24 February 2009

New Dawn without light

The Labradorian reported earlier this month that the Innu New Dawn land claims agreement vote scheduled for January 31 had been postponed indefinitely.

Apparently, there were “outstanding issues.”

Apparently, the issues are so outstanding no one is talking about them and apparently no southern media are asking about then either. Might not do any good to ask anyway given that the natural resources department seems barren of information it’s willing to hand out on just about anything of substance.

Bond Papers posted a link to the story on the New Dawn postponement shortly after The Labradorian broke the story.  We also pointed out some questions about the deal when it was announced last fall along with signs even then that the deal might run into opposition.

So where is the deal?

Well, it may be yet another problem for the Lower Churchill project.  That would be on top of the problems with a lack of any evident buyer for the power, with trying to string hydro lines through a UNESCO World heritage site and – the real corker – with news that the Holyrood plant won’t be shutting down even if by some chance NALCO gets to build both the power plants and string the hydro lines down to Soldier’s Pond just west of St. John’s.

The so-called infeed down through the park is being sold on the basis that it will replace the Holyrood plant would most of us would take to mean that the plant would be shut down.  In fact, NALCO’s 20 year capital works plan labels the Holyrood generating plant as an absolute necessity for decades to come including the scenario if hydro power starts flowing down from Muskrat Falls and Gull Island.

Onto that pile, you can add the New Dawn agreement. As a columnist for The Labradorian puts it:

Seeing that the much-vaunted New Dawn deal - which was supposed to pave the way for the development as far as the Innu are concerned - is facing so much opposition in the communities that the Innu Nation has indefinitely postponed a referendum on the matter, then it doesn't look like it will help the cause much, after all. The New Dawn just might bring to an end instead. [Emphasis added]