Williams� government looks forward to hearing views of Labrador
Consulting with stakeholders will be an important component of plans to successfully develop the Lower Churchill hydroelectric resource, which is why Premier Danny Williams, several government members and officials from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) will travel today to Happy Valley-Goose Bay for a public meeting.
�Our government remains firmly committed to consulting with all stakeholders as we move forward with plans to develop the Lower Churchill,� said Premier Williams. �We are still at an early stage in the potential development of this tremendous resource, so this is an ideal time to start consultations in earnest. Officials from Hydro have already engaged various stakeholders, but this meeting is designed so that government can hear specifically and directly from the people of Labrador. We are anxious to hear from as many organizations and individuals as possible, and we look forward to a productive and worthwhile meeting.�
Premier Williams said during these early stages of assessing several development options, including the project configuration and the destination of the power, this is an opportune time to hear the opinions of Labradorians in terms of what they feel government�s priorities should be for developing the resource.
�This is the first time such an open consultation process has taken place in relation to the Lower Churchill development in recent history, and it is only the first step,� said Premier Williams. �Previous deals were well underway and essentially completed without having open consultations. This government committed to fully consulting with the people of Labrador and today is only the first step. Minister Byrne will be back in the new year to consult on the development of an Energy Plan which will obviously include discussions on the Lower Churchill. Hydro will also continue their consultation process, and government will engage in further consultations before any agreement is finalized on the Lower Churchill development. Of course, discussions with our Aboriginal partners will continue on a parallel track.�
The Premier will be joined by: Deputy Premier, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Tom Rideout; Minister of Natural Resources, Ed Byrne; Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Responsible for Labrador Affairs, Paul Shelley; Minister of Education and Responsible for the Status of Women, Joan Burke; and MHA for Lake Melville and Parliamentary Secretary for Labrador Affairs, John Hickey. Ed Martin, President and CEO of Hydro also attended the meeting.
The public meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the College of the North Atlantic on Hamilton River Road in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Media representatives are invited to attend and record images prior to the start of the meeting; however audio and visual recording devices will not be permitted to be used while the meeting is taking place. Premier Williams and government officials will be available to the media immediately following the meeting.
Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500, or
Denis Abbott, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, (709) 737-1837, 690-9384, or firstname.lastname@example.org
2005 11 14 8:30 a.m.