Da Legal Stuff...

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feds urged to probe N.B. - Quebec power deal

The following appeared today in the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

Power play worries Tory senator
By STEPHEN MAHER Ottawa Bureau
Tue. Dec 15 - 4:45 AM

Sen. Lowell Murray is calling for the federal government to get involved in the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro-Quebec.

Speaking in the Senate chamber Monday, the Progressive Conservative said Ottawa cannot afford to stay out of the discussion on the proposed sale of NB Power because of the implications for interprovincial and international trade, and also because New Brunswick would be, in effect, ceding legislative power to Quebec, a "broad constitutional issue."

Mr. Murray, who was born in New Waterford and was minister of federal-provincial relations under former prime minister Brian Mulroney, warned that neighbouring provinces have reason to worry if Hydro-Quebec takes over NB Power’s transmission lines.

"The disappearance of the New Brunswick system operator sends an ominous signal," he said. "I will say as objectively as I can that Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have every reason to be concerned."

The federal government has stayed out of debate on the proposed deal, under which New Brunswick, in exchange for $4.8 billion, would hand over its power generation facilities and transmission lines to Hydro-Quebec and alter its regulatory legislation to comply with Quebec’s.

Premiers Darrell Dexter of Nova Scotia and Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador have asked New Brunswick to sign a letter promising they will have the right to build their own transmission lines through New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham has refused, pointing out that American regulators would guarantee that other provinces have the right to export power through New Brunswick.

The federal government should not allow that American intrusion into interprovincial trade, Mr. Murray argued.

"A policy of continued silence would be an implicit delegation of the federal government’s jurisdiction in this area of interprovincial and international trade to the USA Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Government of Quebec," he said.

"Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador would then be in the odd position of depending on the U.S. to protect their interests in Canadian interprovincial trade. If these interests are imperilled, it is surely the role of the federal government to protect them."

Newfoundland says Hydro-Quebec has already made it difficult to export electricity from Labrador to markets in New England, and it would be even harder if the Quebec utility controlled New Brunswick’s transmission lines.

Peter MacKay, Nova Scotia’s representative in cabinet, expressed concern last month in an interview with the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, N.B.

The deal "hasn’t given fair evaluation to what other alternatives may be out there — which would include Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island," he said.

"What are the alternatives to what has been presented by Hydro-Quebec? We don’t want to see any Atlantic Canadian provinces left out or left behind."


Reluctant NL Ex-Pat said...

If Nfld became a separate country, then, as a completely different entity, they would be under no obligation to honour any federal-provincial or inter-provincial agreements since 1949. This would include the Churchill Falls agreement. Nfld would then regain the billions of dollars that Quebec presently steals,as Quebec would be forced to renegotiate. As well, Nfld would recover the billions of dollars in offshore oil revenue that Ottawa presently extorts. As a separate country, Nfld could print their own sovereign,debt-free currency according to the appraised value of its oil and mineral resources. Nfld would be very prosperous indeed.

babe in boyland said...

wait a minute - aren't non-newfoundland-owned newspapers the enemy, never saying anything supportive or in the interest of newfoundland and labrador? why is it of such interest to you, web talk?

Anonymous said...

Gee Patriot, I really don’t want to speak for you and please don’t think that I am in any way trying to step on your toes here but that question which was asked by Babe is making it almost impossible for someone like me to ignore.

All I have to say babe is “The Independent “. Let’s look at what Mr. Cleary had accomplished with that local newspaper or, rather what wasn’t accomplished by it. When Mr. Cleary and the paper started to ask questions that displayed any kind of interest towards the province it came under attack from all directions. Asking questions that many did not like lead to advertising problems for the paper, and eventually, with the lack of advertising dollars coming in, the paper had to close. So, to come here and ask “Aren’t all foreign owned papers the enemy “, I would have to say a big resounding “NO “. It’s not the paper, but those that have come here using their newspaper to spread their ideology and propaganda.

Let’s have a Look at the telegram for instance. As Myles has pointed out, Hydro Quebec, and its profits mainly come from power generated from Labrador. Are you going to sit in mom’s basement and tell me that the telegram is going to be “OBJECTIVE “when it comes to Hydro Quebec?

So with hat said I’m just going to pray that Patriot can or will have this reply posted and I do wait to hear what interesting and provocative remarks you have to say about that situation.

“Republic Of

Jingles said...

Reluctant NL Ex-Pat..May I use your comments to send to a person who is a blogger who has made derogatory comments regarding Newfoundland?

Patriot said...

It's of interest because it was a story written about a subject that was NEWS (I use caps hoping it will get though to you). It wasn't a biased editorial by some A-hole with an agenda and it wasn't some corporate spin put out by vested interests.

Where it was reported has nothing to do with the senator or what HE had to say.(again caps for you to focus on)

If you have a position on the issue or on what the senator had to say then make your point but stupid comments about why I posted something from a newspaper is so juvinile as to make me wonder why I wasted my time responding. Oh well, it's done now.

Anonymous said...

It's a no brainer people. NL needs to take care of herself,if you expect Ottawa to go up against Quebec on this one THINK AGAIN.
NL needs to develop the lower churchill,lay a submarine cable to island and provide cheep electricity to its people and industry. In 2041 when NF regains control of the upper churchill, this power can be used to futher provide cheep electricity rates. These cheep electricity rates will attract INDUSTRY and hence jobs to the provance.