Remember the lesson of Upper Churchill Falls7/26/2012
Re: "B.C.'s push for royalties a can of worms for Canada," Licia Corbella, Opinion, July 24.
Licia Corbella's column reminds me to some extent of the Upper Churchill Falls power agreement that Newfoundland and Labrador was forced to sign with Quebec to get the power transmission lines through Quebec. The agreement, signed in the late 1960s or early 1970s, does not expire until 2041 and Quebec has reaped by far the lion's share of the power sales while Newfoundland and Labrador gets a pittance despite efforts to get Quebec to renegotiate the agreement on more equitable terms.
I understand the reason Newfoundland and Labrador is going the undersea route down the east coast for the Lower Churchill power development is that Quebec would want to reap another windfall in allowing the transmission lines through that province. Former premier Danny Williams' views on Quebec's intransigence on power transmission through Quebec from the Churchill River projects are well known. (He made a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce a few years ago that was most critical of Quebec's attitude on this issue, but which was accurate and to the point. Quebec is not a team player in Canada).
I hope the federal government sides with Alberta in any dispute about access for the pipeline through B.C. Back when the Upper Churchill Agreement was signed, the feds told then-Newfoundland premier Joe Smallwood that Quebec was threatening to back out of Canada and it could break up the country if Small-wood did not go along with Quebec's demands.
Robert Mercer, Calgary
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