Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Transmission Line Bad News for Labrador. Good news for the Province.

Deliberately excluding Labrador from the province is done tongue in cheek.

It's been noted frequently by Labradorians, particularly this one, that Labrador often gets ignored as being part of the whole province, by government, and by Newfoundlanders, not all certainly, but it seems, often. Unfortunately Labrador's hopes to reap the benefits of Labrador's Hydro resources, specifically the named Lower Churchill development, are being thwarted by the current NL government's plan to run a transmission line from Gull Island in central Labrador to Soldier's Pond on the Avalon Peninsula. As commenter Lloyd from Labrador responded to a Telegram article,

Yep, and bypassing (and passing by, very closely, almost THROUGH, some Labrador communities and totally ignoring all other Labrador communities in the process. No cheap 'clean' electricity for them to heat homes, grow industry or anything else.

Dwight from Labrador also has this to say,

should never be let go ahead until the people of Labrador have clean, abundant, and affordable power. A straight shot transmission line to the Avalon is sickening while we pay a fortune for dirty diesel power here, and still have to heat homes and businesses with fuel or wood. Where the hell are the Labrador members of government??? Patty Pottle, is this not a problem on the north coast?

At blog site Labradore, WJM, reminds readers that promises to Labrador are often just that - the words don't match the actions. Here's a recent example of one of his many mentioned examples of promises made to Labrador, and disappointments:

“We will not develop the Lower Churchill unless the primary beneficiaries are Labradorians. You have my assurance on that.”

That was PC Party Leader Danny Williams, on September 30, 2003, speaking in Happy Valley-Goose Bay during that fall’s provincial general election.

It's worth the read, here's another bit:

And sure, the EIS documentation for the so-called Lower Churchill itself only contemplates transmission within Labrador to a point where the juice can be pumped out the Hydro-Quebec grid.

But none of that is to say Labrador and Labradorians won’t benefit. No sir. Nothing could be further from the truth...

Imagine, along with the electricity itself, the revenues which will figuratively flow along that line, all the way from the wilds of central Labrador, from an artificial lake — the Williams Reservoir perhaps — many times the size of Sandy Pond, and many times further away; then stepped down at Soldier Pond and transmitted thence directly to the Finance Department in Confederation Building for re-transmission all across the province, for all kinds of provincial purposes.

Effectively written and point made. See more of Labradore's posts on Lower Churchill Expectations.

Another ongoing point made at that blog is that many Newfoundlanders blame Canada for ignoring NL, while many Newfoundlanders turn a blind eye to what's going on, or what's not going on, in Labrador. To this blogger, there's a triad relationship - how some in Newfoundland/"the province" see Canada, is often how people in Labrador see NL's government and some Newfoundlanders. Will stop there.

Labradorians give their actual stories, and there is a story - the perception of Labrador, references to "the province" (with an "and Labrador" add-on), and taking Labrador for granted. It is a story that has not yet gotten full appreciation in provincial media, or by perhaps many, citizens in the province.


Anonymous said...

Who really knows what will happen. When it's developed, I hope all the people in Labrador will have access to cheap Clean energy, but until it happens we will never know how it's going to turn out. Instead of focusing all our time and energy on lower Churchill, we should focus our energy on draining away has much power as we can from Upper Churchill.

Charles Cheeseman said...

I hope they have access too, if not, then this hydro development will be another fiasco.