The Telegram (St. John's)
N.L., Quebec agree to work together
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard (left) and Premier Dwight Ball announced an agreement to come to an agreement Wednesday in Edmonton, a first step toward co-operation on mining development and transportation around the Labrador-quebec border.
It’s all still quite vague, but Ball said the governments think there might be ways to co-ordinate services around the Labrador Trough mining developments on the border.
“We have examples where the resource actually straddles the border. So we have geotechnical information, Quebec would have geotechnical information, so this would accommodate the sharing of that information.”
There’s also the matter of Route 138, the Quebec highway that runs along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Trans-labrador Highway.
The two governments want to talk about connecting those roads, and also the N.L. study of a possible tunnel between Labrador and Newfoundland.
“With the fixed link as an option, Route 138 connection would actually allow tourism or allow economic development on the north shore of Quebec that would feed directly into Labrador or feed directly into the island portion of the province,” Ball said.
The relationship between N.L. and Quebec has been pretty bumpy over the years, and the two provinces are currently battling in court over Labrador hydroelectric issues.
But Ball said they just didn’t talk about energy issues, instead focusing on areas of consensus.
“There are no energy discussions, there are no discussions on Muskrat Falls with Philippe Couillard or officials here,” Ball said.
“My approach to all of this is we find areas where we can actually find consensus. … I would say that we’ve already missed significant opportunities within our province because we’ve refused to sit down at tables and find areas where there’s a shared interest.”