Check it out, especially the bit about emotion and logic.
With all three oilfields now operational and the labour disputes at Voisey’s Bay in the past, we expect the province to post above-average growth of 4% this year. Beyond 2007, growth will be much weaker as dwindling oil production and a decline in capital spending — led by a retreat in private investment — drag growth to a 1.5% pace in 2008. The weakness in construction markets is expected to span both non-residential and housing markets. Newfoundland is the only province reporting a decline in overall 2007 capital spending intentions. Broadbased weakness in housing markets has also emerged with several indicators down this year compared to year ago levels.
Unlike last year, this year’s federal budget will have little effect on Newfoundland other than a new transfer funding formula that requires provinces to include 50% of resource revenues in the equalization formula. But, since the Offshore Accord shields offshore resource wealth in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland from clawbacks, they now both have the option of sticking with the existing system until the accord expires or opting into the new formula.
"It's not poppycock. It's fact," he said of the much-maligned subsea route.Well, sort of.
MacDonald said there are examples "all over the world" of more power being transmitted over longer distances under the sea.
He said it may cost more to build, but the people of this province will reap the rewards in the end.
"The cost is such a damn good cost to not have to depend on anybody. To maybe pay a little more to build it, but when you sell it, we don't have to pay a toll charge on the way," he said.
"I'm mad as a Newfoundlander and Labradorian about what's gone on here. There may be a price to pay in the short term, but we have to draw a line in the sand," MacDonald said.There's also no surprise that MacDonald couldn't put a value on the price. His boss hasn't been able to do it. There's no surprise also that MacDonald offers up nothing more than Danny-esque rhetoric of drawing lines in sand and getting ready for "war". Danny Williams' latest war may be justified, however, as with every other war he has raged, Williams has been unwilling or unable to provide any substantive evidence to back his ire.
"Why is it when Newfoundland and Labrador asks for it, it's something that we don't deserve or it's something we shouldn't get? Well, it's so important that we don't roll over on it."Fortunately for us, his other remarks on this point were carried by CBC radio's On the go. MacDonald referred to Alberta's oil royalty regime. No one has opposed that since the 1985 Atlantic Accord. Newfoundland and Labrador today is in exactly the same position with respect to oil and gas royalties as any province in the country. In some respects, for example in comparison to the tar sands, our existing royalty regime is infinitely better than the Alberta regime.
Their deep insecurity and old fears force them to shut the doors and barricade the frontiers. They attempt to drag us along in their withdrawal by giving their misadventure the allure of a crusade, as if rage could be known as courage and bitterness could replace spunk.
John F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."
I say to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians: "Ask not what we can do for our country, because we have done enough. Let's ask our country what they can do for us."
Moreover, CSIS [the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency] has convinced Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day that it is able to do more spying abroad than it has in the past without the trouble of asking for parliamentary approval to start up a new agency.That assessment is apparently supported by the Prime Minister's security advisor.
In Mulroney’s day, keeping the Hibernia project afloat was a major battle in itself. When Gulf Canada pulled out of the Hibernia consortium in 1990, then-cabinet minister John Crosbie and others convinced Ottawa to take an 8.5 per cent equity share. This was achieved against a backdrop of relentless criticism of government involvement in such a high-risk project, most notably from West Coast oil analyst Ian Doig.
The subsequent Liberal government reaped the benefits of this inheritance while steadfastly refusing to restore the intended spirit of the Atlantic Accord, i.e., affording maximum benefits of offshore oil to the province without equalization clawbacks.
And, as well, letting the country know Newfoundlanders are quite capable of taking care of themselves.The entire basis of Wakeham's argument is that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians cannot take care of themselves. He absolves the provincial government - successively and of any political stripe - of having any responsibility for any decisions at all, let alone for running the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador.
That they’re not to be treated like sixth-graders.
That they know all about responsibility.
Ottenheimer: I have no idea, Mr. Speaker, where the hon. member gets his information. Dr. Fitzgerald plays a very significant role, a role of importance, representing the Office of the Premier, representing the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and representing the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, in Ottawa.That's got be the most expensive taxi hailer on the planet.
Mr. Speaker, in addition to that, when any minister travels to Ottawa to meet with his or her federal counterpart, he is at all times accompanied by Dr. Fitzgerald. In fact, only two or three weeks ago I travelled to Ottawa. I met with three or four of my federal colleagues, and on each occasion I was accompanied by the good doctor; so, I say to the hon. member, what he is saying is completely irrelevant. It is not in any way representative of the truth. He plays a very significant role of importance on behalf of the people of this Province.
One offshore industry executive said the delay could cost hundreds of offshore jobs.The rest of the Moira Baird story is on the slowdown in drilling offshore Newfoundland the consequent job losses.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said the executive, who did not want to be named.
“The net loss of jobs … could be up to 500 jobs.”
Those jobs include full-time rig crews, offshore supply boat crews, divers, well logging and testing personnel, weather observers and caterers.
“With no energy plan in place, no gas royalty regime in place, no Hibernia South, no Hebron and now no exploration activity — when are we going to see this industry develop?”
Another industry executive, who also didn’t want to be named, pegged the payroll loss of a rig, such as the Eirik Raude, at more than $1 million per month.
“It’s grossly disappointing.”
The executive also levelled criticism at Premier Danny Williams, saying he has set back the province’s offshore industry by 25 years.
That process started, said the executive, with the loss of the Hebron project and Hibernia South, and continues with the lack of a natural gas royalty regime to kick-start gas exploration by companies like ConnocoPhillips.
“As far as everyone is concerned globally, we’re not open for business. No one wants to deal with him,” said the executive.
“All he does is fight. The business community here is sick of it.”
This means the province will no longer have control of offshore oil profits, but it said it chose the short-term federal funding to avoid tax increases and program cuts.Sheer bunk. The Nova Scotia government sets and collects its own offshore revenues. It controls them now and it will continue to control them as long as its accord with Ottawa (from the 1980s) remains in place.
Accompanying this public discussion has been an academic debate over Newfoundland nationalism and the merits of Confederation. John Fitzgerald has been a prominent critic of the impact of the Terms of Union on Newfoundland. Invoking the weight of archival evidence -— in a published interview, Fitzgerald asserts that "History is incontrovertible on some of this stuff" -— he notes that [Craig] Dobbin and [former cabinet minister Walter] Noel raise legitimate points. Fitzgerald views the current reappraisal of Newfoundland's constitutional relationship with Canada as a positive development: "The one thing that is overwhelming in this is that I think people are starting to realize generally that Canada's best interests are not necessarily Newfoundland's best interests....And that's a good thing." His scholarly work makes three main arguments: the Terms of Union were negotiated through an extremely unfair and flawed political process; Confederation has not served the province's economic interests; and joining Canada marked the grievous loss of Newfoundland's nationhood. The popularity of this view was reflected during the special conference convened by the Newfoundland Historical Society to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Confederation, titled "Encounters with the Wolf."Fitzgerald's views are not without criticism from other local historians. The above linked paper notes the views of one historian, namely Jeff Webb:
...Webb has debunked the conspiracy theory that the vote for Confederation was somehow rigged and outlines how nationalist historiography has perpetuated romantic myths rooted in an interpretation of Newfoundlanders as victims. Webb argues that these myths not only ignore the reality of Newfoundland's history, but also embrace a disturbing right-wing ideology which implicitly rejects the democratic rights Newfoundlanders freely exercised in 1949. In addition to this ideological component, nationalism draws on the wider cultural appeal that conspiracy theories enjoy in the present period of political malaise — in Newfoundland as elsewhere in North America — because they offer a fulfilling romantic fantasy:Of course, if none of that were true, any doubts federal Conservatives had about the feisty Premier of the eastern province were dispelled in October by none other than the Premier's brother. Both the Prime Minister and the federal Conservative party president were given a fine welcome to what the other Williams apparently referred to as "Dannyland".
For a generation that came of age under Smallwood, Moores or Peckford, creating a mythology about the idyllic communities before confederation is easy. Other critics will admit to the existence of poverty, but point to the value of the resources that might have made Newfoundlanders wealthy if Canada had not stolen them. While these resources had the theoretical potential to enrich Newfoundlanders, our experience, under several constitutional regimes, has been that the reality of capitalist exploitation of these resources did not benefit most Newfoundlanders very much. In fact, the most hardy perennial in Newfoundland has been the struggle to find a constitutional solution to economic problems."
Some Tory MPs from other aggrieved provinces acknowledged that they're getting some heat over the budget from their constituents. But they predicted the anger will subside once voters understand the complicated details of the cash transfers.
“There's been some disgruntlement and I understand that,” said Newfoundland MP Norman Doyle.
But he said Newfoundlanders will “come to understand... that we're not losing any money at all.”
Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said “the original hype” surrounding the budget left Newfoundlanders thinking “we lost something.”
“We lost absolutely nothing from equalization or anything else.”
The more that I see, the more nauseous and angry that I get. The way that our people and our region have been treated by one arrogant federal Liberal government after another is disgusting. The legacy that the late Prime Minister Trudeau and Jean Chrétien will leave in Atlantic Canada is one of dependence on Mother Ottawa, which has been orchestrated for political motives for the sole purpose of maintaining power.Of course, Danny Williams has been noticeably less fiesty since his self-imposed media blackout a little while ago. One of Williams' repeated messages this past week has been that that he doesn't want to be perceived as fighting just for the sake of fighting.
Simple, obvious things that Danny Williams can't figure outPaul might well have added the effect peeing on the PM's shoes in public would have.
Apparently the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador is upset about the booty the recent budget delivers to his province. Here's what nobody seems to have explained to him.
Danny Williams made Paul Martin's life a screaming blue hell for most of a year and a half. Martin turned his government, his most senior staffers and bureaucratic helpers, and the entire tortured logic of Canadian fiscal federalism into pretzels to please Williams. Paul Martin wore himself into a sobbing heap to please Danny Williams.
And his reward was one fewer seat in NL than he had before he went to the trouble.
Why would any prime minister ever again lift a finger to appease Danny Williams?
Somebody should explain this to the premier.
"Ce système (fédéral) est suffisamment flexible pour changer et s'adapter à nos besoins. Nous avons des résultats si nous faisons connaître les buts qu'on veut atteindre et qu'on agit avec détermination", a déclaré lundi soir M. Charest, alors qu'il commentait le budget fédéral devant les journalistes.Rough translation: "The federal system is sufficiently flexible to change and adapt to our needs...We will have results if we know the goals we want to attain and act with determination..."
Yet this Williams administration would rather fight for more equalisation than make the moves necessary to generate income from the resources we have. Hebron, just as one very small example, has been estimated to provide government revenues of $400-500million per year and thousands of jobs across this province. Out of pique, this government continues to refuse to go back to the negotiating table and to make a deal.Amen, brother.
And now Premier Williams expects the rest of this country to subsidize his colossal error in judgment and his failure to close this, or any other, economic development deal. Out of pride, he says.
That's a definition of pride to which I have difficulty subscribing.
To respect the Offshore Accords, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador may continue to operate under the previous Equalization system until their existing offshore agreements expire.
Newfoundland and Labrador will continue to receive the full benefits provided under its offshore Accord, without a cap, while keeping the Equalization regime it had when it signed those Accords.The first part of that sentence is fine, since the federal budget does not alter the wording of the bilateral agreement signed in either 1985 or in 2005.
Fulfilling the Commitment to Respect the Offshore Accords- Cap transfers such that no province can have a fiscal capacity in excess of Ontario. Equalization is intended to give all provinces in the country comparable fiscal capacity and thereby ensure that all Canadians have access to similar levels of service no matter where they live. One of the complaints from non-recipient provinces has been that the combination of federal transfers can actually produce a situation where recipient provinces - like Newfoundland and Labrador - have a greater capacity than most non-recipient provinces.
To respect the Offshore Accords, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador may continue to operate under the previous Equalization system until their existing offshore agreements expire. This fulfills and builds upon the Government’s commitment to respect the Offshore Accords and ensures that these provinces will continue to receive the full benefit that they are entitled to under the previous system. These provinces can permanently opt into the new Equalization system at any point in the future. [Emphasis added]