31 July 2012

A finalized term sheet? #nlpoli

Nalcor and Emera signed a finalised term sheet to develop Muskrat Falls in November 2010.

The next step was supposed to be negotiation of a final agreement between Nalcor and Emera.

Oddly enough, Canadian Press reported on Monday evening that “[s]ources say a deal to finalize a term sheet to develop the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador has been reached.” 

CBC’s David Cochrane tweeted:

CBC has confirmed CP report that NS and NL will sign Muskrat Falls term sheet tomorrow. Multiple sources. Its [sic] final legal text.

“A deal to finalize a term sheet” and “will sign Muskrat Falls term sheet” when they already finalized the term sheet in 2010?

That’s a very odd way of putting it.  Now this could just be media inaccuracy.  If they had a “final legal text”, as Cochrane’s tweet said, then they’d do what they did in 2010 only even bigger because a final deal is…well… even bigger.  

Instead, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter is in Vermont at a regular meeting of government leaders from eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.  Kathy Dunderdale is MIA.

Instead, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador issued a media advisory on Monday that natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy will hold a news conference on an “energy-related” subject at 9:45 AM Tuesday after a technical briefing for news media. The event will take place at the provincial government media centre.

The Nova Scotia government is reportedly planning a similar briefing in Halifax. There was no word on whether or not the companies that are supposed to be working out the deal would participate in either event.

The government media centre is not the venue for signing a major deal. Compare that to what happened in 2010.  It was a huge show for much less than the “final legal text” and  - incidentally - what they announced in 2010 was the final legal text of the term sheet. 

Just so that you know what a big deal they had a couple of years ago, here’s an official photo of the event:

The local Conservatives don’t screw around when it comes to major announcements.

In August 2008, the provincial government held a major show when they reached a final deal to develop Hebron. It was bigger than the announcement the previous August of a memorandum of understanding to develop Hebron.

And in August 2005, the provincial government announced a major decision on the Lower Churchill. Big show.

Funny how all these really big announcements come in August, isn’t it?

And funny how a supposedly bigger deal is being announced with a small show.