Opposition Leader Gerry Reid is once again calling on Premier Danny Williams
and Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne to release documents related to the
failed negotiations with Abitibi Consolidated related to their operations in
Grand Falls-Windsor and Stephenville.
"The Premier continues to deflect
any requests to release documentation regarding the Abitibi negotiations,"
said Mr. Reid. "The people of the province, especially Stephenville and
Grand Falls-Windsor, have a right to know exactly what was offered to the
company and what was refused. The Premier is the same individual who stated
he would release all documentation related to important resource projects.
Now, he is hiding all documents related to these failed negotiations from
"If the Premier believes that he has done everything possible to save
these operations, I call upon him to release the documents for public
scrutiny. Instead, the Premier is lashing out at anyone who questions his
negotiating style. The Premier has already refused to meet with the Bay St.
George Chamber of Commerce and the concerned citizens committee because they
questioned whether enough was done to find a solution. This is the same type
of approach he used in an effort to silence the people of Harbour Breton.
These are not the actions of a concerned and reasonable negotiator.
"This Premier and government must be challenged. The longer they are
permitted to conduct secret negotiations and refuse to release any
documentation, there will be no way to verify whether their actions are the
best approach to finding a solution. The people of Stephenville and Grand
Falls-Windsor should demand that everything be put on the table for
scrutiny. Otherwise, it will be too late to save these operations once they
are shut down."