankrupt after 2016 when the automatic extender clause comes into effect and the mill rate drops even lower than the ridiculous low one that is there now.

The truth is CFLCO is barely making ends meet now and when that extension kicks in in 2016 with a lower mill rate still the writing would be on the wall that CFLCO wouldn't be able to continue producing power for Quebec to sell.

So I submit that while we may have created a precedent for the transmission of Lower Churchill or the Height of Lands wind project across the excess 1000MW that is a good thing we may have also have inadvertently created the conditions for the Upper Churchill contract to carry on on life support.

We have to learn our history so as not to be doomed to repeat it.

Joey and BRINCO didn't start out to rip NL off that was wholly and solely done by Quebec with the aide of both national parties and the Senate at the time and allowed to continue by the SCC since.

Patriot said...

To NL-Expatriat,

You are correct about the U.S. and the need for recprocity but you are wrong in your reading of my train of thought.

When I mentioned over capacity it is simply that the 200 or so megawatts now being shipped through Quebec can get across existing infrastructure. This does nothing to help with the 3000 from the Lower Churchill that cannot. Again I say Quebec will never allow NL or anyone else build transmission towers in their "nation".

As for the boundary or border, you say:

"There is no reason what so ever why we in NL should discuss any changes give and take for our territory.

By engaging in any such discussions just gives credence to Quebecs assertions.
We should not give one inch or iota for our yes our head waters of the romaine. We should only accept payment and nothing less!"

I agree but isn't that the problem. Premier Williams is saying he has "no problems with the romaine project". How can this be the case if the headwaters are in NL yet NL is not involved in the development, had no say in the environmental assessment and will not get any of the revenues?

Nobody is talking about giving an inch of territory just the opposite, why, if we control the headwaters, is the provincial government letting Quebec build the project at all without NL's involvement? That, combined with Williams' apparent glee over a simple reciprocity agreement that has been in place for years deserves to be questioned.

Ussr said...

So Quebec does not recognize the border that was established by the 1927 Privy Council. So if that border is invalid, then that must mean that all the borders cannot legally be recognized. If they did not have the legal right to establish that border then they could not have the legal right to establish any border. So does that mean then that we can start cutting up Quebec and Ontario into smaller provinces.

And, in regards to the head waters of the Romaine River, anybody that has the ability to read the English language can see that those head waters are in Labrador. So why do we have to worry about any action being taken by Quebec. Other then the fact that they stole those resources with the help of Canada before. I think the results would be far different if they tried anything half as stupid today. I think that a Premier that has half a brain knows that if anything is built across that border, it becomes ours. And, if we wanted to be spiteful, we can easily stop those waters and harvest that current with our own dam.

I think that the love affair that Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans have with Canada needs a strong check. Are we going to be as ignorant to the facts and the truth, as we were before?
OH the savoir across the water that is Canada. O JOY, O Glee, we have been saved by the great savior across the straight. All we have to do is sell what our forefathers have given their lives for. And, all shall be grand and gay, as the songs of angels fill the Streets of St John’s and the surrounding Out Ports.

2041 is soon approaching Canada, and hydro electric power is becoming an even greater asset then any Oil patch. Soon all of Canada will have to deal with a province that has been raped and plundered for a hundred years. They have the industry that needs that power. We will be in control of that power. Soon, Quebec will know what it is to grovel as the price for that power goes for the same price as if that American border was attached to Labrador. In other words boys, pay back is a bitch when you have to make back the trillions that’s was lost to us. Good luck on that.

“ Republic Of “

PS, a little blog that I found that gives some infroamtion on the project they think is going to happen Patriot.


Ussr said...

Excellent points Ex-Pat.When it does come to the head waters let them build it then we can hold them hostage by averting the water to go were we want it to go or we can build what we want around those headwaters.

When 2041 does come this story book is going to change.

" Republic Of "

NL-ExPatriate said...

One issue at a time.

The only thing we need to acknowledge here is that we now have a precedent that we are allowed access to the remaining 1000MW capacity on those existing lines through QU to markets.

By tying more than one issue together we will never achieve anything. Joe tried that and dam near lost it all.

So by achieving this precedent we can now work on getting customers for the Muskrat falls portion of the Lower Churchill not sure how much Muskrat Falls is alone? But I think it is only around 1000MW and the other part of the Lower comprises the other 1800MW that will need new lines and buyers.

Anyway it is that much less we need to build new transmission lines for or find markets for.

That was one of the problems with the Upper was it was too big to find markets for/ IE Twin falls was developed first.

armchair brian said...

What "grey area" in the boundary decision?

Patriot said...

I have no problem with addressing one issue at a time and even given that 1000 megawatts can make it across Quebec infrastructure the question of whether that will be available after Romaine comes onstream is not a given.

As for the border, I can certainly read the english language but still have a hard time squaring the circle of who owns the territory where the headwaters reside.

I don't know if you've actually read the Privy Council decision USSR but here it is:

The pertinent section of the 1927 decision states:

"...the boundary between Canada and Newfoundland in the Labrador Peninsula is a line drawn due north from the eastern boundary of the bay or harbour of Ance Sablon as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel until it reaches the Romaine River, and then northward along the left or east bank of that river and its head waters to their source, and from thence due north to the crest of the watershed or height of land there, and from thence westward and northward along the crest of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic..."

As for letting them build the Romaine and then claiming it or diverting the water good luck with that. Once we sit on our butts and let it happen without standing up any future challenges would likely end up in the Supreme court and who knows where that might lead.

Simply saying "let it go for now" or "we can fix it later" is B.S.

NL-ExPatriate said...

If you think for one minute that Quebec is going to cut two corridors and join up with the existing UC lines I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

That entire proposal is nothing but posturing and idle threats to try and make NL show our hand.

As for the border once again talking to Quebec is useless and does nothing but lend credence to their arguement. This issue is settled and set in stone.

If it ever does need to be addressed for what ever reason it should be dealt with on a stand alone issue only with the firm stance that the existing border as set out by the Privy Council 1927 and agreed to in the terms of union with the confederation of canada 1949. The only peopel organizations who need to be spoken to is the national governing party and official opposition parties.

We didn't join Quebec we joined the confederation of canada.

Even Quebec held a royal commission on this and determined that the border is set partially because Quebec acknowledged it with the allowing of the Upper Churchill at the time so don't take the bait.

Make confederation show it's true colors and well see if all provinces are equal.

This is a federal issue!

Good points USSR.

Without this PRECEDENT come 2041 we would be right back to ground zero and be held hostage by Quebecs Dog in the Manger Attitude and confederations Discrimination against a minority province like ours in favor of a majority province and a minority french group.

So not only is this precedent good for moving the Muskrat falls development ahead and enticing investors along with customers is will have untold ramifications come 2041 or we could only hope 2016.

Ussr said...

The maps issued before 1763 have no direct bearing on this case, although some of them have been already referred to as instances of the use of a watershed or "height of land" as the boundary of a territory; and the later maps down to the year 1842 are of little use, except that they clearly indicate the whole course of the river St. John as the eastern boundary between Quebec and Labrador. Arrowsmith's map of British North America (N 24), published in 1842, is interesting as showing a line drawn from Ance Sablon northward to the fifty-second degree of north latitude and then along that parallel to the head of the St. John River as being at that point the boundary between Lower Canada and Labrador, thus indicating that the construction of section 9 of the Act of 1825 now put forward by Newfoundland was then adopted by the cartographer. The same indication of boundary appears, with greater authority, in the map (N 25) prepared in 1855 by T. C. Keeper, C.E., on the instructions of the Government of Canada for the use of the Canadian Commissioners at the Paris Exhibition. Arrowsmith's map of 1857 (N 26) has some authority as having been ordered to be printed by the House of Commons for the purposes of the Hudson's Bay Committee of that year, and as having selected as an exhibit in the Alaska Boundary case; and that map not only has a similar indication as to the southern boundary of Labrador, but assigns to that territory the exact boundaries now claimed for it by Newfoundland. The same observation applies to a map (N 31) prepared in 1871 by two Canadian officials (Russell and Mare) on the order of the Canadian Minister of Agriculture, and to a map (N 32a) compiled by Desbarats in 1873 and sent by Lord Dufferin, as Governor-General of Canada, to the British Ambassador in Washington as showing "the exact boundary on the coast and the assumed boundary in the interior." The dispatch of the Governor-General transmitting this map enclosed a copy of the report of a Committee of the Privy Council approved by the Governor-General in Council on November 12, 1874, which was in the following terms:--
"In a despatch dated 20th June, 1874, from Sir Edward Thornton to Your Excellency, inclosing a communication from the Hon. Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State at Washington, desiring to be informed whether any part of Labrador is separated from the jurisdiction of either the Dominion of Canada or that of Newfoundland.

"The Honourable the Secretary of State to whom this despatch, with enclosures, has been referred, reports that the boundary-line between the Dominion of Canada and Labrador is a line drawn due north and south from the Bay or Harbour of Ance au Blanc Sablon, near the Straits of Belle Isle, as far as the 52nd degree of north latitude; that Labrador extends eastward and northward from that point to Hudson's Straits.

"That the division-line in the interior separating Labrador from the Dominion of Canada has only been defined as far north as the 52nd degree of north latitude, but it has been assumed that the boundary-line in the interior would have taken the direction laid down on the accompanying map, which follows the height of land.

"That Labrador, with the islands adjacent thereto, is annexed to Newfoundland, and under the Government of that Island.

"Attached to the Report of the Secretary of State are extracts from the Imperial Statute bearing on the question, and a map showing the exact boundary on the coast and the assumed boundary in the interior.

"The Committee recommend that a copy of this Minute with the map and extracts from the Imperial Statute, above alluded to, to be transmitted to Sir Edward Thornton for the information of the United States Government."
The terms of this report appear to their Lordships to be significant.
The maps subsequent to 1874 are not less interesting. The boundary now claimed by Newfoundland is assigned to Labrador by a map (N 35) prepared by Johnston in 1878, signed by the Surveyor-General of Canada and published by order of the Ministry of the Interior; and a map (C 36 and N 36) prepared by Johnston and Edmunds in 1882 and issued by the Canadian Department of Railways; and in a map (N 38) compiled by two French-Canadians (Tache and Genest) and issued by the Department of Railways of Quebec in 1883. In a map (C 37 and N 39) prepared by J. Johnson by authority of the Minister of the Interior and issued by the Department of the Interior at Ottawa in July, 1890, the height of land now claimed by Newfoundland as a boundary is shown by a red line; and thought it is not clear on that map whether it is intended to be taken as the boundary between Canada and the Dependency of Newfoundland, no other boundary is indicated. This observation does not apply to a map (N 41) issued by the Department of Railways and Canals of Canada in 1891 and signed by the Chief Engineer of Government Railways, for in that map Labrador is clearly shown as bounded by the height of land; nor to a map (N 43) published by the Map and School Supply Company of Canada, Limited, and registered with the Department of Agriculture, in which "Labrador (Dependency of Newfoundland)" is depicted in bold colours as containing (subject to a slight difference to be mentioned hereafter) the precise area for which Newfoundland is now contending. In the important map (N 42) prepared by Mr. A. P. Low, an official of the Canadian Geographical Survey, as the result of a careful survey of the country and issued by that department in 1896, the approximate height of land is shown, though not as a boundary; but the line drawn dur north from Ance Sablon to the fifty-second parallel is shown and marked "boundary line". No other boundary of Labrador is indicated in that map. It is not until the year 1900 that the boundary now claimed by Canada is found upon any map; but it then appears upon a map (C 39) issued by the Department of the Interior, where a dotted line is drawn along the line of the shore and is marked "boundary undefined." It is also found in later maps; but as these were published after the dispute had arisen, no importance attaches to them.
The maps here referred to, even when issued or accepted by the departments of the Canadian Government, cannot be treated as admissions binding on that Government; for even if such an admission could be effectively made, the departments concerned are not shown to have had any authority to make it. But the fact that throughout a long series of years, and until the present dispute arose, all the maps issued in Canada either supported or were consistent with the claim now put forward by Newfoundland is of some value as showing the construction put upon the Orders in Council and statutes by persons of authority and by the general public in the Dominion.
Upon the whole, their Lordships, having considered the facts and arguments put before them with the care which is necessary in a matter of such grave importance, have come to the conclusion that the claim of the Colony of Newfoundland is in substance made out; but there are two points of detail to be mentioned.
First, in many of the maps issued after the year 1882, and particularly in the official maps above mentioned and number N 38, 42, and 43, and in maps issued by W. and A. K. Johnston (N. 37) and by Stanford (N 40), the southern boundary of Labrador is shown as running, not from the point where the north and south line drawn from Ance Sablon meets the fifty-second parallel, and in a straight line along that parallel, but from a point where that north and south line would reach the watershed north of the fifty-second parallel, and in a straight line along that parallel, but from a point where that north and south line would reach the watershed north of the fifty-second parallel and along that watershed as far as the head of the Romaine River. A boundary so drawn along that watershed would not doubt be more convenient than one which follows the arbitrary line of the fifty-second parallel, and would have the advantage of throwing into Canada the whole course of the rivers which run into the gulf of St. Lawrence. But their Lordships would not feel justified in adopting a boundary which, however convenient in itself, is not warranted by the terms of the statute of 1825; and they are of opinion that the line must be drawn along the parallel as far as the supposed river of St. John--namely, the Romaine River. According to the claim of the Colony as illustrated by the sketch-map, the line would be continued westward across the river until it met the height of land; but there is no warrant in the statute of 1825 for such a continuation of the line, the effect of which would be to give to Newfoundland a part of the original province of Quebec as constituted under the Proclamation of 1763. The line should follow the parallel only until it meets the river, and should then turn north to the watershed.
Secondly, a small island called Woody Island, lying opposite to the bay of Ance Sablon, is claimed both by Canada and by Newfoundland. In their Lordships' opinion the transfer to Canada by the Act of 1825 of so much of the coast as lies to the westward of a line drawn due north and south from the bay or harbour of Ance Sablon "inclusive," with the islands adjacent to that part of the coast, carries with it Woody Island, which accordingly belongs to the Dominion.
For the above reasons, their Lordships are of opinion that, according to the true construction of the statutes, Orders in Council, and Proclamations referred to in the Order of Reference, the boundary between Canada and Newfoundland in the Labrador Peninsula is a line drawn due north from the eastern boundary of the bay or harbour of Ance Sablon as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel until it reaches the Romaine River, and then northward along the left or east bank of that river and its head waters to their source, and from thence due north to the crest of the watershed or height of land there, and from thence westward and northward along the crest of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean until it reaches cape Chidley; and they will humbly advise His Majesty Accordingly.

My apologys Patriot if if for some reason the tone I used was offensive. I see the logic in the approach which you are representing. I see the reasoning that you are using, but the law is the law and it is stated in many different articles, but how can we use this train of thought when we cannot use the very same train of thought towards the Upper ChurchHill. Canada at the time would not enforce the constuition of the country to allow Newfoundland and Labrador its right as a member Province. So what gives you the idea that Canada is going to do something now.

I have come to the conclusion that Canada does not work. I have no shame in letting my political views, known to those who know me.
Nationalist, separatist ,or disbliever. I really don’t care what Canadains call me, if I had to leave Canada and work strictly in the United States , I would have no problem doing so. I simply do not believe what this country stands for. Personally I think it’s the rest of the country that is fooling themselves. Canada would not exisist today, only for the fact that the federal Government allowed the rape of Labrador, and the people of our nation. So why would I believe now that Canada would somehow try and stand up straight and treat us as equals. I would be lieing to you and your readers, but mostly I would be lieing to myself.
The federal government of Canada knows the law Patriot, so if I’m so way out in left field, why hasn’t the Government of the people of Canada said something. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador simply doesn’t matter to Ottawa. So why do they matter so much to us, because for so long we have been told that we are incapable of looking after ourselves. That we as a nation are not capable of looking after our own interests. Hey maybe they are right.

2016 is coming, and so is the renewal of the greatest thief in Canadian history, and what have we done about it. Nothing.
In my mind, the only way to deal with a country full of thieves and blackmailers is too return the favor. Let them build their power station, and then use it against them to get what we want. It’s worked so well for Quebec and Canada, why couldn’t it work for us.

“Republic Of”

Anonymous said...

The Quebec Boundaries Extension Act, 1912
2 George V, Chapter 45

An Act to extend the Boundaries of the Province of Quebec

[Assented to 1st April, 1912.]

Whereas on the thirteenth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and eight, the House of Commons resolved that the limits of the province of Quebec should be increased by the extension of the boundaries of the province northwards so as to include the territory hereinafter described, as in the said resolution more particularly set out, upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the Legislature of Quebec and by the Parliament of Canada:

Therefore, subject to the consent of the said Legislature, His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

1. This Act may be cited as The Quebec Boundaries Extension Act, 1912.

2. The limits of the province of Quebec are hereby increased so that the boundaries thereof shall include, in addition to the present territory of the said province, the territory bounded and described as follows:

Commencing at the point at the mouth of the East Main river where it empties into James Bay, the said point being the western termination of the northern boundary of the province of Quebec as established by chapter 3 of the Statutes of 1898, entitled An Act respecting the north-western, northern and north-eastern boundaries of the province of Quebec; thence northerly and easterly along the shores of Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait; thence southerly, easterly and northerly along the shore of Ungava Bay and the shore of the said Strait; thence easterly along the shore of the said Strait to the boundary of the territory over which the island of Newfoundland has lawful jurisdiction; thence south-easterly along the western boundary of the said last mentioned territory to the middle of the Bay du Rigolet or Hamilton Inlet; thence westerly along the northern boundary of the province of Quebec as established by the said Act to the place of commencement; and all the land embraced by the said description shall, from and after the commencement of this Act, be added to the province of Quebec, and shall, from and after the said commencement, form and be part of the said province of Quebec upon the following terms and conditions and subject to the following provisions:

(a) That the population of the territory hereby added to the province of Quebec shall be excluded in ascertaining the population of the said province for the purposes of any readjustment of representation of the other provinces consequent upon any census;

(b) That in the general census of the population of Canada which is required to be taken in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one and in every tenth year thereafter the population of the territory hereby added to the province of Quebec shall be distinguished from that of the said province as heretofore constituted, and the representation of the said territory in the House of Commons shall be determined according to the rules enacted by section 51 of "The British North America Act, 1867," regulating the representation of the provinces other than Quebec;

(c) That the province of Quebec will recognize the rights of the Indian inhabitants in the territory above described to the same extent, and will obtain surrenders of such rights in the same manner, as the Government of Canada has heretofore recognized such rights and has obtained surrender thereof, and the said province shall bear and satisfy all charges and expenditures in connection with or arising out of such surrenders;

(d) That no such surrender shall be made or obtained except with the approval of the Governor in Council;

(e) That the trusteeship of the Indians in the said territory, and the management of any lands now or hereafter reserved for their use, shall remain in the Government of Canada subject to the control of Parliament.
3. Nothing in this Act shall in any way prejudice or affect the rights or properties of the Hudson's Bay Company as contained in the conditions under which that company surrendered Ruperts Land to the Crown.

4. This Act shall come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation of the Governor in Council published in The Canada Gazette, but such proclamation shall not be made until after the Legislature of Quebec shall have consented to the increase of the limits of the province herein provided for, and agreed to the terms, conditions and provisions aforesaid.

They got it then they will get it now.

Ussr said...

Henri Dorion debunks the Ten Great Myths about the Labrador boundary
Quebec -- National Assembly -- First Session, 34th Legislature

Special Parliamentary Committee
Committee of Enquiry into Questions Relating to the Sovereignty of Quebec

No. 6, pp. 154-157
Thursday, 17 October 1991
(Unofficial translation)

* * *

M. Henri Dorion: This boundary touches the Quebec-Newfoundland boundary. This is the last of the boundaries which forms the circumference of Quebec, but not the least. I will spare you the history of the Labrador boundary -- I think we know it well enough -- the culmination of which history was the judgment of the Privy Council, the award of the Privy Council, in 1927.

To summarize the matter... I think that it can be summarized -- unfortunately for Quebec, from an historical point of view -- in a relatively simple phrase: The Labrador boundary was settled and has a legal existence; Quebec does not have -- and this has been confirmed after numerous studies -- any valid juridical, legal basis to contest, by judicial means, the Labrador boundary as it was settled by the Privy Council of 1927. When I say "settled", perhaps I should define the term. It is important, from the perspective of judicial argumentation, to consider the award of the Privy Council -- as elsewhere in all awards relating to boundaries -- as a statement declaring rights, and not as a statement conferring rights. The boundary between Quebec and Labrador was not created in such a way in 1927. It was proclaimed by the Privy Council, by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, as being where the judgment determined it to be. It was therefore declarative of rights. That means that when the sequence of events is traced it must be kept in mind that upon the enactment of earlier statutes, in 1809, in 1825, the Labrador boundary was where the Privy Council determined that it was, or where it must be, according to the interpretation of the text of the statutes.

This being said, there often appear, in the press, in documents, in studies, statements which advance several arguments that would allow Quebec to consider the Labrador boundary as an unsettled boundary, an unrecognized boundary, a boundary which we can seek to change by judicial means. I will quickly go over with you the five or six arguments which are most often used, for the purpose of showing, unfortunately for Quebec, that they have no legal validity that would allow a judicial re-examination of the matter.

It is often said that the Privy Council that rendered its judgment in 1927, after a hearing the previous year, was both judge and party. That is said in reference to the fact that, at the time of the hearing, Newfoundland was a crown colony. If it is indeed true that the Privy Council was both judge and party, the parties knew it, and the parties -- that is, Newfoundland and Canada along with Quebec -- chose to consider the matter not to be an obstacle to the validity of the arbitration, as it was indeed an arbitration that Canada and Newfoundland had asked for. Therefore, this is not an argument that can be employed.

There was a theory, which was advanced elsewhere in a book published in Montreal, to the effect that the judges of the Privy Council had a pecuniary interest, suggesting that they had an interest in international banks, that they had interests in Rio Tinto, or in possible mineral deposits in Labrador, etc. It is a theory that was advanced at the time, and which was the subject of a serious enquiry in the papers and files of the Public Record Office in London, and which was answered in the negative. It has never been possible to prove that one or another of the judges of the Privy Council had any direct financial interest whatsoever.

It has also been said that Quebec was not a party to the case, conveniently forgetting that Mr. Lanctôt and Mr. Geoffrion were those who pleaded the case. Of course, it was Canada that was there, it was Canada that asked the Privy Council to render a judgment, at the express demand of Quebec. And that is in the briefs that were presented.

There is a legal theory that proposes that a decision of the Privy Council is merely an opinion, and not a judgement which has the force of law et the force of a legal decision. Those familiar with the British legal system know full well that, when there has been a sanction by a Royal order, a decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council becomes law and has the force of law. Therefore this argument can no longer be used.

It has often been said that the Labrador boundary is geographically absurd. That is perhaps partially true. What is often omitted, however, is that the position defended by Canada, and by Quebec as well, was doubly absurd. For the good reason that what Quebec and Canada claimed as their territory in Labrador was the entire Labrador peninsula, with the exception of a one-mile strip of land, that is to say, 5000 and some feet wide by thousands of kilometres long. That, from a geopolitical and geographical perspective, is a complete absurdity. That is plainly an unmanageable territory, and in any event, it would have closed off the territory [claimed by Quebec.] If it is ridiculous to have the boundary on the watershed, it is even more ridiculous to have it 5000 feet inland. Yet that was the position which Canada pleaded, with the support of supposedly scientific evidence.

It has also been said that it is an absurd boundary because it is untraceable on the ground. I mentioned a moment ago that there are in fact regions where it is impossible to determine the watershed. It is the crest of the watershed that forms the boundary. It is an argument which has its appeal, but which, juridically, has no validity. It has been determined by a large number of international decisions that the relative untraceableness of a boundary does not put the determination of the boundary into doubt. This is therefore an argument which, upon the facts, has its appeal, but from a legal perspective, has no weight.

It has also been said that this is a case of ultra petita, that is, that the court, or rather the tribunal, gave to the petitioners more than they had asked. And it is well known that in law, whatever the level, that it is not a cause for the annulment of the award, but rather for a partial annulment, of the excess award. In fact, looking in greater detail, it is realized that there is no case of ultra petita. What happened is that Newfoundland actually presented certain cartographic documents which showed that they claimed only the Atlantic basin, without necessarily going as far as the 52nd parallel. Because there is a difference between the two which covers all the same about 12,000 square kilometres. The judgment cannot be assailed on the sole grounds that the tribunal would have awarded Newfoundland a larger territory than it had asked for.

Finally, it is often said: In any event, whatever the legal or geographical validity of the judgment, Quebec has never recognized the Labrador boundary. I hope I do not disappoint anyone by saying that this is totally false. Quebec has, time and time again, recognized the Labrador boundary. I said a moment ago that the position of Quebec was ambiguous. In fact, it has been so because of the recognition by different acts, orders in council, ministerial statements, publication of official documents and maps; there is a summary which was made during the work of the Commission of Inquiry on Territorial Integrity, which demonstrated that in at least 80 instances Quebec has recognized the 1927 boundary.

It has also recognized it in an act which refers to the Quebec-Newfoundland Labrador boundary at the crest of the watershed which forms the boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland Labrador. That is how it is referred to in a 1946 act. So, in the face of this list of acknowledgments, how can it be said that Quebec has not recognized the boundary of 1927? However, to be fair, it must also be said that Quebec has declared that it does not recognize it. Therein lies the ambiguity, which has lasted half a century, more than half a century, on the question of the Labrador boundary.

Whatever may be made of this recognition or non-recognition in certain respects, the 1949 act by which Newfoundland entered the Canadian confederation explicitly recognized, and it is a constitutional law, that the boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland is the line determined by the Privy Council in London in 1927. It is section 2 of the Act of Union of Newfoundland with Canada. You may say that Quebec was not consulted on this act of union. In fact, it was consulted, but it is a footnote to history to know what was said in the House of Commons at the time. In the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, there was no question about the boundary, not once. It was simply said that the entry of Newfoundland might not be a good thing, because it would affect the percentage of French-Canadians in Canada. The only debate that there was on this subject, was in the House of Commons, at the federal level. The result of which was that it was confirmed by the Act of 1949. And when it is said that Quebec was not consulted on the Act, it did not have to be because of the important distinction that I made a moment ago to the effect that the decision of the Privy Council did not confer any rights, but rather declared them, and so the Act of 1949 did not change the boundary, it only reaffirmed it. It reaffirmed the previous affirmation of 1927.

In this regard, there are two things which can be said concerning the Quebec-Newfoundland boundary. It can be said that this boundary is not judicially debatable. Furthermore, it can be said that, in order to be constitutional, there needs to be, according to the procedure under s. 43 of the Constitution Act of 1982, it needs to be confirmed by Parliament and by the provincial legislatures involved. Perhaps, but I would doubt that, for the same reason that the boundary was not modified in 1927, it was only determined. The Privy Council simply declared that it was where they declared it to be according to the earlier texts.

The other part of this boundary which is sometimes referred to is the southern part of Labrador which is located between the watershed and the 52nd parallel, that is, the entire region of the headwaters of the rivers that flow into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There have often been suggestions that this territory could be claimed, but this is based on the grounds of ultra petita which I mentioned a little while ago, the superadjudication of the Privy Council, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Juridically, this position is hard to defend. However, from another point of view, let us say geopolitically or geo-economically, it is evident that the logic which underlies the allocation of the entire Atlantic basin to Newfoundland could be used to justify a negotiation with Newfoundland to make the headwaters of the rivers between the 52nd parallel and the watershed to be part of Quebec territory.

This would involve a negotiation whose outcome is far from certain. It has at times been the subject of discussions, on a number of occasions, between Quebec and Newfoundland authorities. The question has been raised, but there has been no concrete results. In any event, today the effective boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland must be considered as the line established by the Privy Council in London in 1927. That is the situation. The only possible outcome -- and this was the conclusion of the Commission of Inquiry into Territorial Integrity -- is political negotiation. This is not a legal issue.

Thought you might want to have a look here Patriot.They have no claim, so why even think that they have a right to anything. You can only give something if you allow them.

" Republic Of "

Anonymous said...

Quebec will have to put in new capacity to handle its own 4500 megawatts of power so you are barking up the wrong tree on that one.

They'll also add new capacity of the one needing it pays for that.

Then you get on with this silliness about the border.

I don't know why you doubt the Premier and his team. I put more trust in him than I would in you.

Patriot said...

To Anon 8:46 AM,

I'm glad you are so trusting but nobody is above being challenged or questioned. Nobody questioned Joey and look where that led.

When someone, anyone, including the current Premier becomes so blindly followed that nobody ever questions his actions it will be a dark day for this place. Premier's come and go. NL goes on.

Anonymous said...

The comment showing the 1912 act is interesting but doesn't mean much because it was before the 1927ruling.

The other comment quoting a member in the National Assembly means nothing because it's just someone speaking in the House. Members BS in the House all the time.

The 1927 ruling and is what really matters and even though I never questioned it before after reading that I'm wondering who really has control of the headwaters.

One comment on this site showed the ruling:

"...the boundary between Canada and Newfoundland in the Labrador Peninsula is a line drawn due north from the eastern boundary of the bay or harbour of Ance Sablon as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel until it reaches the Romaine River, and then northward along the left or east bank of that river and its head waters to their source, and from thence due north to the crest of the watershed or height of land there, and from thence westward and northward along the crest of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic..."

If you trace through all that the important part seems to be the part about:

northward along the east bank of that river and its head waters to their source, and then due north to the crest of the watershed or height of land there, then west and north along the crest of the watershed.

If the crest of the watershed or height of land means the top edge of the watershed this seems to say that it's really in Quebec, not Labrador.

Is there something I'm missing here? This is really interesting stuff!

WJM said...

Anonymous 10:25, (A) did you read what Henri Dorion said, and (B) do you have any idea who Henri Dorion is?

And yes, you are missing something: "and from thence westward along that parallel". That's why the boundary in southern Labrador follows the 52nd parallel.

USSR, thanks for quoting from my other site.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying to clarify this for me WJM. Yes, I do know how Henri Dorion is and I read what he said but like I said, words in the National Assembly don't make laws or legal boundarys.

Also, the 1927 decision says:

as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel UNTIL IT REACHES THE ROMAINe RIVER, AND THEN northward along the left or EAST BANK

If it's along the east bank doesn't that put the river itself in Quebec? Then going to the headland before going west again still sounds like it's all in Quebec to me.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Thanks for that USSR.

The 1927 ruling not decision was a long drawn out process that cost a bunch of money and studied and investigated a lot of historical claims and previously agreed upon boundaries.

It wasn't a one off it was a culmination of a lot of historical agreements and a very indepth process.

A process that both parties agreed to abide by the out come up front and in good faith at the time and once again at the time of confederation.

Stop wasting time with an issue that was and is settled.

The only time anyone should be concerned with that border is if and when our national governing parties allow national maps to be produced then and only then should we be concerned.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Just more Tilting at Windmills.


Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting otherwise-unwinnable battles. The word “tilt,” here, comes from jousting.

This idiomatic phrase originated in the novel Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, and is often used today in reference to persistent engagement in a futile activity. At one point in the novel, Don Quixote fights windmills that he imagines to be giants. Quixote sees the windmill blades as the giant's arms, for instance. Here is the relevant portion of the novel:

WJM said...

Also, the 1927 decision says:

as far as the fifty-second degree of north latitude, and from thence westward along that parallel UNTIL IT REACHES THE ROMAINe RIVER, AND THEN northward along the left or EAST BANK

If it's along the east bank doesn't that put the river itself in Quebec? Then going to the headland before going west again still sounds like it's all in Quebec to me.
The bed of the main stream of the river is in Quebec, yes.

However, the eastern half of the watershed and tributaries, north of 52, is in Labrador, not Quebec.

The bed of the main stream of a river is just one very small portion of its entire watershed.

Ussr said...

April 16, 2009 10:25 AM, “and from thence westward along that parallel".

I really don’t know how simple to explain it, if you have any family maybe you you sit down and get more involved in your home. I don’t want to sound rude anon, I simply believe more Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans need to get involved in their province. If you live on the Island portion of the province or in the Labrador region, you should feel blessed to be surrounded by the greatest, most loving people in the world.

There is no other culture as beautiful or as great as ours.

As for the points made, I would have to agree totally with your statements Ex-Pat. Quebec has had their referendum on the Labrador boundary, and they have basically agreed to the boundary by accepting power from the Upper ChurchHill.
As far as I can see Labrador controls the rights to those headwaters, and this is nothing more than sable rattling by Quebec to gain control over the Romaine. Quebec realizes that the time is coming to get as much hydro power they can out of that region.
If Prime Minister Williams wishes to do something before he leaves office ,maybe he should challenge the extension of the contract in either the world court , or secondly, the Canadian supreme court. Preferably, the first option, more than the second. We already know that Canada is going to side with Canada, or is that Quebec. Same pile anyway.Prime Minister Williams he can show his fighting spirit once again when Québec does go ahead and builds this project. Sad to say, I see the tables turning on Quebec in regards to these issues. But, who cares, if they are stupid enough to build it then we should be stupid enough to take them to the bank on it.

And, Wally, buddy. No problem my man, I find a lot of the web sites you read very interesting my friend. I know that our beliefs and politics are totally different Wally, but you’re a fellow countryman, and for that you receive my love and respect. Doesn’t mean that we are going to be swapping spit in the shower bud, because I still think you belong in left field, but those are your beliefs, and you’re entitled to them. Our forefathers fought and died for them, so I hope you enjoy them.

Still, if you think the sites you go to are clammy, you should see were Eddy and Simon go to, utterly disgusting to say the least. How can you spell treason in a common polite manner Patriot?

“Republic Of “

PS, the people of the Labrador region of our province have suffered enough. Its time Ottawa treated the entire province as equals before they turn out like me. Scary enough.

“Nuff Said.”