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LETTER: Muskrat Falls — the irony and sadness of it all

I note your paper’s interview with David Vardy (By Ashley Fitzpatrick, Feb. 12) proposing that the federal government be requested to take an equity position in the disastrous Muskrat Falls Project.

For some it may be ancient history but in 1978 the province had an agreement with the federal government for the development of all the Lower Churchill River.

It was given Legislative Sanction in 1979.

Here are some relevant sections:

“RSNL1990 Chapter L-27: An act to facilitate the development of the hydro-electric power potential of the Lower Churchill River

Principal agreement

3. (1) The agreement executed and delivered by and between the Crown in right of Canada represented by Honourable Alastair Gillespie, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources of Canada of the 1st part and the Crown in right of the province represented by Honourable Frank D. Moores, Premier and Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs (Acting) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Honourable A. Brian Peckford, Minister of Mines and Energy of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador of the 2nd part, dated November 24, 1978, and set out in Schedule A is ratified, confirmed and adopted from that date.

(2) From November 24, 1978,

(3) Following the issue of the shares described in subclauses (1) and (2), Newfoundland will own beneficially approximately 51 per cent of the outstanding Class A shares of the Corporation and Canada will own beneficially approximately 49 per cent of such issued Class A shares.”

What happened to this? Who is responsible for ignoring what we already had — a federal government committed to significant involvement in all the Lower Churchill River?

We had the federal government involved in an equity position for 49 per cent!

There is hardly any discussion of it and when there is it is embedded in a larger article.

Surely we should use this as leverage with the federal government now?

Brian Peckford

Nanaimo, B.C.

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