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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Showdown Set in Commons

The following appeared in the Halifax Daily News today.

Parties prepare to face off over budget measure on Atlantic offshore accords
MURRAY BREWSTER
The Canadian Press

Federal New Democrats set the stage yesterday for a political showdown over a budget bill that Nova Scotia and Newfoundland say will make them poorer.The legislation, which implements the federal budget, forces the two have-not provinces to choose between their cherished offshore-resource deals and a new equalization formula that could cost them $1 billion each over the long term.

The NDP called for a recorded vote on Bill C-52, to take place tonight.

The Liberals say they plan to join the NDP in opposing it.

By forcing an on-the-record vote, veteran New Democrat MP Peter Stoffer says the party is trying to encourage Atlantic Tories to break ranks and oppose the measure."It's designed to encourage them to change their mind," he said."We want to make sure everyone knows where all Parliamentarians stand on this issue. It shouldn't be hidden - or slid under the radar. We want to make sure people actually stand up and are accounted for."

Like the budget itself, the bill is a confidence measure and could theoretically imperil the Conservative minority government.But the Bloc Quebecois caucus, which pledged its support to Prime Minister Stephen Harper when the budget was introduced, say it will stand behind the Conservatives. Toppling the government and forcing an election now could be trouble for the separatist party, whose fortunes have been uncertain since its provincial cousin, the Parti Quebecois, was reduced to third-place in the National Assembly.

"On the most fundamental issues, it's been the Bloc that's been keeping these Conservatives in power," said NDP Leader Jack Layton. He predicted people will start asking: "What's going on?"

Bitterness in the Atlantic region over the potential loss of the revenue-sharing accords will likely be vented at Quebec as well as Conservatives, Liberal MP Scott Brison said. "To succeed in ripping up the Atlantic accords and turning his back on Atlantic Canadians, Stephen Harper needs to enlist Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois," he said. "He's enlisted the separatists to hurt Atlantic Canada."

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, the region's most high-profile Conservative, wouldn't answer a question about the accord as he left the Commons yesterday.

The dispute has been the subject of a nasty, public exchange between Newfoundland Tory Premier Danny Williams and senior federal Conservatives. The change to the complicated equalization program forces the two provinces to decide between their existing revenue-sharing deals with the federal government and a model being championed by the Tories. Choosing the reworked equalization program would cost both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia $1 billion apiece over the long term, provincial officials have estimated.

Under a 2005 special agreement with the former Liberal government, the two provinces were allowed to keep royalties from their existing offshore natural gas and oil projects without an equalization penalty. In the 1930s, Alberta received an exemption for its non-renewable resource revenues, something that has allowed that province's oil and gas industry to grow. The two Atlantic provinces, however, have had to fight for the same recognition.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

In a letter to the Nova Scotia Business Journal this week, Michael O’Mahony, a policy and communications analyst for the Offshore/Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia said (I've summarized for length):

There is more to the recent headlines between the provincial and federal governments over the latter’s recent budget than a dispute over equalization. The future of the offshore petroleum industry, employing thousands of people and pumping billions of dollars into the provincial economy, is at stake....

...the 2007 Federal Budget, in its current form, in effect unilaterally overrides the 2005 Agreement with the introduction of a “fiscal capacity cap.” For while the new Budget makes the equalization deal better for all provinces, the fiscal cap has the net effect of taking away from the value of the province’s offshore revenue...

...the 2005 Agreement explicitly states that "Nova Scotia can receive full value of its offshore revenue as well as full benefit from whatever equalization formula is in effect."

Thus the gap in the federal government’s argument;

Where is the logic of only being able to keep the 2005 Agreement by breaking the provisions of the 2005 Agreement?

...Unless the terms of the 2007 Budget are changed to offset the fiscal loss for the value of its offshore resources, the province’s financial incentive to invest in the industry is compromised, thus threatening the entire industry.

...Mr. Flaherty’s own party, energetically led by then Opposition Leader Stephen Harper, had supported the terms of the 2005 New Offshore Agreement. Until the introduction of the 2007 Federal Budget, not a word of the Agreement’s legislation had been changed...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the Bloc will prop up the Conservatives and even if the NS, NL and Saskatchewan Conserative MPs vote against Harper they will not be able to change the outcome.

So much for a fair and equal Canada. It's interesting that the governemnt needs a party bent on breaking the nation up in order to remain in power.

Anonymous said...

A sad commentary indeed!

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE, PEOPLE, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES, EXCEPT IT IS NOT ROSES WE'RE SMELLING ITS THE UNDERHANDED WORK OF OUR PREMIER TURNING PEOPLE AGAINST THREE MEN THAT ARE WELL RESPECTED IN NFLD. THESE PEOPLE ARE VOTING FOR THE BUDGET BECAUSE IT WILL HELP US, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT ISN'T IT. HARPER IS NOT THE BAD PERSON IN THIS, NO MORE ARE OUR MP'S IN OTTAWA NAMELY LOYOLA, FABIAN, DOYLE. IT'S OUR PREMIER AND HIS FOLLOWERS THAT ARE CAUSING PEOPLE TO ACT LIKE THEY ARE. CAN'T YOU SEE ALL OF THIS COULD OF BEEN AVOIDED IF THE MAN OF THE HOUR HAD SOME INTERGITY, SIT DOWN AND TALK, NOT ACT LIKE A SCHOOL KID ALWAYS USED TO HAVING HIS OWN WAY. THE ATLANTIC ACCORD IS NOT A BAD DEAL, HAVE YOU READ IT YOURSELVES, AND NOT DEPEND ON ONE PERSON TO JUDGE IT. WE DO HAVE OUR OWN MINDS. DANNY WILL FIGHT THIS NO DOUBT BUT IT WON'T BE FOR NEWFOUNDLANDERS IT WILL BE FOR HIS BENEFIT AND HIS BUDDIES, DON'T YOU KNOW THAT BY NOW. WHILE WE WAIT IT OUT AND END UP WITH NOTHING, HE CAN HOLD OUT UNTIL HIS BUDDIES GET ON HIS BACK. THEN HE WILL GIVE IN FOR THIS REASON AND THIS REASON, ONLY IT WON'T BE BECAUSE OF US. TO ME HE HAS A LOT OF APPOLIGIZING TO DO EVEN US THE PEOPLE. IF THERE IS ANYTHING TO FIGHT FOR, AS I SEE IT OUR PEOPLE ARE STILL LEAVING FOR ALBERTA SO THEY CAN'T HAVE MUCH FAITH IN HIM. ITS HIS EGO STANDING BETWEEN OTTAWA AND NFLD.

Anonymous said...

They should vote for the budget. The Atlantic Accord is fine. Regards costing the province a billion dollars I have to be very sceptical about that. I have lost trust in this premier. His actions, the way he handles himself, very arrogrant, no respect for people, because he does not like them. He's starting to sound like a broken record, it would make you scream. He has no regard for our Tory MHAs who I may add serve us well. He don't like the man MR.HARPER, so we have to suffer because of his dislike for people. What about us we don't like him. He still preaches ''MR.HARPER LIED TO US AND THE PEOPLE OF NFLD''. WELL HERE'S ONE'' MR. WILLIAMS LIED TO US THE PEOPLE OF NFLD''. HE SAYS HE BROKE HIS PROMISE TO ME AND THE PEOPLE OF NFLD. WELL HERE'S ANOTHER MR.WILLIAMS BROKE HIS PROMISES TO US NFLD PEOPLE. Do you see any differences in Danny what he done, you don't see Harper lowering himself to our premier level do you. THAT'S WHY PEOPLE IN CANADA HAVE RESPECT FOR HIM AND NOT OUR PREMIER AND HIS CHILDISH WAYS.

Anonymous said...

Loyola HEARN and Fabian Manning and Norman Doyle should not vote against the budget.They have been doing a good job as far as i'm concerned.If people want to be told who to vote for well live in the land were you are not free to vote for who ever you want.We stuck with the liberals for years and look where that got us.Now we have a pc government in Ottawa who will get us out of the mess the liberals so kindly put us in.As for what we have in government here is DICTATOR SHIP.We have the right to change things with this government in ottawa and these three men are the ones to do it.If you sit and realize yourselves what the good they have done you would not need a dictator telling you what to do ,how to think you can do this on your own.As far as mr.williams goes with everything just makes things worst for us.Its true what people are saying about him ,glory spotlight,winner,dicator,thats what his all about.His not for us like were lead to believe ,like for instance he is not a union man ,thats a fact.His not for the ordinary joe,his for his buddies and his rich .Were do we fit inthis election time thats when they all come out of hiding,we are there when we serve his purposes im surprise the people are not seeing this.The premier may be high in the polls but there still is a lot of people you dont hear from that can over power this poll.They have minds of their own and they are not about to be dictated to so these are the ones that really count.

Date: 5/15/2007

Anonymous said...

Patriot ,

From the last few post's I can see why the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is easy Pickings for Canada.
Some people need a "house " to fall on there heads.I don't like Danny Williams either,but if you all think that you should just role over and play dead for canada ,then maybe our culture and way of life is truely dead.
I never thought that I would say this,Patriot,but hearing that from a fellow Newfoundlander and Labradorian I can say that I'm ashamed to be from this Province.

May God Help Us All .

Anonymous said...

You Fool,if you can't see that Harper has lowered himself lower than a cook, you have all your senses disabled.

Harper not only reneged on Equilization he also reneged on the Income Trust and destroyed many Canadians futures. I lost more than I could afford on one trust fund, it has set me back for years and some people have lost their complete future.

How can you compare Premier Williams to someone who would do such a thing to cause so many to lose their future pension funds?

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that some of the postings seem to run immediately one behind the other. Example above is 3 postings all with nearly identical viewpoints within a span of 3 minutes.

Makes one curious as to whether the statements are coordinated, or just a coincidence.

Eveyone is entitle to an opinion, but sometimes the internet makes it easy to "stuff" the discussion, just like a ballot box,, or a House of Commons

Edward G. Hollett said...

"Makes one curious as to whether the statements are coordinated, or just a coincidence."

Yet another powerful reason to get rid of the anonymous posts.

Of course, that also might cut down on the number of supporters as well as critics, but at least then everyone would have a better of idea of what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that some of the postings seem to run immediately one behind the other. Example above is 3 postings all with nearly identical viewpoints within a span of 3 minutes.

Makes one curious as to whether the statements are coordinated, or just a coincidence.

Eveyone is entitle to an opinion, but sometimes the internet makes it easy to "stuff" the discussion, just like a ballot box,, or a House of Commons

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that some of the postings seem to run immediately one behind the other. Example above is 3 postings all with nearly identical viewpoints within a span of 3 minutes.

Makes one curious as to whether the statements are coordinated, or just a coincidence.

Eveyone is entitle to an opinion, but sometimes the internet makes it easy to "stuff" the discussion, just like a ballot box,, or a House of Commons

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that some of the postings seem to run immediately one behind the other. Example above is 3 postings all with nearly identical viewpoints within a span of 3 minutes.

Makes one curious as to whether the statements are coordinated, or just a coincidence.

Eveyone is entitle to an opinion, but sometimes the internet makes it easy to "stuff" the discussion, just like a ballot box,, or a House of Commons

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've noticed that too.

Anonymous said...

Error rate of N.L. cancer tests alarms advocates

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | 8:05 AM NT
CBC News

Faulty hormone receptor tests disqualified scores of women in Newfoundland and Labrador from receiving potentially life-saving treatment for breast cancer, court documents show.


Eastern Health announced in 2005 it was retesting samples from hundreds of women.
(CBC) The documents also show the error rate for a controversial series of tests completed over an eight-year period is much higher than expected.

For almost two years, the Eastern Health regional authority has been grappling with erroneous hormone receptor testing. A class action lawsuit has been filed over the tests, which have involved hundreds of women.

When testing began in 2005, Eastern Health predicted that about 10 per cent of the tests would be wrong. But an affidavit filed by Eastern Health as a response to the lawsuit shows the error rate is actually much higher.

Of 763 patients who tested negative, 317 turned out to have been given wrong results.

Why would anyone seek medical treatment in Newfoundland??

Starrigan said...

I heard that report concerning cancer tests on CBC radio, it's not just Newfoundland, it's common across the country and elsewhere. And it's not only cancer testing, pathology in general seems to becoming more and more faulty.

Anonymous said...

The report only talked about NL...sure there are errors elsewhere but not on the scale seen here.

Nonosbawsut said...

Plus we have the information withheld from the those affected and the public on the advice of lawyers!!

Anonymous said...

how can the current provincial government claim moral superiority in relation to ottawa or anything/anyone else when they withheld important information about people's health because they were afraid of a lawsuit? how different is that from the government agencies and bodies that kept quiet about mount cashel because the department of social services and department of justice could be criticized? who was fighting for those newfoundland and labrador women with cancer last fall?