17 May 2005

John Crosbie - some background

As I headed off to work this morning, I caught the former imperial Tory governor of Newfoundland - one John Crosbie - defending the Connie cause by attacking Liberals.

Here are a couple of observations, since Mr. Crosbie found it necessary to blame the Liberals for the whole offshore mess.
1. John Crosbie negotiated and signed the original offshore deal in 1985 complete with the clawback - by one assessment - of 97% of offshore revenues through the Equalization program. [I am merely presenting the situation as Crosbie himself would have to admit it, given that he now believes in clawbacks.]

As provincial cabinet ministers, Loyola Hearn and Norm Doyle supported 97% clawbacks, too incidentally.

2. In 1990, Crosbie savagely opposed any changes to the clawback, arguing the provincial government was biting the hand that fed it.

3. In 1993/94, then-finance minister Paul Martin improved the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore revenues by changes to the Equalization protection offered.

4. In January 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin accepted the provincial government's proposal for changes to the offshore Accord as the basis for discussions.

5. In January 2005, Prime Minister Martin reached an agreement on behalf of the Government of Canada with Premier Danny Williams on offshore revenues.

John Crosbie might want to look at the record objectively before he starts spouting off.

He has a lot to answer for in the dock of historical judgment.