18 February 2009

Churchill Falls “go-it-alone”: not so much edition

It’s not like you haven’t heard this before but the provincial government isn’t going alone on the Lower Churchill if the Lower Churchill goes at all. 

[Gilbert] Bennett indicated that the go-it-alone option is not the only one on the table for the potential megaproject.

"The preferred alternative is for us to lead the development of the project," Bennett said.

"That statement has been made certainly by government on many occasions. From our perspective, our job at this point in time is to collect the data necessary to give government the information they need to make a decision. So I'm not going to comment on partners, sources of equity, at this point in time."

This story – from the Wednesday telegram confirms what Bond Papers said in 2006: the thing is more show than substance and the thing can only work if other people chip in to pay for it.

When the project was announced, though, the Premier wasn’t quite so equivocal as to call going it alone merely a “preferred” option:

- "The purpose of the announcement today was to indicate that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, are going to do this project themselves."

- "...but the big message here is that we are masters of our own destiny, that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are in control of this project for the benefit of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."

- "By taking the lead we are in full control of the project, unlike the circumstance with the last government; that project, basically, was going to be controlled by Quebec..."