Tobin Launches Power Campaign
Presentation Junior High School
Corner Brook, Newfoundland

By Erin (grade 9)

In 1966, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, a provincial election was looming. The Premier at the time, Joey Smallwood, was anxious to create jobs to promote his re-election. He built Churchill Falls, the largest hydro-electricity power plant in the world. Unfortunately, Quebec would not grant Newfoundland permission to transport power through Quebec and on to other parts of Canada and the United States.

To maintain the jobs he had created, Joey Smallwood was forced to sign a contract, selling all the power produced at Churchill Falls to Quebec at the border. The power was sold at the price of 2.5 mills per kilowatt. It is now resold by Hydro Quebec for 70 mills.

At present, Newfoundland is making 16 to 17 million dollars and, because of the great increase in power rates in the 1970's, Quebec is making a profit of 750 million.

In the 1980's, the Newfoundland government took the contract to the Supreme Court of Canada twice in the attempt to break it on the grounds that it was unjust. Each time they lost, the last time being in 1988.

On Saturday, September 21, Brian Tobin announced that he was planning to have the contract changed by the year 2001, even if he must cut off the power to Quebec. He is determined to renegotiate the deal because recent statistics show that the number of people leaving the province is at an all-time high. Also, the transfer payments to Newfoundland from Ottawa are going to be considerably less, forcing the province to find other revenue.

Brian Tobin has promised Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that they will be making more on the Churchill Falls deal within the next five years. With any luck, he will accomplish his goal, and he will do it with the entire country behind him.

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