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)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Can Alderon Iron Ore Have Their Power Lines?

Alderon Iron Ore Corp has been launching an all out offensive over the last three weeks to get their $300 million transmission lines run from the Upper Churchill facility to Lab West, and of course their Kami mine site. Without the power line, Alderon claims its Chinese financing will dry up within mere weeks, and the project will be moth balled. Alderon has been able to get Loud Labradorian MP Jones to screech for them. They have got the towns on board with agreements, and the hollering that comes from that. They even inked a deal with the Innu. They are crossing their "I's" and dotting their "T's" in a virtual hearts and minds campaign aimed at putting pressure on the ...PC government.

Pressuring the PC government? Aren't they supposed to be allies in the whole Muskrat Falls rah-rah team? That is the way it was til a short while ago. Now suddenly Alderon is threatening the taxpayers that if they don't come up with $240 million (our share of the $300 million) they will take their toys from the sand box and leave. The press are covering the whining. Dutifully printing out Alderon's words. Funny enough not allowing comments on the stories - at the CBC anyway. Yes, all in all, it's a typical Newfoundland railroading job on the taxpayers.

Strange that the media aren't asking a few really pertinent questions of our politicians like: 1. Does the Power Contract allow us to add any transmission systems to the Upper Churchill; Does the Shareholders Agreement of 1999 play a role; and why would we invest in a $300 million line when the Quebec lawsuit will be before the courts until at least 2018? Never hear a single word about these issues in our press. Not a word. Bizarre. Truly bizarre. Do we have an investigative press here at all, or is that simply restricted to why buddy had to wait three hours in the E.R.? Is all about the cat in the tree, or the skater, or the garbage collection? Is there not at least one press person, other than the true giants of media here (the open line show's hosts) that can look and report an issue in depth? Warn the people? Inform the people? Doesn't appear so, and that makes us truly unique in Canada.

Should we place one penny in the Alderon/Lab West transmission line? No. And frankly neither should Alderon's shareholders. Bottom line is without a court tested water management agreement, so there is actually power to send down the transmission line, and until Hydro-Quebec get's on board and allows the modification of the Upper Churchill facilities (which in the Power Contract includes roads, lines, town site, everything) no more power can be sent to Lab West - not one kwh.

It's time the government was honest with the people, and say: " Look we came to an agreement with Hydro-Quebec to swap documents and examine each other's witnesses, and that's agreed by court order to take to August 2015, then we go to court, and then we may have to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. We feel it would be irresponsible to spend money on a line like that until we are sure we can send power down it. Wouldn't be fair to taxpayers or Alderon's shareholders."

That would be the truth, but this government isn't known for being truthful. It is known to be manipulative, secretive, and hell bent on screwing us (Abitibi - case in point). If the PCs want to turn things around it will take baby steps with big impact. This will be a test for the "new" leadership. This is also a test for the opposition parties. Why would they promote this line given the circumstances? Is it all about politics or is there a sense of duty. A sense that there is a common sense voice that can be trusted? I guess we'll see, but decision makers be aware. The days of making deals to make the boys happy, and sacrifice the people, are over. Govern yourselves accordingly.  

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