Mark this day, the 18th day of November, 2010 on your calender and heart. Today our Premier, Danny Williams, announced a deal to develop the Lower Churchill. It was also signed by the Premier of Nova Scotia, NALCOR energy of Newfoundland and Labrador, Emera Energy, and the Innu people's representatives. A deal that will establish a power plant at Muskrat Falls, Labrador with power lines and sub-sea cables ending at North Sydney, Nova Scotia. A hybrid of private enterprise and Crown corporations. A partnership between two, and likely three, Atlantic provinces. In short, the people who live here for the people who live here. As it should be.
This is not the massive octopus that is Hydro Quebec, GDF Suez, and Enbridge. Put in another way: the Quebec government, the French government, and natural gas. You see Hydro Quebec is not just a little power company minding it's own business in northern Quebec. In reality Hydro Quebec is a huge multi-national corporation, with strategic partners that are foreign to this country, and are involved in: electrical power, natural gas distribution, banking, telecommunications, and even small water companies. Despite being prohibited from operating outside Quebec by their founding charter, Hydro Quebec owns several American power companies. They get around this by owning holding companies such as Noverco, Meg Holdings, and the list goes on. They own American companies such as Bucksport Energy (Maine), Green Mountain Power (Vermont), and Vermont Gas Systems (Vermont) among others. In the same week as Hydro Quebec made an offer to purchase New Brunswick's power utlity GDF Suez purchased a Montreal electrical company that will supply all of Hydro Quebec's power transformers up to 100 MVA. Not to mention the 800 million dollar liquified gas plant near Quebec city that GDF Suez is planning on building.
No our little deal is nothing like that. We do not have a foreign country involved in our strategic alliance. What we need is OUR federal government to come in and do the right thing. This is where you come in Mr Harper.
We expect, and when I say we expect - I mean we expect, the federal government to satisfy it's national obligations to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Those obligations are: to provide the requested funding to subsidize the construction of the sub-sea cable links as per the joint provincial request for said subsidies; to provide loan guarantees for the construction of the project; and last, but NOT least, complete it's obligations under the New Dawn Agreement between the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Innu peoples of the province. This must be done without delay.
You may ask why should the federal government become involved, and why should it offer up the loan guarantees. Simple. This Province is owed atleast that. It has been living under a draconian agreement since 1969 that has taken 22 billion dollars from the economy thus far, and will take a further 75-90 billion dollars before it expires in 2041. The federal government, despite the usual separatist politics, should have stepped in years if not generations ago to right this wrong - but chose to turn a blind eye. Now the inevitable result of that policy is here. This current deal is the best case scenario for Canada now. Should the federal government not follow through, and do the right thing, I suspect Newfoundland and Labrador could be in the balance. There is such a feeling of treachery in the province that should the federal government side with Hydro Quebec (Quebec) on this issue the end result would be catastrophic and tragic.
Mr Harper, rise above the politics, rise above your connections, and do the right thing by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Do it now.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)