Province spends $8M on fees linked to expropriation

Rob Antle
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The provincial government expects professional and legal fees linked to the expropriation of AbitibiBowater's rights and properties in central Newfoundland to total more than $8 million for the just-ending fiscal year.

The disclosure came in a line item of the 2010 budget estimates.

The government originally expected to spend $373,500 in 2009-10 on professional services related to energy policy in the Department of Natural Resources.

The provincial government expects professional and legal fees linked to the expropriation of AbitibiBowater's rights and properties in central Newfoundland to total more than $8 million for the just-ending fiscal year.

The disclosure came in a line item of the 2010 budget estimates.

The government originally expected to spend $373,500 in 2009-10 on professional services related to energy policy in the Department of Natural Resources.

But financial documents released last week indicate the province will, instead, fork out more than $8.3 million.

The Department of Natural Resources said the amount will cover the estimated costs in 2009-10 of professional services related to the expropriation of Abitibi timber and water rights in the province, and resulting environmental liabilities.

That includes environmental assessments, legal work and advice associated with Abitibi's NAFTA challenge of the expropriation and the timber giant's ongoing court bankruptcy protection proceedings.

Last week, a Quebec judge stayed Newfoundland and Labrador's environmental claims against AbitibiBowater.

According to Canwest News Service, Quebec Superior Court Justice Clement Gascon urged both sides to find "an appropriate forum" in which to settle their differences.

The province had effectively been seeking preferential treatment for its environmental claims.

The cost of cleaning up the five sites in question has been estimated by Abitibi's bankruptcy monitor to potentially reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Environment Minister Charlene Johnson told The Telegram last week that the province is now weighing its options on how to proceed.

Newfoundland and Labrador and Abitibi have been at loggerheads since the Williams administration stripped the now-insolvent paper giant of its lands, timber and water rights in December 2008.

Abitibi has filed a North American Free Trade Agreement complaint challenging the expropriation.

The costs related to the Abitibi expropriation showed up in a financial line item related to energy policy, specifically the electricity industry and oil and gas sector.

Government officials indicated the additional expenses turned up there because the energy branch had enough room in its budget to cover the costs.

The Department of Natural Resources declined to provide a breakdown of who got the $8-plus-million in cash, indicating The Telegram would have to file a formal request under the province's access to information laws.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, AbitibiBowater, The Telegram Canwest News Service

Geographic location: Abitibi, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec

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Recent comments

  • Look at
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Maybe the profits being generated from the former AB Hydro Electric and funnelled into NALCOR should be used for the cleanup instead. One resource funding another for a change. Right now we do not even have an idea of just how much has been made by selling over priced power to the residents of this province and then taxed. But we sure see no problems with our government handing over millions in our taxes for nothing more then to fill the accounts of a few greedy politicians in this province and their lawyer buddies. It is time to have a criminal investigation into this. People need to be held accountable, and it starts at the top as one likes to remind us all of. DANNY.

  • Penney
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    NL won't be paying for any NAFTA case. NAFTA is an agreement between Ottawa and Washington - if there's a case Ottawa will be arguing it.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Why should anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador have to file under acces to information laws? If the province awards a contract for road construction they tell us right out in the news release. Why should services be any different? Or are they trying to cover up that they didn't Publicly Tender and picked a buddy?

  • Manuel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I dont work for the government. i make my money legal way.
    Im sure when you check the records youll see how many tax breaks they recieved. I didnt hear you step up to bat when all those workers were in the process of loosing all their pension money.
    Have you checked how much back taxes they owe to your government? Maybe speak to a few of the workers that were on strike everytime the companie decided not to negotiate with the workers. They will fill you in on just what types of shady deals took place with this company.
    Maybe we can discuss the environmental damage they have done and covered up? is that were you wanted your money to go? Help this company cover up more of the mess they made or money they have wasted on salaries for the so called top shots that are supposed to be running the company.
    This company started going into red and new what was coming. Instead of doing something sensible they go ahead give raises to the management and waste millions of dollars on expenditures every year. Then when it went under it was discovered the money for pensions wasnt there.
    Im real glad your not running this province. it would be a matter of weeks before we were completely bankrupt as a province.

  • Penney
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Don from Newfoundland and Labrador:

    Abitibi may well not win the case. It's comical how so many pundits with zero legal training think this one has already been decided or will only go the one way. The land and water Abitibi had were given to it in return for operating a mill. They stopped operating so a mill so what do you think would be the natural consequence? I think this was a good and appropriate move on the province's part. The mill was going to be shut down and the province acted to ensure these resources would not be alienated from the province. Ottawa signed onto NAFTA and it can deal with the challenge if it sees fit to do so.

  • I C Clearly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Tom writes 'dont forget the value of the hydro dam we took back is making 4 times that much electricity for NALCOR every year now, so big frigging deal. Tom, you are too green to burn. The province will have tp pay Abitibi and the other rightful owners of the hydro assets and associated long term contracts fair market value. The province will not gain from this exercise. We will still be out the litigation costs and will have to assume debt to pay for something that brings no additional benefit. That is not a profit, that is shifting an asset from the private sector's balance sheet to the province's.

  • i see the lite
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    just reading comments and i made a statement before when this stuff started i said i didn't want my hard earned cash going for the clean up of a company who worked and toiled the people of this province for years I alst stated at that time that it would cost about 10 million not a bad guess was it Today I say the same thing I don't want my hard earned money paying the cost of big corperations blunders while we have people here in nfld starving and waiting for momths for treatments because we can't afford to [pay drs money that those companys sucks from us I voted for pc last three times I now can't afford to vote for them any more

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    What ??? $8m unbelievable !!! Someone should get shot for that.

  • robroy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    OH MY. MY BLOOD IS BOILING. PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE ARE HURTING. LOW INCOME PEOPLE. PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DISABILITIES LOVE IN THE HIGHEST FORM OF POVERTY IMAGIABLE.i HAVE A DAUGHTER WHO RECIEVES 150.00 A MONTH TO LIVE ON. WE LIVE IN CBS. iF SHE WANTS TO GO TO TOWN TO A DOCTORS APPOINTM.IT COSTS
    $52 RETURN.SO THATS 98 DOLLARS IF SHE ONLY HAS TO GO ONCE A MONTH. NOT BAD FOR A HAVE PROVINCE. OH I FORGOT ONE MEDICAL PROCEDURE SHE HAS TO DO THE SUPPLIES COST 55 A MONTH AND, NO PEOPLE' DISPITE WHAT YOU MAY BELIEVE, THE GOVERNMENT DON'T PAY FOR IT. IF i NEVER WORKED MAKING 30,000 A YEAR AND TRYING TO PAY A MORTGAGE AND ALL.SHE WOULD PROLLY GET MORE

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    $373,500 to EIGHT MILLION, not including the clean up and the NAFTA case. Danny showing that business sense for sure.

    You Danny Supporters need to start donating to his cause since the rest of the sane population has had enough of his ego and waste and will not be submitting taxes to a government that has demonstrated such negligent disregard for fiscal responsibility.

    No freakin wonder we are a HAVE NOT AGAIN with this waste.

  • rdgm
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    not bad pay for the lawyers considering they thought they had excluded the mill from the expropriation but then belatedly figured out they hadn't and instead inherited the clean up bill...???

  • Manuel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I would like to see each and every one of you people commenting here try to even attempt to clean up the sites mentioned or pay the money needed to fight back against a company who for years screwed every Newfoundlaner that ever worked for it for anything less then what is mentioned in this report. Far as im concerned it will cost more then this. There is alot of work to do here. Do you think that the power plant will be just shut down and left to rot away or the lumber and paper plants left their to rot? Would you rather see them do this and invest a small nominal amount to start making money off it or say the hell with it and leave it there for it to fall down and rot away and then have to spend more to clean up all the enviromental damage caused by all this stuff? Do you think its a seasy as syaing i am tkaing it back and thats it?
    What a very small minded group of people that seem to read the telegram. Maybe it is time to make these people complete an intelligence test and not match the letters to post.

  • I C Clearly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    What's next Manny - a youtube video 'Leave Danny Alone'? Did you ever stop to consider for 1 second that the path taken was not necessarily the best one? This government coveted the hydro assets that Abitibi had and forced the shut-down to pave the way for expropriation. Meanwhile, over in Corner Brook, the same government is throwing another 20-odd million to help the mill there remain open. Please, explain for us, the difference between the two situations?
    If Abitibi hadn't been forced out, they would still be responsible for the clean up and could be negotiated with to ensure that it occured over time. Instead, Williams blindly charged ahead, took the hydro assets for NALCOR's balance sheet and turned his back on the company, the employees, and the town. Speaking of ignorance, there is no clean up associated with the hydro assets - they are as clean as a whistle. I suggest that you spend less time with your fingers on the keyboard and more time reading the facts - it's obvious that you have no clue of what they are.
    And Penny, the last time that I checked, every citizen of this province is a Canadian. The federal governement will have to recoup the cost of the NAFTA challenge from our taxes. The cost of remedy (i.e. paying market value for the hydro assets) will be borne entirely from NL. It's people like you passing off our debts to the rest of Canada that give our province a bad name. Grow up.

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    An investigative reporter ------ what a novel idea for journalism . Job well done Mr. Antle .

  • TOm
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    My God people. You would not know if this was the end of the world. The legal process has been expensive, but dont forget the value of the hydro dam we took back is making 4 times that much electricity for NALCOR every year now, so big frigging deal. 8 million to take back hundreds of millions dollars worth of our resources. Pretty good deal if you ask me. But of course Nasty Nate just loves to rip on Danny when ever he can, even though his arguments are always full of holes like his head.

  • What a
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    So we see that this government has tried to play with the numbers yet again. Such a shame that people do not care enough to stand up to waste of tax dollars. How much more can thins government be permitted to burn away before we will stand up and say enough is enough?

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Manual Clark, you must have been late getting your computer fired up at your Government office this morning. I have heard people complain about the companies that have come to Newfoundland and Labrador over the years to create jobs. Maybe these companies were not the greatest places to work at, but if these companies had not set up in business here, all the people who are complaining about them would have had to migrate to Ontario or Alberta to get a job where they could complain about the company they were working for out there!!! Get real. Penney from NL: You are right, when Abitibi wins the NAFTA case, it is the Government of Canada in Ottawa who must pay the cost. However, you can be sure that Ottawa will get that five hundred million plus out of Newfoundland and Labrador one way or the other. No free rides for us, make no mistake about that. Danny made the blunder, Ottawa will pay the price of his mistake and Newfoundland will pay even more back to Ottawa in the end.

  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    So where are all of the Koolaid drinkers this morning? It sure is taking them along time to spin this one around to make Danny look good. This is only a drop in the bucket compared to what we are going to pay.

  • Ernie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Something smells rotten here. Who got all that money? Dan the man is costing us a LOT of money for his little tyrannical transgressions. He tried to hide that money in another department hoping no one would notice. Listen people, forget about those access to information laws, Dan the man has neutered them. Who was that guy who was shooting off his mouth about doctors' salaries a short while ago? What was it that person was saying about outrageous expenses? Talk about a hypocrit. Dan the man doesn't give a darn about anything but his ego, and when he is finally booted out of office, he won't look back because he simply doesn't care. He'll be in Florida. Florida Dan the Floridian.

  • PierreNeary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    This needs to be looked into by the AG. The fact that he government tried to sweep this under the rug is disturbing. An investigation is warrented here.

  • Joan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    What a bunch of crooks we have in government these days

  • I C Clearly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    8 Million - and counting. I wonder if Government had directed that money to the mill when they were originally experiencing financial difficulties, would it still be open today? A stitch in time saves nine, and in this case, the province would be at least 32 Million to the better, and there would still be people working and earning paycheques in GFW. I would much rather see my tax dollars used directly to subsidize an important industry than lining the pockets of Duckworth Street and Montreal based shysters.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Did those lawyers have offices on Water Street, Bay Street, or boulevard Rene-Levesque?

    Legal make-work project... but for which province?

  • Danny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    You voted for him, you cheer him on, and you silence all those who dare criticize him....

    Thanks millions.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Good work Rob Antle. Keep digging and you will unearth most of the details and the real reasons why Abitibi was expropriated on orders from the Premier. A lot of politically well connected folks are making big money from this expropriation. I suspect they will make much more money on this expropriation which should never have been allowed to proceed. Who will eventually end up with the timber rights which were taken from Abitibi? How much money has NALCOR made selling power generated from Abitibi hydro-electric facilities which were also taken from them? What will the cost of environmental cleanup of former Abitibi properties be? How much will the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have to pay? What do Cabinet documents reveal about this questionable expropriation? That's enough for now Mr. Antle, that much should keep you busy for a while. I think that Rob Antle should get a raise in pay to investigate this story!

  • amused
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    And nerry a copper for a 'Labrador Air Ambulance.......OOOhhhh, the chicanery of if it all!!! 8 million bucks would have gone a pretty fair distance there, eh Dan??

  • Newfie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Holy cow, talk about fees that are over the top . Estimate $300,000 to $8,000,000. That's a big difference!

    What did these lawyers do, they didn't even win their case, the $200,000,000 lawsuit was thrown out of court?

    Oh right, Danny is a Lawyer.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    The haters are right, we can't win. We should suck it up, pay Abitibi Bowater the 500 million they believe 'THEIR' assets are worth and forget the whole thing ever happened, lol. Those of you who await the positive spin? You need only look at the cash these assets have generated over the small time NL has owned them. How much? Any takers? Total cash, minus eight million. Show us all how severely real facts can confuse, lol. Hint: It's much more than the 8 million spent and remember, it could easily belong to another country by now.

  • Look at
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Maybe the profits being generated from the former AB Hydro Electric and funnelled into NALCOR should be used for the cleanup instead. One resource funding another for a change. Right now we do not even have an idea of just how much has been made by selling over priced power to the residents of this province and then taxed. But we sure see no problems with our government handing over millions in our taxes for nothing more then to fill the accounts of a few greedy politicians in this province and their lawyer buddies. It is time to have a criminal investigation into this. People need to be held accountable, and it starts at the top as one likes to remind us all of. DANNY.

  • Penney
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    NL won't be paying for any NAFTA case. NAFTA is an agreement between Ottawa and Washington - if there's a case Ottawa will be arguing it.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Why should anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador have to file under acces to information laws? If the province awards a contract for road construction they tell us right out in the news release. Why should services be any different? Or are they trying to cover up that they didn't Publicly Tender and picked a buddy?

  • Manuel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I dont work for the government. i make my money legal way.
    Im sure when you check the records youll see how many tax breaks they recieved. I didnt hear you step up to bat when all those workers were in the process of loosing all their pension money.
    Have you checked how much back taxes they owe to your government? Maybe speak to a few of the workers that were on strike everytime the companie decided not to negotiate with the workers. They will fill you in on just what types of shady deals took place with this company.
    Maybe we can discuss the environmental damage they have done and covered up? is that were you wanted your money to go? Help this company cover up more of the mess they made or money they have wasted on salaries for the so called top shots that are supposed to be running the company.
    This company started going into red and new what was coming. Instead of doing something sensible they go ahead give raises to the management and waste millions of dollars on expenditures every year. Then when it went under it was discovered the money for pensions wasnt there.
    Im real glad your not running this province. it would be a matter of weeks before we were completely bankrupt as a province.

  • Penney
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Don from Newfoundland and Labrador:

    Abitibi may well not win the case. It's comical how so many pundits with zero legal training think this one has already been decided or will only go the one way. The land and water Abitibi had were given to it in return for operating a mill. They stopped operating so a mill so what do you think would be the natural consequence? I think this was a good and appropriate move on the province's part. The mill was going to be shut down and the province acted to ensure these resources would not be alienated from the province. Ottawa signed onto NAFTA and it can deal with the challenge if it sees fit to do so.

  • I C Clearly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Tom writes 'dont forget the value of the hydro dam we took back is making 4 times that much electricity for NALCOR every year now, so big frigging deal. Tom, you are too green to burn. The province will have tp pay Abitibi and the other rightful owners of the hydro assets and associated long term contracts fair market value. The province will not gain from this exercise. We will still be out the litigation costs and will have to assume debt to pay for something that brings no additional benefit. That is not a profit, that is shifting an asset from the private sector's balance sheet to the province's.

  • i see the lite
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    just reading comments and i made a statement before when this stuff started i said i didn't want my hard earned cash going for the clean up of a company who worked and toiled the people of this province for years I alst stated at that time that it would cost about 10 million not a bad guess was it Today I say the same thing I don't want my hard earned money paying the cost of big corperations blunders while we have people here in nfld starving and waiting for momths for treatments because we can't afford to [pay drs money that those companys sucks from us I voted for pc last three times I now can't afford to vote for them any more

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    What ??? $8m unbelievable !!! Someone should get shot for that.

  • robroy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    OH MY. MY BLOOD IS BOILING. PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE ARE HURTING. LOW INCOME PEOPLE. PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DISABILITIES LOVE IN THE HIGHEST FORM OF POVERTY IMAGIABLE.i HAVE A DAUGHTER WHO RECIEVES 150.00 A MONTH TO LIVE ON. WE LIVE IN CBS. iF SHE WANTS TO GO TO TOWN TO A DOCTORS APPOINTM.IT COSTS
    $52 RETURN.SO THATS 98 DOLLARS IF SHE ONLY HAS TO GO ONCE A MONTH. NOT BAD FOR A HAVE PROVINCE. OH I FORGOT ONE MEDICAL PROCEDURE SHE HAS TO DO THE SUPPLIES COST 55 A MONTH AND, NO PEOPLE' DISPITE WHAT YOU MAY BELIEVE, THE GOVERNMENT DON'T PAY FOR IT. IF i NEVER WORKED MAKING 30,000 A YEAR AND TRYING TO PAY A MORTGAGE AND ALL.SHE WOULD PROLLY GET MORE

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    $373,500 to EIGHT MILLION, not including the clean up and the NAFTA case. Danny showing that business sense for sure.

    You Danny Supporters need to start donating to his cause since the rest of the sane population has had enough of his ego and waste and will not be submitting taxes to a government that has demonstrated such negligent disregard for fiscal responsibility.

    No freakin wonder we are a HAVE NOT AGAIN with this waste.

  • rdgm
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    not bad pay for the lawyers considering they thought they had excluded the mill from the expropriation but then belatedly figured out they hadn't and instead inherited the clean up bill...???

  • Manuel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I would like to see each and every one of you people commenting here try to even attempt to clean up the sites mentioned or pay the money needed to fight back against a company who for years screwed every Newfoundlaner that ever worked for it for anything less then what is mentioned in this report. Far as im concerned it will cost more then this. There is alot of work to do here. Do you think that the power plant will be just shut down and left to rot away or the lumber and paper plants left their to rot? Would you rather see them do this and invest a small nominal amount to start making money off it or say the hell with it and leave it there for it to fall down and rot away and then have to spend more to clean up all the enviromental damage caused by all this stuff? Do you think its a seasy as syaing i am tkaing it back and thats it?
    What a very small minded group of people that seem to read the telegram. Maybe it is time to make these people complete an intelligence test and not match the letters to post.

  • I C Clearly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    What's next Manny - a youtube video 'Leave Danny Alone'? Did you ever stop to consider for 1 second that the path taken was not necessarily the best one? This government coveted the hydro assets that Abitibi had and forced the shut-down to pave the way for expropriation. Meanwhile, over in Corner Brook, the same government is throwing another 20-odd million to help the mill there remain open. Please, explain for us, the difference between the two situations?
    If Abitibi hadn't been forced out, they would still be responsible for the clean up and could be negotiated with to ensure that it occured over time. Instead, Williams blindly charged ahead, took the hydro assets for NALCOR's balance sheet and turned his back on the company, the employees, and the town. Speaking of ignorance, there is no clean up associated with the hydro assets - they are as clean as a whistle. I suggest that you spend less time with your fingers on the keyboard and more time reading the facts - it's obvious that you have no clue of what they are.
    And Penny, the last time that I checked, every citizen of this province is a Canadian. The federal governement will have to recoup the cost of the NAFTA challenge from our taxes. The cost of remedy (i.e. paying market value for the hydro assets) will be borne entirely from NL. It's people like you passing off our debts to the rest of Canada that give our province a bad name. Grow up.

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    An investigative reporter ------ what a novel idea for journalism . Job well done Mr. Antle .

  • TOm
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    My God people. You would not know if this was the end of the world. The legal process has been expensive, but dont forget the value of the hydro dam we took back is making 4 times that much electricity for NALCOR every year now, so big frigging deal. 8 million to take back hundreds of millions dollars worth of our resources. Pretty good deal if you ask me. But of course Nasty Nate just loves to rip on Danny when ever he can, even though his arguments are always full of holes like his head.

  • What a
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    So we see that this government has tried to play with the numbers yet again. Such a shame that people do not care enough to stand up to waste of tax dollars. How much more can thins government be permitted to burn away before we will stand up and say enough is enough?

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Manual Clark, you must have been late getting your computer fired up at your Government office this morning. I have heard people complain about the companies that have come to Newfoundland and Labrador over the years to create jobs. Maybe these companies were not the greatest places to work at, but if these companies had not set up in business here, all the people who are complaining about them would have had to migrate to Ontario or Alberta to get a job where they could complain about the company they were working for out there!!! Get real. Penney from NL: You are right, when Abitibi wins the NAFTA case, it is the Government of Canada in Ottawa who must pay the cost. However, you can be sure that Ottawa will get that five hundred million plus out of Newfoundland and Labrador one way or the other. No free rides for us, make no mistake about that. Danny made the blunder, Ottawa will pay the price of his mistake and Newfoundland will pay even more back to Ottawa in the end.

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    So where are all of the Koolaid drinkers this morning? It sure is taking them along time to spin this one around to make Danny look good. This is only a drop in the bucket compared to what we are going to pay.

  • Ernie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Something smells rotten here. Who got all that money? Dan the man is costing us a LOT of money for his little tyrannical transgressions. He tried to hide that money in another department hoping no one would notice. Listen people, forget about those access to information laws, Dan the man has neutered them. Who was that guy who was shooting off his mouth about doctors' salaries a short while ago? What was it that person was saying about outrageous expenses? Talk about a hypocrit. Dan the man doesn't give a darn about anything but his ego, and when he is finally booted out of office, he won't look back because he simply doesn't care. He'll be in Florida. Florida Dan the Floridian.

  • PierreNeary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    This needs to be looked into by the AG. The fact that he government tried to sweep this under the rug is disturbing. An investigation is warrented here.

  • Joan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    What a bunch of crooks we have in government these days

  • I C Clearly
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    8 Million - and counting. I wonder if Government had directed that money to the mill when they were originally experiencing financial difficulties, would it still be open today? A stitch in time saves nine, and in this case, the province would be at least 32 Million to the better, and there would still be people working and earning paycheques in GFW. I would much rather see my tax dollars used directly to subsidize an important industry than lining the pockets of Duckworth Street and Montreal based shysters.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Did those lawyers have offices on Water Street, Bay Street, or boulevard Rene-Levesque?

    Legal make-work project... but for which province?

  • Danny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    You voted for him, you cheer him on, and you silence all those who dare criticize him....

    Thanks millions.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Good work Rob Antle. Keep digging and you will unearth most of the details and the real reasons why Abitibi was expropriated on orders from the Premier. A lot of politically well connected folks are making big money from this expropriation. I suspect they will make much more money on this expropriation which should never have been allowed to proceed. Who will eventually end up with the timber rights which were taken from Abitibi? How much money has NALCOR made selling power generated from Abitibi hydro-electric facilities which were also taken from them? What will the cost of environmental cleanup of former Abitibi properties be? How much will the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have to pay? What do Cabinet documents reveal about this questionable expropriation? That's enough for now Mr. Antle, that much should keep you busy for a while. I think that Rob Antle should get a raise in pay to investigate this story!

  • amused
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    And nerry a copper for a 'Labrador Air Ambulance.......OOOhhhh, the chicanery of if it all!!! 8 million bucks would have gone a pretty fair distance there, eh Dan??

  • Newfie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Holy cow, talk about fees that are over the top . Estimate $300,000 to $8,000,000. That's a big difference!

    What did these lawyers do, they didn't even win their case, the $200,000,000 lawsuit was thrown out of court?

    Oh right, Danny is a Lawyer.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    The haters are right, we can't win. We should suck it up, pay Abitibi Bowater the 500 million they believe 'THEIR' assets are worth and forget the whole thing ever happened, lol. Those of you who await the positive spin? You need only look at the cash these assets have generated over the small time NL has owned them. How much? Any takers? Total cash, minus eight million. Show us all how severely real facts can confuse, lol. Hint: It's much more than the 8 million spent and remember, it could easily belong to another country by now.