See Episode 3: Heart to Heart with Little Premier – TÊTE-À-TÊTE on the Port Au Port Peninsula by Tara Manuel
I’ve been wondering if the whole “ethical wall” business has prevented the Premier of our province from acting where he might and should act? Has it kept him from taking a critical look at the World Energy GH2 plan, and communicating with people whose lives are being impacted by this immense project proposed for the west coast?
The people of the Port Au Port have made it perfectly clear that they do not want the 164 – 200 metre tall turbine development on their small peninsula. They’ve articulated an exhaustive list of reasons for this and have thought of little else since the proposal was thrust upon them in early summer. Many of them have set aside all else in their lives to research and disseminate information, to organize, and now to stand in the cold, in the middle of winter, around the clock. They are at a point where they feel direct action is the only choice left. If the issues they are seeing presently with water sheds, forest clearing, roads and wildlife are only the result of work being done under the guise of the environmental assessment – they wonder how much worse will it be if the full turbine development goes ahead on the peninsula?
It does not seem as though the MHA for the Port au Port (and also Stephenville) – Tony Wakeham – has been very responsive to their concerns, though he did finally appear at the protest in Mainland last week to talk with protestors. I watched the whole video of his visit and he seemed to be trying to convince them that he has, all along, been working in good faith on their behalf to relay their concerns to the government. That is not my perception nor the perception of many people I have spoken with from the PAP.
What’s even more disconcerting is hearing both Minister Parsons and Premier Furey speak about the project as if there is no opposition, as if only one or two tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists who aren’t capable of seeing the obvious benefits of this massive experimental project are against it going ahead as planned on the Port au Port.
It is far past time that Government leaders communicated with the people whose lives will be most heavily impacted by this project. I call it an abdication of leadership that this has not yet happened. These people are living in a state of high anxiety. Go and sit and listen to them. They are our fellow Newfoundlanders.
As a fellow Western Newfoundlander, I stand in support of their right to peace in the place many of their families have called home for centuries.
God Guard Thee Newfoundland.