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.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On Mainlanders, CFAs and the like

This post is personal to me. It's not about cold, abstract politics. Nor is it about personalities, graft or corruption. No, this post is what it means to be degraded. Degraded not for who you are as a person, as a father, as a husband, as a son. Not for what you have accomplished in life or the people you have touched along the way. No, this degradation is solely based on your place of birth.

While Newfoundlanders like to be seen as friendly and hospitable, there is an ugly side. People born outside the province, who move to the province, are referred to as "mainlanders" or "come from aways" (CFAs is the common term used). I have even heard the term "foreigners" used. The terms are not meant as playful labels. They are meant to separate the newcomers from those born in the province, and the implication is these newcomers are somehow inferior.

My first experience with this prejudice occurred during a political convention of the PC party in St. John's. Sitting in the audience, and taking in my first political convention here, it was a time of real excitement. Joining me was my wife who, along with me and my family, had uprooted our lives out west to return to my roots (more of that later). On the stage was a gentlemen named John Dinn. I didn't know him from Adam, but he was a MHA and I was eager to take in what he had to say. He began talking about Canadians and then he said the words that struck my heart: "but we are better than them". The crowd roared with approval.

In one short moment I was instantly alienated from the people of my forefathers. In that one instant I realized that there was a poison in the water. A need to look down on others for a sense of superiority. A deep routed, commonly cherished place to retreat where at least among ourselves there were those beneath us. I have come to believe, through life experience, that those that look down upon others are compensating for something lacking in their own soul. A sense that without that common arrogance we might just vanish as a people. The opposite of pride. A great inferiority complex. That to make ourselves strong we must keep others down.

I was shocked, and remain so, that the Newfoundland I was brought up with in family stories was so tragically different. You see, my people come from here. In 1820 my great-great grandfather emigrated to Newfoundland from Tipperary, Ireland, along with many others at that time. His name was Micheal O'Meagre. He settled in Bonavista Bay, and had three sons. Two sons, Catholics, married Protestant women in Greenspond, and were banished from the family - such was the religious intolerance of the day. The third son, my great grandfather, married a Hollohan from Summerville, settled on Burnt Island, and fathered a large family.

Times were hard then, and the two eldest boys went to Montreal to work in construction.  In 1907, while returning from Summerville to Burnt Island, my great grandfather William Maher (as the name had been changed to) and a Kelly were struck by the boom of his schooner, knocked over board, and their bodies were never found. My great grandmother struggled to feed her daughters after that, and they all moved to Montreal to join her sons - my grandmother being the youngest. They struggled, and yet they persevered.

I never knew my grandmother to ever look down her nose at another. She was a strong woman who spent her life looking after her family. She was quiet, wise and kind. The tragedies of her life, including losing her father at a young age, never broke her spirit or poisoned her temperment. Her stories of Newfoundland, and the family were always tempered with humility. Her pride came from deep within, and never at the expense of another.

It was with her spirit in mind that I moved to Newfoundland - in my mind returning to my roots, my ancestral home. Nothing prepared me to be seen as somehow unfit or inferior. Nothing prepared me to hear the anguish of my children as they suffered daily ridicule at school for being "dumb mainlanders" or "CFAs". Nothing can really prepare you for that kind of society-sanctioned hatred. Even in my own harbour. A local had asked to tie off his boat to my dock, which of course I agreed to. As is the case, we struck up our usual conversation. The topic switched to my children who had finally had enough degrading and moved back west with their mother. I explained to him why, and to my shock he began laughing. It was funny in his mind, as he explained, that Newfoundlanders were the butt of "Newfie" jokes, as he put it, and now the shoe was on the other foot. In disbelief I untied his boat. The sickness of deep hatred and contempt weighing heavy on my soul. Somehow, a victory could be stolen from the suffering of children?

My point in writing this blog is to shed a light. That hatred and false pride produce nothing but poison. Poison to the personal and collective soul. That Newfoundlanders can be proud of who they are without demeaning those that, by choice, become Newfoundlanders themselves. That there is no magic being born on these shores, but rather what is contributed while we live on them. That no society is of a pure blood strain, and emigration has always been a fact of life throughout Newfoundland's 500 year history. Without it there would be but a place. The pride and place that Newfoundlanders seem preoccupied with comes from lifting people up, and not tearing them down. A truly proud people are not disdainful of others, but welcome them as equals. This is the Newfoundland I hope to see. I say this as a Newfoundlander.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back Stabbing the People of Newfoundland and Labrador

Financial crunch, requiring deep cuts and discipline, is the state of our provincial government's finances according to our PC government. On the radio waves, on the tv, all we hear is the necessity for cuts and lay-offs, but is it true? Well, frankly no, it isn't.

Despite all the foreboding of impending doom, oil revenues for 2012, $ 2.8 billion, were the highest ever. The province recorded a whopping $883 million budget surplus for the year. Just another in a line of offshore oil fuelled surpluses. It is strangely odd then that the province would lay-off 1200 employees, affecting all those families as well, and cancel numerous programs - including the West Coast Training Centre today. The mantra is austerity. The tool is responsible care taking of the treasury, but is that real? No, not even close.

Consider this: between 2005 and 2012 the province received $12.25 billion in offshore oil revenue - that's an average of $1.3 billion a year since 2005. Now consider this: the gross debt of the province is actually larger today than it was back in 2003, before oil income bloated the coffers. Specifically, the gross debt in 2003 when the PCs took over was $12.8 billion. Today, as of March 31, 2012, our gross debt $13.4 billion. In other words, despite bringing in over a $12 billion in oil revenue since 2003, the province is over a billion dollars further in debt. How can that be possible? It's called poor decision making.

The gross debt is made up of primarily three things: borrowings; unfunded pension liabilities; and group health and life insurance retirement benefits for public employee and politicians. In 2003 net borrowing was $6.5 billion, unfunded pension liabilities stood at $3.56 billion, and group health and life was $1.05 billion. Nine years later, and $12.25 billion richer in oil money, the same categories looked like this: unfunded pension liability $3.09 billion; and group health and life $2.09 billion.

So, if all that oil money came in over the last while where did it go? Clearly the oil profits were not used to really reduce these retirement liabilities. Back in 2003, the provincial government had a total of cash saved and invested of $441,855 million. Today, that same bank account is almost $2.5 billion ($2,442,963,000 as of March 31, 2012 to be exact).

The revenue went way up. The spending went way up. The bills of the future went unpaid, and the difference was left in the bank. It begs the question: Why the austerity program with so much money squirrelled away? There is only one answer to that: Muskrat Falls. Before you roll your eyes and say here we go, take a moment. The memorandum of understanding regarding the federal loan guarantee for Muskrat Falls requires the province to have a down payment of 35% down before it will guarantee any loans.

The province's estimate of its share of the project is about $6.5 billion. Projects this size never come in on budget, and normally have a contingency fund of 25%. Given that, the province is looking at raising at least $8.25 billion. That means the federal loan guarantee would require them to raise about $2.9 billion for their down payment. They had $2.4 billion in the bank as of March 31, 2012.

Bottom line, the province is laying people off, cancelling programs, not expending department budgets in a desperate effort to bank their down payment for Muskrat Falls. Simple as that. We are expendable in the name of a dam. Ask the people who lost their jobs, or the groups that lost their funding or their schools. Ask those desperately waiting for the construction of hospitals, or road paving, or a number of any other services. It's a real point of curiosity that the issue of the funds in the bank is not a bone of contention in our media or for our opposition groups for that matter. It seems that the knife never stops striking the people of this province in the back.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time-Liberal Leaders

Disappointing. That sums it up. The recent Telegram article on the position of all five Liberal leadership candidates on Muskrat Falls was recently aired for public consumption. The reporter, James MacLeod, noted that the Liberals official position, including a vote against the project in the House of Assembly, has been solidly against the project. In his article MacLeod illustrated the readily apparent conflict between what the leadership candidates are saying now, and the position the Party has taken. Conflicted indeed.

There was the predictable: Cathy Bennett cheerleader full stop; Danny Dumaresque opposed full stop; Dwight Ball and Jim Bennett arguing the deal is done so make the best of it. The one most bizarre response came from Paul Antle.

I had very high hopes for Antle. A well educated man now a resident of Ontario, he seemed to bring some very needed business counter-balance to Cathy Bennett's blinders-firmly-on point of view on Muskrat Falls. Yet, after MacLeod's article, that hope seems fully dashed. Consider this quote attributed to Antle in the article:
"No one is going to stop a hydro development that is half-constructed. No one would do that in their right mind, but we can revisit how this thing is financially engineered." Think that quote through for a moment.

First thing that jumps to mind is that Muskrat Falls is nowhere close to being half built. The transmission lines, one third of the project haven't even cleared all the aboriginal and environmental hoops yet, let alone constructed. The Labrador-Island sub-sea cable system and conversion sites are not constructed at all, ditto for the maritime link, same goes for the powerhouse and dam at Muskrat Falls or the much debated reinforcement of the quick clay plagued North Spur. In fact, the only real work that has been half completed is the site clearing at Muskrat Falls.

There is the obvious political critique of this position. Within the last month the largest poll ever conducted on Muskrat Falls showed support for the development free-falling. A project that once enjoyed a solid 70% support by the public was now reduced to 49%. In effect, Antle's position may be alienating the majority of the electorate (when I say Antle you can include the majority of the candidates in that one). Then consider the positions of the other two parties. The NDP is becoming the only Party opposing the project, and the Liberals are being portrayed as essentially of the same mind as the terminally ill PC party. Not a position most would conclude is enviable. Does the Liberal Party really want to frame itself in the public mind as PC lite? Or perhaps even more damning: Liberal Tory, same old story? These are dangerous political waters to be in, and already one toe has been dipped in the water to check the temperature. As MacLeod said: "scrambled eggs".

Then there is Antle's statement that nobody in their right mind would halt a half built project. Really? Hmm. Don't tell the Ontario Liberal government that. They just did that very thing by cancelling two partially built natural gas plants designed to produce electricity. He should know that - he's a Liberal and he lives there in an Ottawa mansion. The cost to the Ontario taxpayers is $800 million plus, but they stopped throwing good money after bad - apparently. There are also cases like the hydro-dam being built in Brazil that have been halted half built. Some may argue that cancelling the contract with SNC Lavalin would create too much cost, yet Hydro-Quebec and a number of private corporations have done just that.

Apparently, these governments and corporations are not in their right mind? Or are they? Does the responsible person realize when they have made a mistake? Do they have the courage to stop the damage before it becomes financially fatal? The answer is yes they do, and they do it all the time. Antle, and the other Liberal leadership hopefuls have seemingly lost sight of the number one essential ingredient of all great leaders - courage of conviction. If you accept that Muskrat Falls is flawed then you must advocate it be halted until those flaws are corrected. It may be the case that those flaws cannot be corrected in a financially viable way. If that is the case then it must be halted permanently. No corporation would do any differently. The Board of Directors would be sanctioned by the shareholders if they acted in such a way. They would even be legally responsible for such a decision.

So what does all this boil down to? Well, frankly, a lack of judgement. If you portray yourself as a responsible guardian of the public purse, one that would treat that budget as if it were your own, then you must make that your position in all things relating to how you intend to govern. To paint all those who want to see this project stopped as not in their "right mind" is to disrespect us all. Frankly, we get a lot of that from the existing PC government. We certainly are not looking for that in the replacement government. Food for thought gents.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Cathy Bennett's Complex Muskrat Falls Case

 Cathy Bennett, poster child for the St. John's Board of Trade, owner of nine McDonald's franchises, fingers in many business pots, and former Chairman and Director of Nalcor Energy, has decided to try and secure the leadership of the provincial Liberals. On the face of it Bennett is a very unlikely Liberal. However, times are changing. Her provincial PC party is in a state of collapse and pragmatism demands a change of colours. The primary purpose of course in control of the provincial governments budget by the St. John's business crowd, but that isn't the focus of this post. The focus here is a curious statement made by Bennett when announcing her candidacy for the leadership of the Liberals.

According to Bennett, support for the Muskrat Falls project rests on "a complex interweaving of multiple business cases." Curious statement for the public to digest, and one which she gave no clarity to. However, for those of us doing in depth study on the Lower Churchill project it rang remarkably true. It was, in a way, a hint. We are all familiar with the arguments about selling power to Nova Scotia, the Labrador mines, the Island and so on. Each of these "business cases" requires the power be sold at a significant loss, which frankly doesn't make much sense from a financial point of view to most of us - these parts of the equation are frankly not that complex. However, there is one crucial, central, and strategic business case that nobody, and I mean nobody is or has spoken of.

To find out what that central business case is you have to go back to Danny Williams strategic plan entitled the "Energy Plan", and the energy warehouse. The stated primary purpose of the plan was to utilize all the province's energy sources to their maximum capacity - including the Upper Churchill. To that end he amended the Electrical Power Control Act to force water management agreements on companies proucing power on the same river. Considering the Upper Churchill was the only situation the amendments applied to the target was obvious as was the aim - take power from the Upper Churchill by forced recall. The premise is outlined in the words of Gilbert Bennett, Vice President of Nalcor in charge of Muskrat Falls:

"Gilbert Bennett: Section 2.1 of the Renewed Power Contract entitles Hydro Quebec to take the Continous Energy in each month, including during the winter...the average production at Churchill Falls is about 34 TWh. If we deduct the 2.36 TWh and 1.97 TWh for recall and Twinco respectively, we are left with approximately 29.7 TWh for HQ, or approximtely 2.5  TWh per month. Interestingly enough, this means the plant on average will deliver on average just
over 3470 MW for HQ + 525 for NLH/Twinco (or 3995MW out of 5428MW) over the course of the month, meaning tat while Hydro Quebec can have additional capacity, they can not have it all of the time, as they will exceed their energy allowance. This point ensures their will be lots of opportunities to withdraw stored enegy from CF, even in the winter.

Translation, Nalcor's big plan is to "withdraw", which is recall, roughly 1500 MW from the Upper Churchill and transfer it to the Island. Under such a scheme Nalcor would pay the same rate for that power as Hydro Quebec does - by 2016 .002 cents a KWH. In other words, the province gets the power of Gull Island, without building Gull Island, fot the same price Hydro Quebec gets its power for - a master stroke. The massive profits on the sale of that 1500 MW would subsidize all the losses of power sales, and contribute all that "revenue" we hear about. Then add in the two lines being built from the Upper Churchill, each capable of carrying 1000 MW, to Muskrat Falls and beyond. Then consider this comment from Nalcor's magazine called "Outlet", dated Winter 2010:
" The current 800 MW design (under sea cable) has the capacity to be increased by a further 1000 MW, without changes to the operating voltage or overhead transmission lines."

Bottom line, take the power. Most would say what a great plan. Except, its not constitutional, and therefore it is illegal. In a sense it is like stealing. This is the great plan of Williams and company - which most certainly includes Cathy Bennett.

As former Chairman of Nalcor, and director, Bennett would have been fully aware of all these plans. When she says it is "complex" she means she can't discuss it, because if she were to reveal that plan the Courts would consider it a deliberate plan rather than an unintended consequence. The province is relying on that constitutional defence. Unfortunately, any recall or taking of power beyond the 300 MW of recall allowed in thePower Contract is illegal - intended or not. So, yes, Cathy Bennett is right - it is complex. She should know. She helped get it through. She should have the courage to admit it. Now these issues are in front of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. Why? Because courage of conviction when it comes to protecting your own people from harm is the number one requirement of any leader of any political party. Complex indeed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Power Contract vs. the Water Management Agreement

What most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians do not understand is the Lower Churchill hydro development is built on one foundation - the Water Management Agreement imposed by the Public Utilities Board on CFLCO and therefore Hydro-Quebec. The other thing they are not readily aware of is that when this agreement is found unconstitutional there is no foundation to build the Lower Churchill dams.
The Supreme Court of Canada, in 1984, found the Reversion Act to be unconstitutional:

"Where, however, the pith and substance (true purpose) of the provincial enactment is the derogation from or elimination of extra-provincial rights then, even if it is cloaked in the proper constitutional form, it will be ultra vires (unconstitutional because it is outside the province's powers)."

When I stood in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador last month, challenging the Water Management Agreement (WMA), I outlined the many critical ways this agreement broke the Power Contract of 1969. I did so not to protect Quebec, but to stop our own government from delivering us to them. The following points were gone through point by point to illustrate to Madame Justice the depth of the betrayal. On this, Memorial Day in Newfoundland, I believe it is important to make these points public so the people of the province understand the sacrifice before it they are lead into it.

1. Power Contract:
"Recapture means any withholding from the power and energy agreed to be sold hereunder which may be made by CFLCO in accordance with the provisions of, and within the limits stipulated by, Section 6.6..."

No definition for recapture.

My take: Any power generated at the Upper Churchill, except the power allocated to Twin Co that now belongs to Nalcor, and the 300 MW allocated to the province, cannot be taken from the Upper Churchill facility. Key phrase here is: "made by CFLCO".

2. Power Contract:
"Applicable Law: This Power Contract shall at all times and in all respects be governed by, and interpreted in accordance with, the laws of the Province of Quebec."

"Applicable Law: This Agreement shall be construed, interpreted and enforced in accordance with, and the respective rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed by, the laws of the Province (NL) and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein, and each party hereby irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Province..."

My take: The Power Contract puts the rights of the contract in Quebec, and thereby all the powers of the contract. The WMA changes the location of those rights to NL, with the goal of changing constitutional jurisdiction. In other words, by way of legislation the government is attempting to alter the practical jurisdiction of Quebec over the operation of the Upper Churchill.

3. WMA
"Entire Agreement: This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements, undertakings, negotiations and discussions, whether written or oral."

My take: It pretty clear, the WMA states it is now the predominant agreement, which automatically subordinates the Power Contract and forces CFLCO to recognize the requirements of the WMA over those of the Power Contract between CFLCO and Hydro-Quebec.

4. Power Contract
"The parties hereto acknowledge that it is desirable for Hydro-Quebec to have the benefit of operational flexibility of CFLCO's facilities... Accordingly... Hydro -Quebec may request CFLCO to operate the Plant (includes reservoir) so as to supply Hydro-Quebec's schedule of power requirements...Hydro-Quebec may require deliveries which have the effect of varying the amount of water to be carried in storage at any time..."
"The Independent Coordinator (appointed by the NL government), shall, based on the information provided by the Suppliers (Nalcor and CFLCO), and in the exercise of reasonable judgement, establish short and long term Production Schedules for all the Production Facilities on the Churchill River...The Independent Coordinator shall determine the total power to be produced...The Independent Coordinator shall determine and prepare the Production Schedules which shall specify the amount of power to be produced by each Supplier's Production Facilities in accordance with this Agreement."

My take: It's pretty clear. The WMA takes the right of control of production given to Hydro-Quebec and gives it to the "independent coordinator" who is an appointee of the NL government.

5. Power Contract
"Either party may at any time, for the purpose of safeguarding human life or protecting from major damage the storage, generating or transmission facilities of CFLCO or the Hydro-Quebec system, discontinue or reduce, but only to the extent necessary, the supply of power and energy hereunder."

Power Contract
"The Firm Capacity shall be available at all times when Hydro-Quebec has requested it. In addition whenever additional capacity can, in the opinion of CFLCO, be made available, such capacity shall also be available to Hydro-Quebec on request."

"CFLCO and Nalcor shall adhere to the Production Schedules set by the Independent Coordinator... Each Supplier shall continue to have the same rights to store water in its reservoirs as it did prior to this agreement, while at the same time recognizing the requirement to, allow Energy Banking (the taking of power from the Upper Churchill from CFLCO to Nalcor) by the other Supplier pursuant to the terms of this Agreement."

My take: Under the Power Contract Hydro-Quebec has the rights to all the power produced at the Upper Churchill, and only loses control in case of a disaster or protecting its electrical system. Because it has first rights, any power taken from it, including so called Banked Energy to Nalcor would have to be purchased from Hydro-Quebec, unless it waived its rights to that power and money - which is highly unlikely. This is simply an attempt by Nalcor to force Hydro-Quebec to use or lose the power potential of the Upper Churchill - which conflicts with the Power Contract.

6. WMA
"In no event shall the generating Capability, storage capacity, or transmission Capability available to a Supplier from all Production Facilities on the Churchill River be less than the amounts of then available generating Capability, storage capacity, or transmission Capability of the Production Facilities owned by that Supplier on the Churchill River."

Power Contract
again: "The parties acknowledge that it is desirable for Hydro-Quebec to have the benefit of operational flexibility in relation to the Hydro-Quebec system. Accordingly: Hydro-Quebec may request CFLCO to operate the Plant so as to supply Hydro-Quebec's schedule of power requirements, provided that no such request shall be less than the Minimum Capacity...Hydro Quebec may require deliveries which have the effect of varying the amount of water to be carried in storage at any time..."

My take: The WMA here requires the Upper Churchill to operate at full capacity which gives Nalcor the flow of water they need to run the Lower Churchill dams. Without this clause, Hydro-Quebec could just keep running the dam for its requirements, as the Power Contract grants them the right to, and the Lower Churchill dams would be forced to run at just 20% capacity - a financial disaster.

7. WMA
"Energy Benefits: Energy Benefits for each Supplier shall be determined by the Water Management Committee, in accordance with the Agreement, for each period established by the Water Management Committee, which period shall not exceed a year...Energy Benefits means the Energy accruing to a Supplier for a period as a result of this Agreement in excess of the Energy that would be accrued to such Supplier for such period in the absence of this Agreement..."

Power Contract
Again "The Firm Capacity shall be available at all times when Hydro-Quebec has requested it. In addition whenever additional capacity can, in the opinion of CFLCO, be made available, such capacity shall also be available to Hydro-Quebec."

My take: The WMA gives the Water Management Committee the right to give power produced at the Upper Churchill to Nalcor, without a power purchase agreement with Hydro-Quebec to compensate it, at its terms, which translates into a forced recall of Upper Churchill power to Nalcor. In other words, Nalcor gets to take power that it has no right to, and doesn't pay anything for it. Great plan, except it's already proven law by the Supreme Court of Canada that this is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

8. Power Contract
" Force Majeure: contract not terminated. No event or force majeure or of default hereunder shall give rise to, or result in, the termination of this Power Contract..."

"Force Majeure means an event, condition or circumstance or combination of events, conditions or circumstances beyond the reasonable control and arising without the fault or negligence of the party making a claim to section 14.4 of this Agreement, including, without limitation:...(iv) action of any government, legislature, court or other governmental authority, compliance with applicable law, regulation or order if a governmental authority... An Effected Party shall be excused from the performance of its obligation hereunder or liability for Damages to the other party, if and to the extent it shall be delayed in or prevented from performing or carrying out any of the provisions of this Agreement, except the obligation to pay any amount when due..."

My take: In other words, while technically the agreement says the Power Contract can not be "adversely effected" it gives both CFLCO and Nalcor an out from respecting the contract by way of this WMA. It says a government action, regulation, act, etc can be a considered a Force Majeure, technically out of  the control of both CFLCO and Nalcor, yet both are owned primarily by the government. The effect of this clause is to give Nalcor and CFLCO legal cover from being sued by Hydro-Quebec for violating the Power Contract as they are simply following legislation. This clause makes obvious the government's intention to destroy Hydro-Quebec's rights under the Power Contract.

There are any number of additional issues with the WMA including such things as maintenance of the facility, and the like that also conflict with the Power Contract. What I have outlined above are some of the main points. What any Court must decide is whether or not the WMA "derogates" the terms of the Power Contract. If it does then its unconstitutional. Derogate is defined as: " To take away; detract. To deviate from a standard or expectation; to go astray." That is the standard the Supreme Court of Canada set down in the Reversion Act case of 1984. That decision was unanimous, and therefore that standard can not be altered by any court. The quote I placed in the second paragraph of this article rings loudly. Here is the second quote from that decision that you need to know:

"even if the flow of electricity to Quebec continued at the same rate and at the same price after coming into force of the Act, it would then be in the form of a privilege rather than an enforceable right. All this, in my opinion, points to one conclusion: the Reversion Act is a colourable attempt to interfere with the Power Contract and thus to derogate from the rights of Hydro-Quebec to receive an agreed amount of power at an agreed price."

A few of the local press, and some PC Party operatives have suggested what I am doing by challenging this agreement is assisting Hydro-Quebec. Some of my interested friends have noted that Hydro-Quebec hasn't said a word about it. Frankly, nobody has. Why? Well in Hydro-Quebec's case they are likely mad I've tripped up their ambush of Newfoundland and Labrador - waiting as they are for us to build it and then shutting us down in court..$10 billion later. In everyone else's case, well it's like a collective holding of the breath. So far at least $800 million has been spent by our government, and people cannot comprehend such a massive amount of money would be spent on something unconstitutional and therefore illegal. This also involves the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia.

Billions are at risk. The silence is deafening, but the facts remain.