28 March 2011

Bond Papers readers know more than provincial energy minister

Both the federal and Quebec provincial governments may have released the text of their agreement on underwater resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last week but Newfoundland and Labrador natural resources minister Shawn Skinner didn’t even see a copy until today – March 28.

As he told the provincial legislature during Question Period:

…It just came into our possession over the weekend is my understanding. I actually saw a copy of it this morning myself. I have not had an opportunity to review [it]…

Anyone with access to the Internet could have had a copy of the deal the day the federal and Quebec governments released it.

That’s where your humble e-scribbler found it last Thursday for a post that appeared on Friday.  That post included this assessment:

What’s most interesting about the Laurentide Accord, though is the fact that it is modelled, generally, on the Atlantic Accord (1985) between Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government or the similar Nova Scotia offshore accord.

As Skinner told the House, his officials did manage to figure out this much since they clapped eyes on the agreement over the weekend:

What I am told by officials at this point, where they have done a cursory review, is that it is very similar to the accords that have been done with Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. The agreement is very similar…

Tomorrow, Skinner will likely be telling everyone that Quebec doesn’t get Equalization offsets, that provincial spending is unsustainable and Elvis has left the building.

Or at least that’s what he understands from briefings provided by his officials.


- srbp -