- July 23, 2013 - 15:02
We all know that even when the light turns green, you need to check both ways before proceeding. Otherwise you are at risk of being blindsided by a big truck barrelling through the intersection. In this instance unfortunately, Ms. Dunderdale didn't even wait for the green light before proceeding with the single largest expenditure in the Province's history. Despite being cautioned by many intelligent, knowledgeable people regarding the economic, engineering and legal risks of the project, she opted to push ahead. She did so in the midst of competing mega projects and in the absence of any urgency whatsoever from a demand point of view. With a billion or more already spent, she and NALCOR are still facing major roadblocks. Two of these have been known for quite some time, but only became official yesterday. The first is the regulatory demand that the original agreement between NALCOR and Nova Scotia Power be sweetened even more for the latter at the expense of Newfoundland ratepayers. The second is a legal challenge by the Province of Quebec that, if successful, would absolutely cripple this Province's ability to proceed with the project. Ms. Dunderdale has dismissed the Quebec move as 'desperate'. Those of us who have actually read the Upper Churchill contracts remain skeptical. To be sure this was an unconscionable agreement made possible by the unchecked ambitions of an uneducated, egomaniacal premier in one province and a devious, exploitive, street-smart corporation in another - the latter backed by a horde of provincial and federal politicians. The contracts were anything but tidy. Beyond the obvious - that they were stacked in favour of Hydro-Quebec - they are noteworthy for their omissions, ambiguities and outright contradictions. If justice was truly blind, this Province might have stood a good chance of turning back this new attack from Hydro-Quebec. But justice is rarely blind. This Province has a long, depressing history of suffering at the hands of a justice system manipulated by other governments. The Supreme Court of Canada appeal decision that ruled this Province's efforts to right the Churchill wrongs as 'ultra vires' was met with shock among legal scholars at the time. But it did not shock the more pragmatic, politically astute pundits who well understood the influence of Quebec on the Supreme Court bench and the absence of any influence by its small, inexperienced, naive neighbour to the east. So when Dunderdale dismisses this latest court challenge - even as her own officials admit they have no idea yet what it contains - she demonstrates her ignorance of history. Indeed, she might well be whistling past her own political graveyard.
- Maurice E. Adams
- July 23, 2013 - 06:50
Very good, informative editorial. Well done.
- July 24, 2013 - 19:58
....and the response by FINTIP. Well done guys.