Further to the post of yesterday, I recently noticed two discussions that add some other useful insights and information, mixed in among some fairly creative theorising.
The first is from the Sir Robert Bond Papers, and is called Monkey Tossing for England. It is fairly insightful and the author’s access to useful information is great, albeit expected from his career. The title was also an eye-catcher. Part of the discussion revolves around provincial versus federal responsibility for environmental cleanup and an indemnity for Inco’s possible future contamination of the work site chosen; it seems Ottawa is responsible for the cleanup in Argentia from the American military base and is currently working on it, while Newfoundland and Labrador is responsible for the cleanup in Long Harbour from the Erco phosphorus plant. He also addresses Inco’s reasons for wanting the move to Long Harbour, and indicates the sensibility of them. Hollett also believes there will be benefits for both communities, regardless of the choice.
Part of the environmental reason for the move is the safe movement of waste water around ecologically sensitive habitats in Argentia. There is a risk of contamination, then clean up costs and lawsuits. In Long Harbour the tailings area is already contaminated and there is a previously contaminated wastewater pond directly adjacent to the proposed work site. Basically, at Argentia there is a higher chance of harming the environment, while at Long Harbour the damage has been done and there is little chance of it spreading further. There is also some question about the time and effort needed to clean up the worst damage done to the Argentia area from the Americans.
The discussion is the recent article in the Independent, which argues for provincial party politics as possibly being the main impetus, in that Long Harbour is (barely) in a Liberal provincial riding, while Argentia is 33 km away in a PC riding.
Originally Long Harbour and Placentia/Argentia worked together to propose a site in the area, with tax benefits being shared between the communities. Also, both communities will benefit from jobs and other support companies coming into the region to work. Hopefully all this controversy will not give Inco an opportunity to cancel a processing plant in the province. Currently they are committed to a plant somewhere in the province, but if the provincial partners aren’t acting in good faith, maybe there will be an out for Inco?
Personally, I prefer Long Harbour, but at least let’s try to get together on a choice quickly, and try to avoid a three way dispute between us, the feds, and Inco.