"It's really unfortunate when one of our own comes out and betrays us like that."
- Premier Williams reacting to Grand Falls-Windsor lawyer Mark Griffin
Columnist Konrad Yakabuski's and Grand Falls-Windsor lawyer Mark Griffin's outlandish suggestion that the Provincial Government's hard-nosed approach towards Abitibi-Consolidated was part of a plan to free up power for Long Harbour and improve access to fiber for the paper mill in Corner Brook has raised the dander of the Premier.
The Premier told the Telegram that the province didn't need the power from the Exploits River in order to accommodate the Long Harbour plant. "He said 70 megawatts were freed up when the Stephenville paper mill closed, and an additional 54 megawatts of wind power has also been added to the grid."
Yakabuski said "it takes guts to question Mr. Williams from within the province he rules with a firm hand and, to be truthful, a fair amount of fear." I say it does not take a lot of guts to create fiction and divide the local community at a time when they need to be pulling together. Nothing can be gained by diverting attention from the issue of trying to find a new operator for the mill or a new industry for the town.
The bottom line is that Abitibi wanted to get out of the paper business in this province and it is time to pick up the pieces. Our government made the right call by not allowing the largest paper maker in the world to exploit our province's resources to subsidize the company's international operations.