Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quebec versus Newfoundland- Whiners Square Off!

To most Canadians who live west of the Ottawa river, listening to the never-ending whining of Quebec and Newfoundland about their mistreatment at the evil hands of Ottawa, is about as satisfying as a trip to the dentist.
The righteous indignation of the likes of  Gilles Duceppe and Danny Williams has me so annoyed that I have taken to throwing a foam shoe at my television set each time their respective faces make an appearance, spouting another idiotic and insulting pronouncement, dissing Canada.

Both provinces have been sucking at the federal teat for well-nigh a half a century, all the while complaining at the unfairness of it all. Both  have mastered the art of twisting figures and manipulating facts to somehow pretend that they are getting the raw end of the stick. The rest of Canada is not amused.

As everyone knows, Newfoundland has now become a 'have' province, due to the offshore riches of oil. But like a welfare recipient who wins the lotto, old habits are hard to change. The idea accepting the responsibility of paying into Canada, instead of sucking out, is so foreign to the island, that the petulant premier actually took down the Canadian flag in protest that his province will receive less and less equalization payments in light of it's new found wealth. Link

 Over in Quebec, The Journal de Montreal ran a story about a road project that will double-track Highway 175 that connects Chicoutimi, the gateway to the Saguenay region, with Quebec City.  LINK (French)
The provincial government and Ottawa came to a cost sharing agreement, with the feds agreeing to pay for half the cost of the upgrade. The Quebec government demanded complete control of the project and the Feds agreed, with the stipulation that any cost overruns would be the province's responsibility. The work proceeded and lo and behold, what do you think happened?

Drum roll please........The project went 50% over budget. 400 million dollars, that is, not exactly chump change!

Amidst much hand wringing, the cry has gone up that Ottawa ante up half of the deficit, contract aside. After all it is argued, the spirit of the agreement was that the cost was to be split 50/50.

Unfortunately for the Quebec government, the idea was shot down by John Baird, minister of transport, who said that "A DEAL'S A DEAL!" much to the consternation of the province, now claiming that it's important to be reasonable and flexible in the face of evolving circumstances. Right?

Creative math, voodoo economics, spoiled brat syndrome, and institutionalized whining are what Newfoundland and Quebec have in common, so it's to be expected that when the two provinces face off against each other, a battle royal is in order.

For the rest of Canadians, seeing the two provinces beat each other up is deliciously satisfying. It's like watching a boxing match between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama Bin Laden. We can sit back and hope it never ends, cheering on each blow and hoping that each gets the shit kicked out of them. The fight has been going on for well nigh thirty years, with no end in sight, HOORAY!

So far Quebec is ahead on points, having opened the match with a near fatal blow.

That was the contract Newfoundland signed with Quebec in relation to Churchill Falls power. Back in 1969, desperate to develop the Churchill Falls hydro-electric project, Newfoundland signed a foolish deal with Quebec that in effect sold the Labrador power to Hydro-Quebec for what is now, a pittance. Today, Danny Williams is claiming that his province was 'coerced' to make a bad deal because the federal government wouldn't compel Quebec to give Newfoundland the right to put up a transmission line across Quebec to transport the power to the USA.  Hmmm...
Instead, Hydro-Quebec agreed to buy the power and resell it itself. Today, Quebec is reselling the power at a profit of over a billion dollars a year. KAPOW!

Danny William's reaction over this situation is most entertaining, especially given that Premier's penchant for indignant rage. So far,  all he has mustered in defence of his province, is some salty trash talk.  LINK.

But it seems that now, Newfoundland is mounting a real counter-attack.
Both provinces have been wrangling over the right to develop the undersea oil field known as "OLD HARRY" which lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence between the two. The oil field may be bigger than Hibernia, but the lack of agreements have kept the development of the project on the back burner.

Now back in 1964 (before the discovery of the oil field) the four Atlantic provinces agreed to a 'border' that became known as the "Stanfield line,"(after Premier Robert Stanfield) that has the effect of giving most of 'Old Harry' to Quebec. Premier Joey Smallwood himself, signed off on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador.

But now Newfoundland is singing another tune, having discovered a loophole in that agreement. Apparently, the provinces did not submit the deal to the federal government, as required in the constitution, so according to Newfoundland, it's now -NO DEAL! LINK (Montreal Gazette)

Quebec recognizes the 1964 border because it puts 60% of Old Harry in the province's territory, notwithstanding that the province doesn't exactly recognize the 1927 border between Quebec and Labrador. In fact, a Quebec government web site's placement of the border is at odds with the generally accepted line described by the Canadian and Newfoundland and Labrador governments. That fight is likely put off for the future.

At any rate, it seems that Newfoundland has finally landed a stinging blow, even if they didn't know it. The province recently sent a letter to Quebec outlining the position that the border is now in dispute, a letter that has rocked Quebec. LINK

And today, Quebec is being chastised for having sent a letter to 'Ottawa' trying to queer a deal whereby the feds would help pay for an underground transmission line that would bypass the Quebec transmission line connection. COUNTER PUNCH!
The reaction of the blustering Danny Williams who called the letter 'disgusting,' once again, gives rise to much hilarity! LINK

Boys, keep swinging, pass the popcorn!!!


  1. Mississauga Guy here (with insomnia!)

    Sorry, Editor, I'm not on your side on this one. I was born, raised and educated in Quebec. Lived there half my life.

    I had a few business trips in NF, several years ago. The first one was during the dead of winter, and THAT was one of their worst in history. Going from the hotel where I was staying to my work venue was special that first time. A lot of the signs were buried under the snow banks, adding quite a challenge that first time.

    My later trips were during better weather. Anyway, the NF people were extremely friendly, esp if the weather was not. I was screeched in over a birthday during a business trip. Very fun people, and I would side with them if push came to shove. I'll always have very fond memories of NF.

  2. Your comment that Newfoundland signed a "foolish deal" over the Churchill falls is an incredible understatement. It was probably the stupidest mistake ever made in that island's history. Note Quebec's hypocrisy. The line they have used on that from day one is "a deal's a deal". But then THEY act offended and mortified when the feds use the exact same line on THEM about a road agreement. Lets hope Newfoundland gets SOMETHING from this. At least an unbreakable agreement and acknowledgement from Quebec of its current borders, perhaps? The Toronto guy.

  3. This is going to be interesting as it is clearly obvious the feds are going to have to make a decision as to who (or both) gets to drill in The Old Harry field. No doubt any decision one way or the other is going to be unpopular in one or both provinces.

    Its going to be very interesting to see how this works out. We are not talking about CHUMP change here.

    Note how Quebec wants the feds to fund half of there incompentent overuns on the highway in the "spirit" of the deal. When the shoe is on the other foot over the unfair deal to NL they seem to not be in the "spirit" to revise the deal.

    Interesting to watch from out west where we have been paying welfare to both of these provinces for years and also employing a great many of their citizens. Wonder if they would reciprocate at all if the shoe was on the other foot. I highly doubt it in Quebec's case. Just like a bitchy wife she is. "what's mine is mine and what yours (ROC) is mine".

    Going to be a fight, in any event. Makes for interesting sounds bites (espcially from Williams).

  4. Editor,

    Your Churchill Falls link to CBC and the link to The Gazette are both dead.

  5. I certainly hope NF wins this deal, but I'm skeptical. 7.5 million people in Quebec vs 550,000 in NF. Quebec has too many votes to alienate, even though sucking up to Quebec hasn't helped. They STILL vote for duh Bloc far too often. Harper did all kinds of sucking up and in the last election, he got one more seat than he did the one before (11 vs 10). It's not worth sucking up to Quebec; furthermore, giving them Old Harry is another freebie knife that they'll hold to our throats outside Quebec.

    If Quebec splits, then what? THEY get Old Harry? In a pig's eye! Then again, the stupidest thing the Canadiens could have done after a great playoff run is let Jaroslav Halak go. After that bit of monumental stupidity, I anticipate the worst---esp. if it's something involving Quebec!

  6. They run Ottawa, they will get what they want until we have a leader that says, enough is enough, you have been blackmailing Canada for decades. Repeal Bill 101 kebec and give back equal rights to the English speakers or you are cut off once and for all…I know, I’m dreaming, but it’s a nice thought. Where oh where is a true, honest leader in this country? I’ve never seen one in my lifetime.Poor Canada what a mess.

  7. "Harper did all kinds of sucking up and in the last election, he got one more seat than he did the one before (11 vs 10)."

    Yes that seat only cost the Canadian Taxpayer in the ROC a mere 4.5 Billion dollars with gross elevation of equalization payments to Quebec. That which was too rectify the "fiscal imbalance" invented by frere Gilles. After the Fact the Quebecois cut off good old Steve's balls over cuts to cultural travel allowances.

    Fool me once your fault, fool me twice my fault. Stevie Harper should try and remember this as should all politicians in the ROC.

    I think NF might just win this one...the boundary is certainly contestable as it was never finally approved. Of course, if NF wins the rights it may cause Quebec to launch another referendum which we can only hope would be asuccess.

  8. If you consider that Quebec has had an active separatist movement for about forty years and two referendums on secession and Newfoundland has had none of any of this, wouldn't it LOGICALLY be in the best interests of Canada, or the rest of Canada, to keep as much of this fuel resource in Canada as possible? Why give a future independent Quebec a free gift of Old Harry? I would think that prudence alone should motivate the feds to support Newfoundland and try to undermine Quebec's position here. The Toronto guy.

  9. "If you consider that Quebec has had an active separatist movement for about forty years and two referendums on secession and Newfoundland has had none of any of this"

    Good point but I doubt Quebec will see it this way with their sense of entitlement. One thing is for certain, Danny Williams is not a normal politician and will likely have the interests of NFLD in place rather than his own self interest. The guy doesn't take a pay cheque as I understand as he donates it to charity. Wonder if Gilles, Charest, Harper or any of our other politicians would do this,,,,NOT.

  10. As a Montreal who has lived with Quebec's active anti-english and anti-canada policies, I thank the premier of Newfoundland Labrador for calling it as he sees it. It's about time somebody put their foot up Quebecs hole.

    I'm also glad that the premier of Nova Scotia has stepped into the fire as well backing Newfoundland Labrador.

    The only thing left to do is get Washington on side with the under water electrical line to the New England states, and then we'll see a half crazed Quebec complaining even more.

    I agree with the a few other posts, it is Ottawa responsibility to protect the interests of Canada, and to back Newfoundland Labrador in the underwater electrical line, the drilling in the St-Lawrence, and to get Quebec to respect the Labrador border line. You do not back a province hell bend on Separatist & Nationalist ideas.

    I have been watching the situation for some time now, and it's clear that Quebec City is acting as though Atlantic Canada was its colony.

    All I can say is, Go Danny Williams Go.

  11. If Ottawa caves in to a one sided Quebec agenda, the west will turn the coleur du rouge. And Harper will have to deal with his power base in the West. EOS

    The west already were subjected to Quebec politicians with the NEP in the early 80's which bankrupt companies and people. (Marc Lalonde and PET)

    There is absolutely no sympathy for Quebec going forward. The facts are out as to how they falsify hydro revenues to gain equalization points by fraud.

    Language issues are not the issue any more. Its pure economics and Quebec has utilized language issues to extract a lot from Canada.

    Danny Williams won't put up with the BS and I believe he will have the ROC (especially the west) on his side.

    I notice not too much posting in the other official language as of late.

  12. Pour Quoi, pas de francais sur le blogue ce soire ou aujour'hui...I wonder why?

  13. "I notice not too much posting in the other official language as of late. "

    Well, its hard to argue with facts!! Absence is noticed for the speakers of Joual, qui ont les citoyens du Quebec. N'est pas francias te parle. He he...

    He he

  14. Come on drop the joual crap, Quebec has it's lingo like Scotland and wales has.
    We have our beauceron lingo, north shore and gaspésie, got to love it :)
    Not everything is awful, I know the nationalist makes you hate it all, but remember 62% are not separatist.

  15. Kudos to 12:19AM

    I'd even add, shouldn't you stop lowering yourself to the level of your opponents? I have grown tired of the BS many Francophones say about the ROC and Anglos, I'm not a fan of slurring anyone on the base of language or other factors.

    Likewise, you guys are completely ignoring the silent majority of Québecers, those who pay absolutely no attention to these debates, get along fine with Anglos and have given up on politicians caring about what they think.

    The BQ may carry a plurality of seats but it only gets 38% of votes...

  16. Bon, il y en a un qui ne maîtrise ni le français, ni le ''joual'' comme il aime bien le dire !

  17. The article is about Quebec & Newfoundland Labrador. Not about the lack of french posts. Keeping to the subject matter will help everybody from getting to the point were trolling will not be tempted.

  18. I hope that Danny Williams runs for Prime Minister of Canada one day. He will definitely get my vote. He will put Quebec in its proper place!

  19. Just one last post regarding the lack of posts in French. Have you ever tried post something, anything in English to Louis Prefontaine or Vigile? If you have, has your post ever been posted?

  20. Who cares about the blow hard prefontaine? Really who does? Autres que les neo-felquiste. Et je dit bravo a kudos, il expire ce que teacup oublie, on s'attarde trop au 5% de crétin qui attire l'attention et on oublie la majorité qui s'en contre fou. Je rêve au jour ou la une dans les médias sera, "des crétins s'excitent pour notre divertissement"

  21. À anonyme août 20, 2010 1:31 PM ''I hope that Danny Williams runs for Prime Minister of Canada one day. He will definitely get my vote. He will put Quebec in its proper place! '' Yes, on the international scene like the other country. With is voice at the United Nations. Il n'y a pas de peuples qui refusent l'indépendance à court ou long terme.

  22. To Anon. Aug. 20 at 6:04 PM:

    By putting Quebec in its proper place, I meant no more special treatment. Quebec should not receive any more money in transfer payments than it pays in taxes. Quebec dairy farmers should no longer be guaranteed 49% of the Canadian market. And Quebec construction workers should face as many hurdles to employment in other provinces as the Quebec government has placed on contruction workers from elsewhere.

    I spoke to a former PQ cabinet minister a few years ago. He said that it was very unlikely that Quebec will ever separate, so....TOUGH LUCK!

  23. Mr Bernier, a guy i don't like and conservative in fact said a couple months ago that'' Mis portrayed as thinking of independence as “inevitable.” ''

    Which in fact, i agree with that affirmation.

  24. From the G&M article on Bernier:

    ---“I was flabbergasted to hear his false, contemptuous declarations,” said the former finance minister-turned-premier.---

    The word "contemptuous" (meprisant) used by a Quebec nationalist...what a surprise....