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Another minor skirmish


Quebec Superior Court Judge Joel Silcoff has brought down his decision in the matter of the good faith court case to redress the 1969 contract between Churchill Falls Labrador Corp (CFLCo.) and Hydro-Québec.

Nalcor CEO Ed Martin and Premier Tom Marshall have said an appeal will be launched, and all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, if necessary. Good. Onward and upward, gentlemen! (On this file, at any rate.)

One prominent Quebecker of that time writing to another of his station regarding the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decision of 1927 likened the loss of Labrador to a major defeat on the battlefield. Lower court antics are only minor skirmishes.

Were the findings of professor of economics James Feehan and Memorial University archivist-historian Melvin Baker as published in The Dalhousie Law Journal a few years ago under the title, "The Origins of a Coming Crisis: Renewal of the Churchill Falls Contract," entered as expert testimony in the case heard by Judge Silcoff?

Would Silcoff snicker up his ermine-trimmed sleeve when he learned Hydro-Québec's first president, Jean-Claude Lessard, also had a seat on CFLCo.'s board of directors?

Would that judge scold when told Lessard dutifully carried the insider information gained at board meetings on the financial health of Brinco and CFLCo. - prognosis: very nearly bankrupt - back to Hydro-Québec and the government of Quebec with his considered recommendation: squeeze bigger and better concessions?

Perhaps when Nalcor/CFLCo. arrive at the Quebec Court of Appeal, a judge with the sagacity of John Gomery or one possessing the courage of Madame Justice France Charbonneau will preside over that court.

I understand that when the first segment of the 1969 contract has expired in 2016, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador can levy certain taxes on CFLCo.

Any foresight committee of senior bureaucrats working on that yet or will government wait until everyone has returned from Beaumont Hamel in early July 2016?

Tom Careen

Placentia

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