Da Legal Stuff...

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

UPDATED: Williams accuses Quebec of trying to scuttle power cable from Labrador

From VOCM News:

N.L. premier accuses Quebec of trying to scuttle power cable from Labrador
August 12, 2010

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador is accusing Quebec of trying to scuttle a plan to get surplus power from the province to Nova Scotia.

His government and Nova Scotia are trying to get funding for a subsea cable from Labrador across the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Breton.

He says both provinces have applied to the federal infrastructure program for help as a public-private partnership project.

Williams says he's been told that Quebec has sent a letter to Ottawa objecting to the application.
He says Quebec has no place sticking its nose in the affairs of Atlantic Canada.


The Globe and Mail is reporting today that:

Nova Scotia Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks said he learned of the objection from his staff.

“It disappoints me that Premier Charest would stoop to this level. He's out of line,” Mr. Estabrooks said.

“Mr. Charest, stick to your own business. Advocate positively on behalf of your province or region and don't put down another province or region for a purely political reason.”

Neither Mr. Charest or Natural Resources Minister Nathalie Normandeau were available to comment on Thursday.

But Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier, speaking on behalf of the government, said sending the letter to Ottawa is simply a matter of Quebec sticking up for itself.

“It's not putting our nose in any other province's matters,” Mr. Fournier said in a telephone interview.

“The fact that when a province asks the federal government to pay for transmission lines when Quebec or others paid by themselves, it's an unequal treatment of one province over the other.”

Mr. Fournier said sending the letter to Ottawa was necessary and his province's position is reasonable.

Web Talk has a question for Mr. Fournier: Why would Quebec consider transmission lines within a province to be the same as an undersea cable between provinces? Clearly they are not.

Since Ottawa controls the oceans inside the 200 mile limit (note how they control the fish stocks, oil, etc.) then it is natural that the provinces would expect any development outside provincial jursidiction (in other words under the ocean) to involve Ottawa. Perhaps when Quebec decides to run an undersea cable someplace (if they ever do) they should also contact Ottawa about having them pay a portion of the cost, until then perhaps he would be better advised to stick to his own business and butt out of the business of others.

Speaking of "subsidies" for power, hell Quebec residents have had their power subsidised by Ottawa and the Canadian taxpayers for decades.

They have the lowest power rates in Canada, why? Well, partly because of the cheap power they suck out of the Upper Churchill but also because they don't want to raise them and don't have to.

Hydro-Quebec is a Crown corporation owned by the government of Quebec. If they raised power rates to what most of us would consider to be "normal" levels it would increase the profits of Hydro-Quebec and in turn show up on the balance sheet of the Quebec provincial government. Those additional revenues would be deducted from Quebec's federal equalization payments. So they keep the rates low and still provide top notch government services by using equalization.

How's that for a power subsidy?

Clearly Mr. Fournier and his cabal of idiots are doing what everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador has come to expect from the Quebec government - Meddling for their own benefit at the expense of other provinces in Canada. Certainly nothing new in that.


Anonymous said...

Typical, they screwes us on the upper churchill and now they want to hold us hostage on the lower. If we don't sell (give it away) to them then we can't develop it.

What a crock this is. Damn bunch of crooks.

Altavistagoogle said...

I don't think Nova Scotians (or Americans) should have their power subsidized by the Canadian federal government.

If Quebec were really out to screw Newfoundland, they would build their own underwater cable to Nova Scotia.

Randy said...

So much for geographic knowledge. Quebec doesn't need to build an undersea cable to Nova Scotia, they can access it through New Brunswick.

As for Quebec wanting to screw NL, of course they do. They won't provide any access to allow NL to move power through Quebec and now they are trying to block the only other route for that power to reach market.

The constitution of Canada clearly states that no province shall block trade of another and electricity is specifically identied there. Unfortunately the feds won't enforce their own constitution.

You can call what is being requested a subsidy or not, depends on the point of view but when doing so don't forget all the money that flows into Quebec for supporting companies like Bombardier and Forestry industries. Don't forget all the other money Quebec and other provinces recieve for a myriad of reasons. They can all be considered subsidies.

This is a blatant attempt by Quebec to block the Lower Churchill development so they can retain their stranglehold on NL's power resources and force another catastrophic contract similar to the upper churchill.

Anonymous said...

What a crock of " Dung ".This is nothing more then the strong picking on the week to keep them in thier place.

And, we as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are suppoe to suck this up and love this country.

Canada makes me sick.What it preeches and what it does are two totally differant thing all together.Its a farce.

" Republic Of "

Anonymous said...

Quebec is acting as if it is a country rather than a province withing the country of Canada. So...what should Newfoundland & Labrador do regarding this treatment by Quebec? What a bully...like a bunch of children on the school playground. There isn't much regard for a fellow province. Only a need for greedy tactics.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is Marc from Quebec.

Newfoundland got a bad deal on the upper Churchill, no doubt about it! NFLD was a victim to a Federal Government largely controlled by Quebecers and in hindsight they were not acting in the national interest. Unfortunately, and I know this is probably small consolation, Quebec will end up being somewhat screwed by the deal too. Hydro Quebec, by reaping so much of its profits by a lopsided deal that will end in 2041 has grown into an inneficient monster, unable to reform because it does not have to. Quebec politicians are spooked at the prospect of the Churchill deal ending which we all know it eventually will. All NFLD has to do in 2041 is turn off the witch and the powers that be in the USA will make Quebec and NFLD negotiate a deal. This time NFLD will not be negotiating with a country hick (Smallwood).

I am amazed why Newfoundland does not hold a referendum on separation, I bet you would vote to go.

Anonymous said...

This situtation can easily be taken to the international courts....why isn't Newfoundland doing this?