CORNER BROOK — A dialogue has begun between Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec that Premier Kathy Dunderdale hopes will lead to a resolution to issues between the two provinces over the Upper Churchill contract.
Dunderdale told reporters while at the Humber Valley Resort on Thursday that a meeting she had with Quebec Premier Pauline Marois on Tuesday was “very frank and open.” She said Marois asked her if they could sit down and talk and that the Quebec premier recognizes they will not resolve the issues without a dialogue.
Dunderdale said the two provinces are now in the process of putting a committee in place that will enable a “government to government conversation.”
As part of the discussion, she said “we’ll have a review of the history of development on the Churchill River and we’ll flag where the trouble areas are.”
She said both provinces will work to find a way foward that works for the people of Quebec and for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Dunderdale said during their meeting she also put markers in the ground on the principles under which she’s prepared to enter into negotiation.
They include that the province’s resources have to be developed to the benefit of its people and that the Upper Churchill contract is unfair and unbalanced.
“We will always honour our obligations under that contract,” said Dunderdale, but noted every time the province finds a legitimate means or tool to use to bring fairness and balance to the contract it is going to use it.