Danny Williams, the Premier of Newfoundland, went toe-to-toe with big oil over revenue-sharing. When the offshore oil companies withdrew their services and said they wouldn’t do business with Newfoundland as a result of the tax revenue Williams wanted for his Province, Danny stood his ground and refused to kiss oil company ass. Consequently, 18 months later, big oil went back to work in Newfoundland and started paying the piper.
Recently in Alberta, Premier Ed Stelmach tried to do the same thing to big oil. The only trouble is, he blinked, and gave in when the price of oil tanked. Like the gutless jerk that he is, he came up with a new revenue plan that will eventually leave the province broke.
Now, Danny Williams is at it one more time with AbitibiBowater, who just closed their pulp and paper mill in Grand Falls, Newfoundland. Danny passed Provincial legislation to take ownership of all hydroelectricity rights from the generating station at Star Lake, as well as timber rights to forests on Crown land which were previously owned or granted to AbitibiBowater.
“That corporation has the right to do whatever it has to do to keep their company profitable … but from my perspective as premier, and on behalf of people of Newfoundland and Labrador, we’re willing to tell them to go on and do their business in other parts of the country and other parts of the world,” Williams said. “You came in with none of those resources, you leave with none of those resources, we wish you well.” — cbc.ca
Link to article here.
AbitibiBowater will be compensated for infrastructure investments, but not for the loss of rights to the natural resources themselves.