This is no great surprise to me. Rather, it's simply a sad confirmation of the warning I've given over and over to the Newfoundland back room types that have paraded to my door in Hickman's Harbour "for coffee". Yes, believe it or not, the same people that have ridiculed me for half a decade really want to know what I think - just not publicly. I suppose to do otherwise would be having to admit they don't know what the hell they're doing, and need help from the guy they decided to publicly humiliate here. Oh well, the wheel turns. A big thank-you to my wife who barely holds her contempt for them while they sip their Tim Hortons in the living room.
I've always been a Newfoundland patriot. I moved here to be that person. To rediscover my Newfoundland roots, and to offer what I could to the place. I suppose that's what most people do when they move somewhere. For me it was personal though. My Grandmother was a Newfoundlander, and I loved and respected her dearly. However, my Grandfather was a Quebecer, who I never knew as he died before my birth. My father was a by product of both - an Irish home where English was all that was spoken, immersed in a culture of French vs. English politics. I grew up with an understanding of the Newfoundland fighting spirit and the French strategic thinking. Obviously, like any child born in a "mixed marriage", I chose a side that was closest to my heart, and moved to Newfoundland.
That being said, the very first thing I became aware of was the complete lack of strategic thinking in Newfoundland. Essentially all fight and no thinking was the over arching theme I found here. I saw the pied pipers leading the people here down the garden path and right into devastation. Not just financial devastation, but also territorial devastation. The complete abyss. that is the real reason I ran for the PC leadership back in 2011. The uppity come from away who thought he knew better than the Newfoundlanders already in place. It's the same reason I ran for the Liberal leadership a short time later - albeit with more invites to run there than within the PC crew. The bottom line is I was desperately trying to stop what is now taking place today - essentially throwing myself under the bus for the place. That sounds soppy, but the truth is the truth. There will be those that say "Oh Cabana's getting on with his Messiah complex", but I say to them: Who was right and who was wrong. Giving everything means you care enough to.
Now, with the recent decision in Quebec Superior Court (which was predicted and totally predictable), Quebec has its hands at our throats. Williams and Dunderdale always spewed that they had to "break the stranglehold" of Quebec over the development of Labrador, but the reality is they simply handed Quebec our throats. With our Water Management Agreement now utterly useless, and the project still being built, Quebec can hardly believe that Newfoundland's elite has been frankly that stupid. They are rubbing their hands in glee, and mocking Newfoundland now: "Here, we'll throw you that 1000 MW of power you always wanted, now get out of our Labrador". Literally, they are laughing at us, but who wouldn't. Our political elite gave it to them.
Williams recently appeared in the media screaming about Hydro-Quebec visiting the Muskrat Falls site, and warning of a cave in to Quebec. It reminded me of PC leader Paul Davis's warnings during the election that the Liberals would lay off civil servants and cut programs, when in reality he knew full well he left them few options but to. Williams defiant comments that we are " not roadkill" and should not be "on our knees" to Quebec strike the highest note of irony considering it was his "strategic" moves that placed us in that exact position. All totally foreseeable, except for those who refused to see - which was almost everyone in the province.
So now the piper must be paid, and the big question is how. How to recuse a white elephant that may cost $15 billion, and can only produce about 150 MW without that Water Management Agreement that we just lost out on in Court - although the b'ys here still don't have the courage to admit that to the people of the Province. Stan Marshall simply lied in a teleconference about it, and when chased by reporters with specific questions the line for the teleconference suddenly went dead. Dwight Ball hasn't spoken on it once to the media. The greatest court loss in the province's history and no comment. Instead, Williams is right on this one thing, our brain trust are on their knees over at Hydro-Quebec's office in Montreal, and the Prime Minister's office in Ottawa. They're trying to pull the old "come on b'ys, we're loveable, give us a break here, there must be something we can do to make all this go away". The answer came from Gingras: "give us Labrador". We hold all the cards. We own the Prime Minister.
Now all the people of Newfoundland hear is deathly silence. Nalcor says boldly: "we will appeal that decision", and in somewhat more hushed tones "but we will abide by the decision in the mean time". Like they had a choice. The elite in Quebec have set Newfoundland up, and they aren't about to play boy scout and let Newfoundland out of the trap. Harper's gift of a federal loan guarantee was always, and obviously, a poisoned chalice. The man hated Newfoundland. That just wasn't that difficult to see. They handed this province a rope and we hung ourselves - or perhaps more accurately our "elite" hung us for the riches they would receive. The truth is there are now no longer any good options. There are only bad, and really bad options. Surrender Labrador of bankrupt all of Newfoundland and Labrador - then Quebec will come in and pick it up for a cent on the dollar. Surrender the Upper Churchill and Quebec will control Labrador in every way but name. Etc.
There is of course the independence movement in Labrador that is being fanned covertly by Quebec. Most people don't realize that Quebec has its own "intelligence service". It is in every location where Quebec has strategic financial interests - including places like China where Hydro-Quebec is deeply involved. Its service targets the decision makers and influencers in these strategic markets to further its overall goals. One of those very important goals is Labrador. In case you didn't realize it, after the French language, the territorial goals of a "greater" Quebec rank a close second. In other words, Quebec will stop at nothing to take Labrador. To think otherwise is to seriously underestimate the enemy. There is already a great deal of evidence on the ground that Quebec's "intelligence service" is fully engaged, under the radar, promoting Labrador separatism. By the way, check out the recent court decision in Quebec for a hint of where Quebec is at with Labrador. The deciding judge refers to the "Government of Newfoundland" through out his decision. There is no "and Labrador" attached to the title...
For me, I suppose, it was a fight worth having, but you can't help those who won't help themselves. I recall being labelled a "dangerous zealot" by a certain radio host here over my fight to stop what's happening now. When you're labelled that way by those you consider dear, and fellow patriots, it's hard to take anything more from the conversation. I sacrificed financially, and my family sacrificed much more, in the fight to stop this. Now all that is left to do is watch the surrender of our province - which is a hard pill to swallow.