16 November 2009

Lower Churchill definitely a long way off

Danny Williams and his little band might be off to New York to push the Lower Churchill but those savvy people in the Big Apple will know the project is increasingly nothing more than a cute little video with Ron Hynes’ voiceover.

The aboriginal land claims agreement said last year to be finalised and set for a ratification vote in January is still mired in the negotiation and ratification process.

Canadian Press is reporting that Innu deputy grand chief Peter Penashue said:

"Government and the aboriginal people have signed off ... and that will ultimately go for ratification in the very near future."

But Penashue said it could be three or four years before the agreement winds its way through federal channels and is ultimately approved and voted on by his people.

Three or four years before it gets to a vote.

That’s a long way from this fall, which was Penashue’s prediction in June 2009.

Danny Williams was right when he told the Telegram editorial board recently that the project would not happen in the near term.

One of the reasons for the delay in finishing the land claims agreement is that only two of the three parties necessary for a finished product were involved.   Despite the provincial government’s  decades of experience with land claims agreements, including lengthy negotiations on the Innu claim, these talks ignored the federal government entirely. 

"At one point we were looking at splitting the agreement" into provincial and federal areas of jurisdiction, he said.

"Subsequently, it has been agreed to by lawyers that (provincial issues) can't be separate from the feds because the feds have the constitutional powers and authority to finalize these agreements," Penashue said.

There’s no explanation why the provincial government and the Innu embarked on the bilateral talks knowing that legally there was no way to cut Ottawa out.  What legal genius thought otherwise?

This is further proof that the problems and delays in the Lower have nothing to do with the politically driven fiction coming from the Premier’s Office  - and faithfully repeated by some others - that the whole Lower Churchill project is buggered up because of Hydro Quebec.  

There’s a reason why your humble e-scribbler labelled the New Dawn announcement the Matshishkapeu Accord.  The whole thing is a pile of wind, from some of its initial details to the  sheer nonsense that the whole thing was done.

The Premier heralded the thing last fall as doing everything except curing scoliosis. The deal was not just an important step toward the Lower Churchill, it was an “extremely important” one and before the already breathless sentence ran out of breath let’s add that it was also a “significant” step too.  Like an important step  - let alone an extremely important step  - wouldn’t also be significant unless that was added to the sentence as well.

Anyway, the overblown language turns out to have been a very good indicator that the deal was not so much of a deal after all.  Remember the Rule of Opposites?

After it was announced, the Matshishkapeu Accord  quietly slipped away into MIA Land.  The ratification vote was cancelled amid rumblings of major problems with the deal that needed reworking. 



ClaudeB said...


Danny Williams opens his mouth... again. His newest rationale against the HQ-NB Power deal is a piece of anthology. From this morning's G & M:

"Williams cautions that in speaking out he is “not intending to be damningly critical of [New Brunswick Premier] Shawn Graham,” but thinks it necessary to speak out on behalf of other energy jurisdictions in the country, including Alberta. If Quebec were increasingly to gain leverage over available green and “virtual green” energy sources from the east, he says, in an increasingly environmentally conscious world that could only, in the long run, hurt the Alberta oil sands. "

Lonenewfwolf said...

Hey there.

An interesting comment from http://thechronicleherald.ca/forum/read/21/147020/page=2.

Thought you might be interested in the line of thought this man has to offer. Makes sense to me.

Frank wrote on October 30, 2009 03:52PM (IP Logged)

This can be a real disaster, or it can give N.S a huge opportunity. Danny Williams is real concerned about access to New England via the interprovincial grid through N.S and N.B. We can offer Danny a transmission route through N. S to Yarmouth. An underwater cable to Maine would be easily doable. Then we would ask Danny for a real good rate on some of that power going across N.S. If we don't do something like that then we are in a desperate spot because N.B is going to have much lower rates than ours and industry and jobs leave here in a mad rush. Sitting still is not an option

Lonenewfwolf said...

Also of interest is the Neptune project...http://neptunerts.com/default.asp?Ss=5&Pg=7 & http://www.ewire.com/display.cfm/Wire_ID/525.

Looks like it fits in with NS & Emera, and not NB or QH.

Might this be why they're in NY??

Edward G. Hollett said...

NY is just a show. That's all it is, at least unless it is cover for some sooper sekrit discussions no one ever heard tell of. And since that's highly unlikely too, it is just an excuse to get to NY.

I hope they at least got tickets to Letterman. From the CBC coverage this evening it is just the usual load of hooey taken to an audience that just ignores hooey for what it is.

There is no problem with transmissions and access.


It's a fairy tale.

The problem is:

a. they don't have any customers. As i demonstrated in the RI case, government is rpepared to bullshit big time to cover up the simple fact they can't get power to market at a price the market will bear.


b. Beacuse they don't have markets in this low price, tight capital period, they can't get the $10 billion plus needed to build the existing project.

bear in mind the existing project is two dams a line through Quebec with another line to Soldier's Pond.

That's it.

There is NO line to the US via NS, NB or anywhere else.

let me say it again.

There is NO line on the table right now to anywhere except Quebec and St. John's.

If Frank really wants lower rates, he can look west. If power from the LC comes, the only way it will be cheaper for him is if the people in Nl eat the cost. That would be nice for him but disaster for the people in this province. As it is, if the thing goes we will; be subsidizing the cost of the entire Hydro show through our rates and through the totally unncessary $2.0 billion infeed to Soldier's Pond.

Edward G. Hollett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WJM said...

The LC is not soncidred a green project as the Premier likely found out in California.

Hence the introduction of a new phrase into DanSpeak: "virtually green".

Edward G. Hollett said...

Not sure which is funnier: my amazing typo - man that was a bad one - or the idea of "virtually green".

That line came from someone who also likely says "literally' in front of phrases and words without knowing what it literally means either.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Here it is again, sans typos:

Hey Claude, thanks for the contribution. I saw that and thought: smoke. Pure smoke.

The LC is not considered a green project as the Premier likely found out in California.

There are other issues people should be turning their attention to in this province since the LC is dead as a doornail right now .

And just to preclude another Wally comment: if it was ever alive in the first place.

Demographics and tight financial straits are a much bigger concern in this province because unless someone gets a grip on it very soon, Ontario won't be the only province on its knees on a go forward basis.