Kennedy disputes Lower Churchill letter

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Says province willing to negotiate, but not 'on Upper Churchill terms'

Jerome Kennedy. — Telegram file photo

A Letter to the Editor in today’s edition of The Telegram, from former premier Roger Grimes, has riled provincial Minister of Natural Resources Jerome Kennedy.

He offered comment on the letter at a press conference called at the House of Assembly at 12:30 p.m.

“I would say it’s with utter amazement that I read a letter from from a former premier saying that Quebec is not putting roadblocks in our way to development of the Lower Churchill. To make comments like that is to deny our history or try to change the course of our history,” the minister said.

Kennedy walked through past and continuing court actions on the part of the provincial government in relation to the Upper Churchill deal, as well as an ongoing regulatory challenge over access to transmission of Churchill power through Quebec.

Grimes has accused the current provincial leadership of playing politics with the neighbouring province, of avoiding reasonable discussion with Quebec on Churchill power development, because it plays well with the public in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As for the question of whether or not to approve the Muskrat Falls development plan, the former premier has endorsed converting the oil-burning Holyrood power station to natural gas and relying on that station until the Upper Churchill power comes back into play in 2041.

Kennedy, meanwhile, said Grimes was, while in power, ready to sign on to what he alleges amounted to no more than a giveaway of Churchill power to the Quebec government.

“Certainly if Quebec is open to discussions (now) so are we. But it won’t be on the Grimes terms. It won’t be on the Upper Churchill terms, it will have to be on terms that are fair to all of us,” Kennedy said.

More statements from both Grimes and Kennedy can be read within, “Don’t believe lies about Quebec: Grimes,” featured on p.A1 of today’s Telegram.

Geographic location: Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador.As

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Recent comments

  • Donald
    August 31, 2012 - 11:35

    Commenter JEFF is right. There is something about the economics of Muskrat Falls that doesn't add up. Why is HQ able to develop their new hydro sources, sell it for cheap, and make money, whereas in Nfld it is expected to cost a fortune and be more expensive than burning oil for power generation? I'm not talking about HQ's reselling of Labrador power, but HQ's own projects built in northern regions of Quebec. Churchill Falls cost $1 billion in the 60's, but it had 40 miles of dykes and included the largest underground powerhouse built in the western world, in tough igneous rock. Churchill Falls involved over 700 miles of new transmission lines. They completed the project ahead of schedule too. Muskrat Falls is a simple above ground power house with a single dam across a river and the valley providing natural barriers. Why is Muskrat Falls so expensive? Hydro is supposed to be the cheapest power on earth!

  • Eli
    August 24, 2012 - 12:13

    Muskrat Falls is a giveaway, only this time is't to Nova Scotia. Fess up Kennedy.

  • Derrick
    August 23, 2012 - 20:12

    This is a project that has not been sold to the people of the province. Why is there so much anti Muskrat Falls sentiment out there. Shouldn't the people have the right to have a say in this matter. If so many people are against spending so much money then why can't we find out officially where the people of our province stand with some kind of referendum. All happening too fast. It's almost like they want to get the roads cleared & the towers up before we realize what the hell is happening here. A few get rich quick, ,hide the money schemes on the go if you ask me!!

  • Brad Cabana
    August 23, 2012 - 18:36

    Kennedy is still playing politics even as he decries it. Why Kennedy do you have 2 900 mw capable ac lines planned to run from Musktat Falls to the Upper Churchill? Why are you planning on using those lines to feed cheap power to the mines in Labrador, using CFLCOs distribution system, thereby giving Hydro Quebec a 34% cut on distribution fees? Enemies when it suits your purposes to poison people, and best buddies when it suits your "purposes". That is the height of disengenous hypocracy.

  • Tim Jamison
    August 23, 2012 - 15:52

    Who to believe here? Danny "Havenot No More" Williams and what he said during the very first Muskrat Falls announcement about how we finally bypassed Quebec, or Mediocrity and Worse Grimes. Not much of a contest here

  • Shane
    August 23, 2012 - 14:48

    Getting started early today Jeff?? Have another one. It's five o'clock somewhere

  • Ben
    August 23, 2012 - 14:43

    My god is this true that Grimes thinks we can get along with Quebec? We have been years trying to get along with Quebec when they have reeped us of billions of dollars from the Upper Churchill. Didnt Grimes himself try this back a few years ago? I am all for getting along with others but i am also realistic to know that Quebec is not going to let us go through their province without it costing us a fortune. Anyone who thinks differently are out to lunch!

  • Cold Future
    August 23, 2012 - 13:42

    Mr kennedy should be able to readily refute that by presenting the documentation of the negotiation meetings. Oh hell, you don't suppose its tied up in protected sensitive documents which aren't able to be released.

  • Kennedy-Dunderdale Are Dishonest and Grimes A Fool
    August 23, 2012 - 13:40

    How poorly are the public interests served when you have the likes of Grimes, Dunderdale and Kennedy holding leadership positions in our fair Province? It is quite desperate. An additional note for Mr. Grimes; have you ever noticed that no one ever comes to your defence? Sir, you are not helping at all.

  • EDfromRED
    August 23, 2012 - 13:25

    Why don't we get a backbone and cut the Upper Churchill transmission wires and force Quebec to renegotiate the shamefully unfair deal? What are they going to do,send in tanks?! Deals that are so biased and unfair are better handled with action, not words. If we leave it to the courts it will be tangled up till 3041.

  • Casey
    August 23, 2012 - 13:05

    If the people in charge at HQ had any real sense of business ethics the Upper Churchill contract would have been re-worked a long time ago. How can you do businees with a partner who wants the lions share or no deal. Anyone who thinks NL can get a fair deal with HQ under present circumstances must be out to lunch.

  • Graham
    August 23, 2012 - 13:04

    Well Jerome plrase tell us when you and Premier Dunderdale actually met face to face and had a meaningfull discussion with Quebec about anything? All this is being done because Danny Boy has a committment from Dunderdale and you that this deal will happen come hell of high water. Thats exactly why King Danny practically hand picked Queen Kathy and you chose not to run. God forbid this make you look bad as premier. Perhaps your plan is to replace her after she looses the next election. This so called Government is on great big sick joke.

  • tom
    August 23, 2012 - 12:40

    Sad part of this is that ANY voice with an alternative to Muskrat Falls is deemed ridiculous. What would the costs be of conversion of Holyrood until we get the Chruchill Falls power back? The secrecy with this project doesn't sit right for me,

  • jeff
    August 23, 2012 - 12:24

    Once again, I am no expert on this whole deal, but the only people who seem to be for it are dunderdale, Kennedy and Ed Martin, the same people who just closed the books so we can' find out where exactly the ten billion dollars is going to be spent. The is worse than some of the dictators in the middle east!! In addition I believe Quebec just signed a deal with Virginia I believe to sell power at something like 3.5 cents a kW. Electricity from this project is currently estimated to cost 17 cents a kW to generate. A good business decision no doubt. There is without a doubt something up here. Sombody (ies) are getting rich behind the scenes, and I am thinking it is more than Kennedy, Martin and dunderdale, although the three of them shoudl be hung for what they are trying to do to us, our kids and grand kids. this project will never be paid for and it will never make money. I’m all for giving it to Quebec, but not at the risk of my kids and grand kids financial future!! Stop the project no while we can and only have a billion wasted and not ten billion!!!! We can always start it up again in five or ten years when it is economically feasible!!!