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Friday, November 04, 2005

Is Newfoundland and Labrador Suffering for its Size?

Recently Newfoundland and Labrador Finance Minister Loyola Sullivan made a statement to the effect that the Province should be treated more like a Territory in respect to federal transfer payments from Ottawa. This comment apparently landed him in a little hot water with Newfoundland and Labrador’s only federal cabinet minister, Mr. John No-Effort, who immediately scoffed at the idea and all but laughed at the comment rather than listening and perhaps taking some time to understand it.

Thanks once again John. It’s reassuring to see you haven’t changed your standard approach of fighting for Canada and against your own Province.

Of course most of Canada feels that the Province already receives more than its fair share of federal funds and will, like John Efford, immediately point to the $2 billion dollar cheque “given” to the Province recently as a prime example of this.

Never mind that the $2 billion accounts for only 47% of revenues from the Province’s offshore and that getting it only reflects the fact that the Oil produced exists in Newfoundland’s territory. The fact is, if it was on land and not under the water revenues would have been coming to the province from day one as they do in Alberta, which bye the way received special treatment at the hands of Ottawa in the 50’s when its oil industry was starting.

Speaking of Alberta, a recent study has provided a clear example of the kind of situation that may have led Minister Sullivan to make his statement about transfer reforms. A recently released report identifies Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s poorest Province, as being second only to Alberta, Canada’s richest, in health care spending. Yet the Province continues to have some of the Country’s longest wait times. Why is this?

It’s quite simple really. Perhaps even simple enough for John Efford to understand should he take a minute to look at it. The reason is because we have a vast geographical region with a very small population. This requires the Province to maintain many more hospitals and clinics than it would like and along with that comes the operation of more equipment, doctors, nurses and the list goes on and on.

Think about it folks, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a land area of just over 400,000 thousand square kilometers and a population of about 500,000 people. To put this in perspective, this means that if every man, woman and child wanted to live nearly a Kilometer apart, they wouldn’t have a problem.

This folks (take some notes John) is why I believe Newfoundland and Labrador has always had an issue with the way transfer payments are calculated. Since payments are determined based on population this leaves the Province at a clear disadvantage. After all, when the population base is only the size of a small city and the territory is several times larger than the rest of the Atlantic region, it isn’t easy.

I believe this may be one of the reasons for Minister Sullivan’s recent statement and I also believe that once again these arguments will be ignored by Ottawa, thanks in no small part to Ottawa’s representatives in Newfoundland and Labrador (especially John No-Effort).

If elected officials from the Province won’t even entertain the concept of transfer payment reform, in fact don’t even want to hear it mentioned, what chance does the Province have in convincing the rest of the Country?

10 comments:

WJM said...

Recently Newfoundland and Labrador Finance Minister Loyola Sullivan made a statement to the effect that the Province should be treated more like a Territory in respect to federal transfer payments from Ottawa.

Does anyone besides me not find that sentiment a little disturbing? Sullivan wants to make the province EVEN MORE DEPENDENT on transfer payments from the rest of Canada! Wow.

Never mind that the $2 billion accounts for only 47% of revenues from the Province’s offshore

What is your source for this statistic?

The fact is, if it was on land and not under the water revenues would have been coming to the province from day one as they do in Alberta,

It is a myth that the offshore oil revenues are treated worse than onshore ones. THE PROVINCE HAS COLLECTED OFFSHORE OIL REVENUES FROM DAY ONE. The fact that they are offshore is irrelevant, and, in fact, under the equalization formula, those revenues WERE ALREADY treated more beneficially to the province than if they were on land!

Check your facts.

which bye the way received special treatment at the hands of Ottawa in the 50’s when its oil industry was starting.

There is absolutely no comparison between onshore Alberta and the offshore provinces: the offshore provinces got a much sweeter arrangement in the early years of their petroleum industries.

If elected officials from the Province won’t even entertain the concept of transfer payment reform,

Do you ever read newspapers? Transfer payments to provinces have been overhauled significantly in the past couple of years, and that's not even taking into account the increased dependence on federal transfer payments that Danny sealed with his "Atlantic Accord 2050"

Patriot said...

Hi WJM,

Good to see your still around. Unfortunately, as you know, I have given up responding to your pseudo-arguments because pointing out the facts only leads to more of the same and around and around we go.

Enjoy the visit anyway.

Harry Boland said...

Seems to me WJM has pointed out a bunch of facts that you seem too chicken to refute.

BUt what do I know? I'm American, where we have a dozen hinky dink states like the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, who do nothing but bitch at the "treatment" they get from the Feds, forgetting about who paves the roads, builds the highways, inspects the water, manages the armed forces and does all those other little things that keep Western peoples happy and free (and criticized ceaselessly by everybody else).

MrChills said...

WJM,

I am curious, how does it feel to be on your period everday of your life?

Your Truly

Monsieur Chills

WJM said...

I am curious, how does it feel to be on your period everday of your life?

It feels really strange, considering I don't have a uterus.

Thanks for asking.

NL-ExPatriate said...

I'm amazed WJM can even reach a key board he's so far up Ottawas ask!

Patriot said...

To Mr. Boland,

I can appreciate your comment. Being a newcomer you are obviously not aware of our past history with WJM or perhaps for for that matter aware of his history on other sites.

I could respond quite easily to his comments but that would be nothing but a waste of time.

If you would like evidence of this all you have to do is read some of our archived stories (and comments) to which WJM has responded. It's a losing battle with someone who is strictly anti-Newfoundland and cannot grasp the concept that you can improve Labrador's situation without selling out the other part of your province.

Side Note: If this doesn't elicit a response from WJM I will be shocked, so give me your best shot.

Table Mountains said...

i fondly refer to him as "louis."

NL-ExPatriate said...

"Riel"

Or maybe our American friend would better understand "Benedict"

WJM said...

Patriot says:

It's a losing battle with someone who is strictly anti-Newfoundland

Why is it anyone who is pro-Labrador is deemed "anti-Newfoundland" by ignorant Newfoundland nationalists"

Is it forbidden to question or critique the conduct and attitudes of Newfoundland's government and people towards Labrador?

Is it against the law to point out the hypocrisy of Newfoundland doing exactly the same things to Labrador, that Newfoundlanders complain -- usually wrongly -- are done onto themselves?

and cannot grasp the concept that you can improve Labrador's situation without selling out the other part of your province.

You cannot grasp the concept that you can improve the province's situation without selling out Labrador.

If Labrador is an integral part of the province, as our illustrious hypocrite of a Premier likes to say, then why should it matter if a Labrador resource never sees the light of day on the island of Newfoundland?

All one province, right?

Table Mountain says:

louis

Qu'est-ce que ├ža veut dire? What's that supposed to mean?

NL-ExPatriate says:

Riel

Why do you use the name "Riel" as if it's an insult?