Tuesday, October 26, 2010

‘He violated the trust of the Newfoundland people’

Blasts from NL’s past


“In retrospect, there’s no doubt that the Upper Churchill development should have been carried out without Brinco. It should have been carried out by a joint venture of the provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec, with the proceeds being shared equally between the two provinces. We now know this precise proposal was made to Joey Smallwood by René Lévesque, then Quebec’s Energy minister. It was cavalierly dismissed by Smallwood because of his relationship with Brinco and those who had formed Brinco. We now know, thanks to Fabian O’Dea’s royal commission into the Newfoundland liquor-lease scandal, that Smallwood was speculating in Brinco stock during the period he was negotiating the Churchill Falls agreement. We have no way of knowing how his conflict of interest may have influenced him in the negotiations. But we do know that he violated the trust of the Newfoundland people.”

— John Crosbie, as quoted in his 1997 book, No Holds Barred, My Life in Politics.

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“Investigating the scandalous events of the later Smallwood years was like diving into a cesspool, and most people in politics decided that wasn’t a healthy form of exercise. The public seemed to think that, if we pursued scandals, we were conducting a witch-hunt. It’s the way the public thinks. The public assumes all politicians are crooks anyway.”

— Crosbie, No Holds Barred.

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