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Friday, March 26, 2010

Celebrating New Brunswick's Place in History

On behalf of Web Talk - Newfoundland and Labrador I would like to take a moment to congratulate the people of New Brunswick on the successful struggle they have just waged, and won, to protect their future and their right to a democratic voice.

It isn’t often in Canada that such a monumental battle is waged over such an extended period of time. It is even less often that a people are willing to put aside their differences, be they religious, political, ethnic or social, in order to band together, as one, for the common good.

As is often the case in situations such as this, it will likely be years, perhaps even generations, before anyone can fully comprehend what this day means, not only for the people of New Brunswick, but for all Atlantic Canadians and perhaps for all of Canada.

The economic and political implications of Quebec dominance over the power markets of Atlantic Canada and the Eastern U.S. may well have been a tipping point, had it come to pass, in the very future of the entire Nation.

Those implications aside, on the New Brunswick home front, the political shock waves this struggle has sent through the provincial government will surely be felt by every future leader in that province.

From this day forward, whenever a government decides to force its will on the people of New Brunswick they cannot help but have at the back of their minds the political implications of such a massive, sustained, dedicated, focused, well organized and surperbly executed public opposition.

Here in Newfoundland and Labrador our people know all too well the implications of rushing into any sort of agreement with Hydro-Quebec. Thankfully the citizens of New Brunswick have learned from our history and the milstone we must carry.

They have overcome, as we hope we shall also overcome one day.

The first page of text from the story of Brinco and Churchill Falls contains a quote which reads:

“All those who have studied the past from the standpoint of economics, and especially those who have studied economic geography, are aware that, from the material point of view, history is primarily the story of the increasing ability of man to reach and control energy.”

Those words were written by the American historian and author, Allan Nivens, and how true they are.

Energy is the backbone and lifeblood of all civilizations and, as the old adage goes, history is written by the victors.

Today, in New Brunswick, it is the people, every man, woman and child who are the victors and it is they who have written a new future for themselves. They have also, in time, written a great historical legacy, not only for themselves, but for all of Atlantic Canada and the entire Nation of Canada.

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