10 July 2012

What Falls was that, again? #nlpoli

Tim Powers is a local boy who has done good for himself as a lobbyist in Ottawa. Powers is a sharp guy who is very well-connected in Tory circles.

The provincial energy corporation employed Powers to lobby the federal Conservatives on behalf of their Lower Churchill project.  While he has passed that contract off to a couple of other colleagues at Summa Strategies, Powers remains an ardent supporter of the Muskrat Falls project.

Powers delivered a keynote at the recent Expo Labrador mining conference. The title was Mining and Lower Churchill Falls.

Weird, huh?

You’d think that Powers should know that there is no such thing as the Lower Churchill Falls.  There is a thing some people refer to as the lower Churchill River.  And there is Churchill Falls.

But there is no Lower Churchill Falls.

Tim’s talk garnered some news in May when local media picked up that 56% of people surveyed by Abacus Data supported a loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill project.

Wonderful stuff, eh?

Two things:

First, Abacus found that 63% favoured a loan guarantee when they polled in April 2011. Support for the loan guarantee has dropped, apparently by more than the margin of error for the poll.  There’s that selective perception thingy again.

Second, 72% of the people surveyed in 2012 were unaware of the project at all.

Too bad the media didn’t report that little tidbit. It takes a bit of the bloom off the news that 56% of Canadians are willing to backstop a loan when you discover that the overwhelming majority of them have no idea what project you are talking about.