Da Legal Stuff...

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rodney Macdonald's Testimony to the Senate

For those of you who haven't heard or read Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonaland's speech, before the Senate committee reviewing the budget implementation bill, I've posted the full text here. It says all that should need to be said on the subject to any thinking individual. Whether the Senate will hear his words is in doubt however.

Myles

Rodney MacDonald:

“Good Afternoon Mr. Chair and Thank You. It is an honour to be here."

“I have with me Nova Scotia's Minister of Finance, Michael Baker, and his assistant deputy minister, Liz Cody. You will hear from them later."

“While I am grateful for the opportunity to appear before your committee, I deeply regret the need to."

“Having exhausted every diplomatic effort to have the Government of Canada right an egregious wrong, I am here to appeal to the Senate to use all of its power and all of its authority to restore the Honour of the Crown, by requiring the Parliament of Canada to honour the terms and conditions set out in the 2005 Canada/Nova Scotia Offshore Accord."

“I will be brief, and I will be blunt."

“The Federal Government's efforts to tear up the 2005 Canada/Nova Scotia accord are not only extremely harmful to Nova Scotia, they do great damage to the reputation of the Parliament of Canada, they fuel public cynicism, create regional divides, and they cast a dark shadow over the future of our federation."

“How?"

“By demonstrating to Canadians, that the word of their government is to be questioned - and the contracts it signs on their behalf - not worth the paper they are written on."

“Strong words I know, but words that cannot be challenged when you examine the evidence in black and white taken against the standard of honour, integrity, or legitimate concern for the national good."

“Let there be absolutely no misunderstanding, the Canada/Nova Scotia Offshore Agreement is very clear. There is not a lick of ambiguity in the wording...not a speck of doubt about its intent."

“The Accord was expressly written and specifically designed to support Nova Scotia's efforts to grow its economy, to become more self-reliant, and over-time, self-sufficient."

“And let there be absolutely no misunderstanding, the Federal budget - Bill C52 - is also very clear. Again, there is not a lick of ambiguity in the wording...not a speck of doubt about its intent."

“It was intended to appeal to vote-rich areas of the country by rendering null and void signed agreements with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador; agreements that are not widely popular with either the federal finance department or with those who mistakenly believe Atlantic Canada got something special."

“Before I respond to that particular and misleading allegation, I want to address what can only be characterized as a deliberate attempt by the Federal Government to confuse and confound Canadians about the facts of the offshore accord and the effects of the 2007 budget."

“Let me take a moment to set the record straight by putting the facts on the table."

“Fact: The 2005 Canada/Nova Scotia Offshore Accord bears the signature of the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia, two legally-constituted authorities under the Canadian Constitution.:

“Fact: The Accord is an economic development agreement between the Federal and Provincial governments and is rooted in the Government of Canada's constitutional obligation under section 36.1 which provides the federal government with the power to further economic development in all regions of our country."

“Fact: Clause four of the Accord guarantees that Nova Scotia will be the full beneficiary of its offshore resources with no clawback of equalization benefits at any time over the life of the agreement, no matter what equalization formula is in effect at any time, over the life of the agreement."

“Fact: Section 81(a) of the Federal budget strips clause four out of the Accord by imposing a cap that claws back equalization payments to Nova Scotia without any corresponding compensation in offset payments, in direct violation of the Accord."

“Fact: The Federal Government's ultimatum to Nova Scotia, either stick with the Accord and sacrifice equalization dollars it is constitutionally entitled to, or opt into the new equalization formula and surrender the full benefits of its offshore revenues violates both the principle and provisions of the Accord."

“Fact: The Prime Minister has repeatedly said Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are asking him to sign new side deals. Not true. We're asking the Prime Minister to honour an agreement that is already in place. An agreement he didn’t just tacitly support ...but actively campaigned on while in opposition."

“Fact: When he led the Opposition, Prime Minister Harper came to Nova Scotia just days before the Accord was officially signed and said "Don't trust the Liberals they will find a way to claw it back." The Prime Minister clearly understood the dangers we were facing in placing our trust in the federal government."

“Fact: The Federal budget violates not just the spirit and intent of the Accord, it violates the letter of the Accord in every way, shape and form."

“Fact: If the federal government can tear up its agreement with Nova Scotia... if it can tear to shreds its agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador, it can and likely no doubt will, tear up others."

“Those, Mr. Chair, are some of the indisputable facts, and the reason I am here today."

“Mr. Chair, I'd like to now address some of the "urban myths" spinning out of the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of the Minister of Finance. Both Prime Minister Harper and Minister Flaherty have repeatedly stated that "not one comma of the Accord has been changed, and that it remains in its original, pristine form."

“Again, absolutely not true and they know it."

“The federal government has unilaterally wiped out an entire clause of the agreement - in fact, the most important clause of the agreement - clause four."

“The Accord, post-budget, is nowhere close to being in its original form."

“In fact, for all intents and purposes, it doesn't exist anymore. And if C-52 passes through the Senate Chamber without amendment, the final nail will have been driven into the casket that holds the Atlantic Accord."

“The Prime Minister also said that the federal government is being more than generous to Nova Scotia by giving it a choice. We can keep the Accord as it was or we can forfeit the enriched equalization benefits flowing from the new EQ formula. Pick one or the other he said, adding it is a choice between "a better deal and an even better deal."“Actually, it is more like pick your poison."

“Clause four of the Accord guaranteed Nova Scotia that it would never have to make that choice."

“Let me repeat that, Clause four of the Accord guaranteed Nova Scotia would never have to make that choice."

“It reads "Commencing in 2006-07, and continuing through 2011-12 the annual offset payments shall be equal to 100% of any reductions in equalization payments resulting from offshore resource revenues. The amount of additional offset payment of a year shall be calculated as the difference between the Equalization payment that would be received by the province under the Equalization formula as it exists at the time."

“Mr. Chair, neither of the two options the Federal Government has put on the table comes close to being acceptable."

“Here's why."

“Neither of them come within a country mile of meeting the Federal Government's obligations as spelled out under the Accord."

“The difference between option one, the so-called O'Brien formula and the Accord would mean Nova Scotia would lose an estimated $1.3 billion over the life of the agreement.."

“The difference between option two, the so-called fixed framework and the Accord would mean Nova Scotia would lose an estimated $793 million."

“In either case, Nova Scotia stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars...dollars the federal government promised we would have to support our efforts...our determined efforts ....to grow our economy...to become a have province and to begin leveling the playing field so our citizens pay roughly the same taxes for roughly the same services as other Canadians."

“But beyond the financial hit Nova Scotia will take as a result of the federal budget - is something equally, if not more troubling to me and to many Atlantic Canadians, and that is the underlying insinuation that we Maritimers want to have our cake and to eat it too - as some are suggesting....that the Accord was some kind of special, sweetheart deal others didn't get, and we don't deserve. Well, did other provinces deserve their economic development agreements?"

“Again, Mr. Chair, the 2005 Canada/Nova Scotia Accord is an economic development agreement. It is not double equalization."

“The Accord was meant to allow Nova Scotia to use the full benefits of its offshore resources - resources that have a limited shelf-life - to gain some economic momentum - and to put us on the road to greater self-sufficiency - and to making an even greater contribution to Canada."

“So why is it that Nova Scotia's economic agreement is under such harsh attack when the financial benefits to our province pale in comparison to so many others across our country? They pale in comparison to the billions of federal dollars that have gone into supporting Quebec's aerospace industry... They pale in comparison to the billions of federal dollars that support Ontario’s automotive industry...And they pale in comparison to the billions of federal dollars that were poured into western grain subsidies. Or the Alberta tar sands."

“Why is it that just two years ago when the federal government supported economic development opportunities in the Province of Ontario with a cheque worth 5.75 billion dollars - roughly seven times the value of Nova Scotia's Accord - and Nova Scotia did not object because economic development in one part of the country is good for all Canadians in all parts of Canada."

“And why is it that just days after the Federal budget was introduced - a budget that gutted our Accord (NS's economic development agreement) the Federal government pumped another 900 million dollars into Quebec's aerospace industry and nobody batted an eye?"

“Mr. Chair, let me be clear. I don't want anyone around this table, or anywhere else for that matter, to think that I am against any of the examples I just cited."

“It's the exact opposite."

“I strongly believe that the Federal Government has an important role, indeed an obligation, to support economic opportunities in all regions, provinces and territories within our country. In fact, that is what section 36.1 of the Constitution is all about and our accord is rooted in."

“I strongly believe - that a strong Ontario is good for Canada and good for Nova Scotia."

“I strongly believe - that a strong Alberta is good for Canada and good for Nova Scotia."

“I strongly believe that a strong Quebec is good for Canada and good for Nova Scotia."

“I fully support the government's efforts to help Western grain farmers, and despite the fact that we still don't have a formal commitment from the Federal Government to support our Atlantic Gateway initiative, I fully support the Federal Government's investment in the Pacific Gateway."

“All of these economic development agreements are essentially federal transfers. For that reason they are not subject to clawback. But the 2005 Accord, also a transfer, is clawed back in the 2007 Budget. In fact, the 2005 Accord is the only transfer in federal history, that we are aware of, that is clawed back."

“Mr. Chair it comes down to an issue of fairness.“It took more than 25 years, five Prime Ministers and a promise by Nova Scotia to put aside its jurisdictional claim over the offshore - for us to get to where we were on February 14th 2005 - the day the offshore accord agreement was signed by the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia."

“Only two years later, in an agreement that was supposed to last at least fifteen years, we find ourselves back at square one."

“By tearing up the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador accords, the federal government has sent the wrong message to Atlantic Canada."

“They've broken faith with the people of Atlantic Canada and created divisions within our country that will not be settled until the problem is fixed."

“So, Mr. Chair, I hope you, and all of the members of your committee, fully appreciate how much is at stake here....not just for Nova Scotia ...not just for Newfoundland and Labrador but for the future of federal-provincial relations within our Country."

“For Atlantic Canadians, this is about more than dollars and cents..it's about equality of opportunity for all Canadians...it's about fairness and respect for all Canadians ....it's about harmony within our federation... it's about what value we can put on the Government of Canadas signature."

“And for Nova Scotians, it's about a lot more than a political dust-up over a two-page, 9 paragraph agreement between two levels of government. Nova Scotians know that our Accord presented a rare window of opportunity to achieve greater prosperity, to provide a better future for our children and to contribute to a stronger Canada."

“Today, they feel betrayed - and so do I.“Mr. Chair shortly, I'm going to cede the floor to my colleague, Minister Baker, who will put forward - for the consideration of this committee and all members of the Senate - amendments to Bill C-52."

“Before I do, I want to end with a few brief comments and a request."

“All of you here today are proud Canadians representing different regions of our country... all with the best interests of your fellow citizens top of mind and our nation’s interests at heart."

“I am confident that, like me, you know that nation-building does not begin on the Pacific coast and stop at the border to Atlantic Canada. Nation building recognizes and supports the legitimate interests of every Canadian citizen and supports the economic potential of every province and territory."

“I know that you can make the case that no matter what the federal government does, there's always one province or one region crying foul."

“Fair enough."

“But after hearing the full testimony of the Province of Nova Scotia and examining in full the evidence we put before you today, I ask you to ask yourselves: has Atlantic Canada been treated fairly?"

“And I ask that you ask yourselves this: How can the average Canadian, any other level of government, or any other country for that matter, trust the Government of Canada to keep its word when signed contracts can be so easily dismissed and disposed of?"

“I urge you to consider our amendments and to take whatever steps within your power to restore the 2005 Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Accord and the Honour of the Crown."

"Mr. Chair, the issue of fairness for a small region of Canada - and Confederation partners - means a great deal to who we are and what we think of ourselves. The value of our agreements must mean more than here-today, gone-tomorrow."

“The Atlantic Accord was designed to last at least 15 years. It will survive about two years unless Bill C-52 is amended. I ask you to consider Minister Baker's amendments that will restore the benefits of the 2005 Atlantic Accord. Benefits that will put us further down the road to self-sufficiency."

“Thank you.”

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

We all have trouble with an unelected, unequal and inneffective senate but this is one of those rare times when they have an opportunity to actually prove their worth.

When I hear government members of parliament telling the senate they "have to pass this bill" or they "should listen to their liberal leader and do as they are told" it makes me sick.

I'd like to see a triple E senate but the whole idea behind the senate not being elected (as it now stands today) and having long terms (as it stands today) is so they can (and should) be able to make sound decisions and give sober second thought to legislation without having to worry about politics or having pressure put on them by parliament.

Unfortunately this may not be the case. As far as I'm concerned, if they pass this very flawed legislation without amendment it will be the nail in the coffin that proves the senate is useless.

Starrigan said...

Don't hold your breath, we'll see a few more impassioned speeches in the next few days. All of which will sound fair, and just, to us but in the end we'll get beaten back into the gutter. Don't forget it's that bunch down in Atlantic canada with their culture of defeat whining again about not getting enough money. I really don't think this is going anywhere, as much as I would love to see the senate grow some balls, I can't help but feel this is all just dramatics. We get built up a couple of days and then there's that inevitable canadian kick in the teeth designed to put us back in our place.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. But mark my words, the bill passes.

NL-ExPatriate said...

24 senators from Ontario, 24 senators from Quebec, out of 105 with many either missing or unfilled leaving someting like 60 to vote means it will pass. It's a numbers game and with no equal representation amongst the members/provinces of this federation anywhere in the system and I mean anywhere. Not in the Seante Not in the Supreme Kangaroo court of canukistan not anywhere we should finally face the fact thet we are nothing more than a colony of Ontario and to some degree Quebec.

And it isn't going to change anytime soon. It has already been tried, not once but twice. First time at Meech Lake and then at CharlotteTown. Both abysmal failures with Ontario and Quebec refusing to release their EMPIRICAL hold on the colonies/provinces by relinquishing their strangle hold, through the systemically flawed political system.

In case my nik doesn't register
Greg Byrne
NL_Expatriate
A FIGHTING Newfoundlander/Labradorian not A Freightened NL'ian.

Discredit the systemically flawed political system and stop eating your own by electing a truely NL federal representative in the

www.NLfirst.ca

representative.

Stop sending patsies as apart of a national party who will toe the party line and do what's in the best interest of the majority of canadians who live in ON/QU.

Great post patriot TY! While I watched it on CPAC I didn't have the time nor concentration to fully digest the contents of Premier MacDonalds presentation.

Anonymous said...

"Eagles May Soar But Weasels Will Not Be Sucked Into Jet Engines." The above is a statement attributed to John Crosbie's speech at NOIA in St. John's yesterday. Would somebody please intrepret it for me?

Anonymous said...

I might add that I didn't hear the above statement in the context of his speech, I heard it being repeated on VOCM this morning, and I do not know who it wad directed at.

Anonymous said...

I see the senate passed this fraud of a budget but what really surprises me is the fact that Conservative Senator Ethel Cochrane from Newfoundland and Labrador abstained from the vote.

How independent is the senate? NOT.

The bitch should be tarred and feathered.

Anonymous said...

Hey Folks, C"mon Newfoundland and LABRADOR,
what do you want everything.

What Do You want From Confederation ,B'ye!

CAPS LOCK said...

We want what the Prime Minister promised Newfoundland and Labrador when he was in Opposition, that is that 100 per cent of our non-renewable resources would be removed from the equilization payments. That is no different than the treatment Alberta received from Ottawa from 1957 to 1962 when it received equilization and it had 100% of its non-renewables resources removed from the formula and after that date it only reported 33 per cent of its revenue from non-renwable right up into the late 1970s.

Why shouldn't we expect the same treatment as Alberta received with its non-renewabkes?

And PLEASE never forget the resources that go out of Newfoundland and Labrador for processing in the other provinces, which greatly augments the other provinces economies with industries and jobs; and again do not forget the absence of HIGH PAYING Federal Regional Offices and Military Bases and all the other goodies that find their way into the other provinces compliments of Ottawa.

OTHER GOODIES SUCH AS TRANSFER PAYMENT AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT MONIES, ETC., ETC.,

ALSO DO NOT FORGET THE AUTO PACT OF ONTARIO AND THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY OF QUEBEC THAT GET HUGH INFUSIONS OF TAX PAYERS MONIES FROM OTTAWA.

Ed Hollett said...

Caps Lock wrote:

"and it [Alberta] had 100% of its non-renewables resources removed from the formula and after that date it only reported 33 per cent of its revenue from non-renewable right up into the late 1970s."

Not even close.

According to Courchene:

"Following up on its 1963 election platform, the new Pearson government restored the TTPS standard and removed resource revenues from the formula,
replacing them with the “resource-revenue override”; henceforth, 50 percent of the resource revenues accruing to a province would be deducted from that province’s equalization entitlement. The
return to the top-two-province standard meant that Ontario was again the only “have” province, but the resource revenue override precluded Alberta and BC from receiving equalization.

The 1967 fiscal arrangements represented a watershed in the evolution of equalization. ...

Second, the program became
comprehensive in the sense that
all provincial taxes and revenues
... and some local ones as well were now subject to equalization.

Third, 100 percent of resource
revenues entered the formula,
classified in over a dozen revenue
categories (e.g., new oil,
heavy oil, mined oil, Crown leases,
natural gas). ..."

From 1977, the 33% you refer to was actually an amount on top of other oil related revenues.

As Courchene points out: "So-called basic energy revenues (defined as the energy revenues
that existed in 1973-74) would
continue to be equalized in full, while only one-third of additional energy revenues would henceforth enter the formula."

What occured here was acutally the inclusion of oil revenues in the formula, whereas you are suggesting they were excluded.

Big difference.

That's why the existing treatment of Newfoundland and Labrador's non-renewable resource revenues is looked on by some as being a far sweeter deal than any other province has received.

It is.

But there is a good argument for temporary, declining transitional offset payments of the type negotiated in 1985.

However, our focus should be on following the Alberta example and generating the maximum wealth from resource development.

For all the complaining people do on this blog about "Canada" and "Ottawa" it's amazing that all your energy seems to be devoted to getting more hand-outs from the places you seem to despise.

BTW, Caps Lock, thanks for idtentifying yourself more clearly.

Caps Lock said...

I repeated above what I heard Senator George Baker say twice this week, once on CBC National Radio's Cross Country Checkup with Rex Murphy last Sunday and on VOCM Open Line this week. I trust that he is correct, after all he works for the Federal Government as a Senator and for many years as an Member of Parliament.

Starrigan said...

Ed, pay attention and stop being such an a$$hole know it all when you don't even have your facts straight.

Tell us why you are so anti Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ed Hollett said...

I heard Baker as well.

He said a number of good things and a great many things that were simply incorrect.

Some of the incorrect stuff was about Alberta and Equalization.

Caps Lock said...

You can listen to George Baker on Cross Country Checkup. Please make sure you have downloaded Real Player. Then click on past videos to the left and you will find Senator Baker comes in at 49 minutes on the dial/scale and he speak of Alberta at 55 minutes on the dial/scale.

If somebody could get Senator Bakers's attention and ask him to come to this blogsite to make an argument here on what is being said, I would be so ever greatful.

I do believe Alberta got its fair share, because Alberta would not let it happen otherwise. I know Western Canadians to be more astute than not to have done so. They have not been complacent in the Federation of Canada like Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Anonymous said...

Just another whiny-baby from the Maritimes.

Anonymous said...

shameful ,shawful ,and shamefull.

No matter how you spell it ,its disgusting to say the least.Well at least canadains are getting a glimspe of what makes this country so great .
Lieing politicans .Corrupt Governement. Deceit for personal gain.
Next they will be saying that this country was built on hard work and discipline.When ,and fact shows, it was built on the destruction of familys ,lies and corupt governement,and the blood and tears of the little guy.
Those that cry foul the greatest recieve the most ,while those that have suffered do not get an ounce of recognition.

This cannot continue.This province needs action now,or away out of confederation,simple but effective.

Anonymous said...

TO: Just another whiny-baby from the Maritimes.

Let me tell you the sordid story of which you will never be apprised by any Canadian what the province of Newfoundland and Labrador brought to Canada.

1. Its complete Eastern Flank, take a look at the Map, will you, with thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, with a Continental Shelf that extends out hundreds of miles that was referred to as one of the most prolific fish nurseries in the world.

2. Resources galore such as Fish Quotas. Canada took advantage of those quotas and became an industrialized nation because of them and it received much foreign affairs clout.

3. Iron Ore that greatly industrialized Ontario.

4. Nickel Ore which was shipped out to assist the smelters in Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba to keep the wheels of industry moving in both of these cities.

5. Upper Churchill Hydroelectric Energy that turned Quebec Hydro into an Energy warehouse. A resource, I might add, that we were refused what other provinces had received with no problem, a corridor across Quebec to wield that Energy to Markets. Quebec received a 72 year Contract for that Energy and a Contract with No Escalator Clause.

5. Oil that finds its way to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for refining and to the United States for consumption.

6. And no Federal Regional Offices and Military Bases, etc. with high paying jobs, that all the other provinces have been enjoying

And it can go on and on and all we received here in this province is a slap in the face and the whining that all we want to do is to TAKE, when that statement should have been turned around years ago when it first emerged and Ottawa should have been told, it is you who want to take not Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Just another whiny-baby from the Maritimes.

June 23, 2007 9:42 AM - Can't get near a "Google Server" though can you .Pathetic Coward!!!

Anonymous said...

Power is in knowledge. We have it regarding Canada and its treatment of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is burning you up Anon of June 23, 2007 12:17. Sorry to have burst your bubble with the information provided on what the province of Newfoundland and Labrador means to Canada, and what Canada doesn't mean to it.

Anonymous said...

June 23, 2007 1:45 PM - OH Boy ,you hit the nail on the head .

I hope in a couple of months ,when all this is done and everybody has clamed down ,everybody relises that this is just another excample of how we are treated in confederation.
What a complete farce of a country.My God ,if our forefathers could see us now they would be roling in thier graves.

Thanks alot Smallwood,you BASTARD.

Anonymous said...

Tell us why you are so anti Newfoundland and Labrador.

June 23, 2007 1:30 AM - Because he's a Federalist.Did you for once think Differant !!!Dont Let Your gaurd Down Guys !!!

Anonymous said...

My Goodness Patriot if the Premier of Nova Scotia, Rodney MacDonald thinks Nova Scotia has NOT gotten its fair share from Ottawa, is it little wonder that Premier Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador would be voicing the same complaint.

There is no comparison with the Federal Structures in Nova Scotia and that which IS in Newfoundland and Labrador. Neither does Nova Scotia export its resources to the rest of Canada the way that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador does. So Canada benefits in two ways from Newfoundland and Labrador, it hasn't placed the high paying Federal Regional Offices here, or Military bases, and the other provinces get to utilize the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's resources to create economies, and Ottawa benefits from that aspect.

Premier Danny you certainly do have a beef with Canada if Nova Scotia does?

babe in boyland said...

"I do believe Alberta got its fair share, because Alberta would not let it happen otherwise. I know Western Canadians to be more astute than not to have done so. They have not been complacent in the Federation of Canada like Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."

so youre saying newfoundlanders and labradorians are weaker and stupider than albertans? i think not and shame on you to suggest it!

alberta has been just as left out of ottawa decisions as newfoundland. however they had the advantage of massive oil fields that they welcomed oil companies to develop. albertans built up a strong support economy and we see where that got them. lots of economic activity, high employment, lots of government revenues.

just ask an albertan how they feel about what ottawa stole on them through the national energy program. they feel pretty angry. but you should also know that the national energy program funded the exploration that found hibernia, terra nova, white rose and hebron. the first three are bringing us almost 25% of our provincial revenues, so dont say alberta never did anything for us in newfoundland and labrador.

all across canada the provinces feel screwed by ottawa in their own way. theyre partly right and partly wrong, just like us. its because everyone talks about beliefs instead of facts. this is not religions, boys, its economics and politics. grow up and deal with it.

Caps Lock said...

Alberta had its years in the Sun where it received equilization with 100 per cent of its non-renewables removed from the equilization formula from 1957 to 1962 and also received all of its revenues from its oil revenues. And up until the late 1970s they had a great break as well, since only 33 per cent of it oil got factored into the equilization formula. That is a fact. Ask Senator George Baker to provide you the details.

WJM said...

Alberta had its years in the Sun where it received equilization with 100 per cent of its non-renewables removed from the equilization formula from 1957 to 1962 and also received all of its revenues from its oil revenues.

All provinces receive all of its revenues from oil or other natural resource revenues.

Alberta did receive oil revenues AND equalization in the early years.

But did it receive oil revenues without impact on its entitlement? That's an entirely different question.

And up until the late 1970s they had a great break as well, since only 33 per cent of it oil got factored into the equilization formula.

For what purpose? For calculating its entitlement, or for calculating the threshold for qualifying?

That is a fact. Ask Senator George Baker to provide you the details.

Why? Are you just parroting what someone else said? Or is it you don't know what you're talking about?

Anonymous said...

Twenty Bucks and a Six-Pack Says they "Gang Bang Him" Watch !!!

Starrigan said...

WJM, are you trying to be such an a$$hole?

Why are you acting like an a$$hole?

Does being an a$$hole come naturally to you or have you been practicing?

Have you been an a$$hole all of your life?

Caps Lock said...

Senator George Baker spoke to Rex Murphy on Cross Country Checkup on June 17, 2006 on his Call-in Show. He stated that Alberta had 100 per cent of its non-renewables removed from 1957 to 1962, and during that time, it received equilization payments and all all the Royalties from its Oil revenue as well. So it was doubly blessed during that period. He also said that up until the 1970s it only had 33 per cent of its non-renewables included in the equilization forumula.

I AM SURE IF IT WEREN'T TRUE Cross Country Checkup would have had several Albertans and officials from the Ottawa Government calling the show to say that it wasn't true. Many of them were tuned in that day, some of them were even on the show. YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR ON THAT ONE. THAT STATEMENT WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO STAY IF IT WEREN'T TRUE.

You can listen to George Baker on Cross Country Checkup. Please make sure you have downloaded Real Player. Then click on past videos to the left and you will find Senator Baker enters the show at 49 minutes on the dial/scale and he speaks oN Alberta at 55 minutes on the dial/scale.

Why do you always try to cover up for Ottawa?

Ed Hollett said...

"I AM SURE IF IT WEREN'T TRUE Cross Country Checkup would have had several Albertans and officials from the Ottawa Government calling the show to say that it wasn't true."

Well, not necessarily. Again, either Baker is misunderstanding what occurred or, it is possible Courchene is. Frankly, I doubt Courchene has got it wrong, whereas in the heat of the discussion baker may well be making a simple mistake.

"Why do you always try to cover up for Ottawa?"

Why is it that you intepret anything that doesn't fit with your "NL is a victim" myth as being anti-Nl or pro-Ottawa?

The problem is in how you automatically try and categorize people into this childish, simplistic "with us or agin us" frame rather than try and figure out what is actually being said.

Caps Lock said...

I think I will try to get in touch with Senator Baker and see if he will set us straight on that information.

To be honest I cannot see Senator George coming on a National Call Show where not only Canada hears him, but the whole wide World and announce that Alberta received 100 per cent of both equilization and its royalties between 1957 and 1962, and had a diminished amount of its non-renewables included in the equilization formula up until the 1970s.

I am sure the gentleman would have thought that through better than that and would have made the better judgement to announce it correctly. After all the Ottawa Government, Alberta Government or any Canadian could have reacted and corrected any error made. They didn't so we assume it must be true.

Again I do believe that Senator George Baker announced it correctly.

Anonymous said...

what did I say ,what did I say !!!!where do you get constructive discussion here Patriot.

Why is it that you intepret anything that doesn't fit with your "NL is a victim" myth as being anti-Nl or pro-Ottawa?

The problem is in how you automatically try and categorize people into this childish, simplistic "with us or agin us" frame rather than try and figure out what is actually being said.

June 25, 2007 9:00 AM - Heres a few excamples just for asking

1)http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1595-10941/politics_economy/cod_economy/clip5

2)http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1595-10944/politics_economy/cod_economy/clip7

3)http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-1595-10943/politics_economy/cod_economy/clip6

4)http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-73-564-2890/politics_economy/nfld_confed/clip9


Some people that "DID NOT" pay a price for the type of Governement that we chose will never relise the effect that such Government had on the people that were involved,let me guess where you sat !!!

So when are you going to re-tract your sad statement and apologise to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador for those racist statements involving thier culture and way of life.

"with your "NL is a victim" myth as" this is sheer propaganda ,Myles and I am asking you to take some action here .

Staments such as this are racist in nature and show absolutly no respect to those that have suffered .If you do not do somrthing then I will be forwarding Mr Holletts staemnet off to my MPP here in Ontario.

This is has done nothing but disgust me.Sheer Propaganda on Mr Holletts part!!!

Anonymous said...

No ya wanna know someting Myles ,I'm just going to copy this down and Im going to start giving this statement out to anybody in St Johns that will listen to me .

And,Im going to put Mr Holletts "GOOD" name to the test .Lets see if I can get a replye from Mr Andy Wells first ,then if I don't have any action there,I think that I will try the hearld then the Independant,then VOCM,then radio Newfoundland...........whoever the f%$#@ that will listen.

Caps Lock said...

To: Ed Hollett

I got in touch with Senator Baker this morning through the process of email and below is his reply:

BELOW - CONTENTS OF EMAIL FROM SENATOR GEORGE BAKER

Quote

The equalization program started in 1957 and had been renewed thereafter every five years. In 1957 Alberta argued that because of its revenues from oil and gas it would lose its equalization payments and that Alberta needed both the equalization payments and its resource revenues to continue. By agreement with the federal government and by agreement of the other provinces, oil and gas revenues were excluded from the formula. These oil revenues were computed in the formula after 1962, but again upon Alberta’s insistence (because they were receiving equalization payments at that time) the 50% of oil revenues computed for equalization purposes was reduced to 33% during the 1970’s. This accommodation for Alberta was publicly discussed over and over. It allowed Alberta to get up to the level of other provinces in services and allowed them to retire a considerable amount of their alarmingly high provincial debt at that time. This matter was thoroughly investigated before the Energy Committee of the House of Commons in the early and mid 1980’s – I know because I was a member of that Commons Committee.

UNQUOTE

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, let's put that against other sources and see what happens. Reasonable people can disagree, but let's see what exactly is the case.

That's certainly not the conclusion Courchene comes to, as I read it. I'll double check some information and see if we can explain the discrepancy.

Some anony-slagger, claiming to be from Ontario, wrote:

"Staments such as this are racist in nature and show absolutly no respect to those that have suffered. If you do not do somrthing then I will be forwarding Mr Holletts staemnet off to my MPP here in Ontario.".

Two things:

1. If you are going to accuse me of being a racist then have the courage to come forward and identify yourself.

You won't though, since your goal is to smear because you cannot deal with the facts of the matter.

You take a coward's approach and you will most definitely not expose yourself to the consequences of your entirely malicious, unsubstantiated comments.

2. There is absolutely nothing racist, ethnicist or anything else-ist in the comment.

It is a statement of fact: the argument is advanced by many that NL is a victim. I consider it to be nonsense. If you have the tiniest ounce of courage, you will identify yourself.

I will be more than happy to explain in detail why the victim mythology demeans and demoralizes Newfoundland and Labradorians.

Ed Hollett said...

Ok.

Here's the Alberta and Equalization explained as best I can sort it out from Courchene and other sources, including Senator Baker's comments.

1. Alberta received Equalization from 1957 (when the program started) until 1964/65 when the province no longer qualified.

2. At any point after that, no matter what portion of resources revenues was included or whether a five province or 10 province calculation was used to determine the national average fiscal capacity standard), Alberta never qualified for Equalization.

The 33% Senator Baker refers to is, as Courchene describes it:

"So-called basic energy revenues (defined as the energy revenues
that existed in 1973-74) would
continue to be equalized in full, while only one-third of additional energy revenues would henceforth enter the formula."

Beyond that, any discussion of what portion of Alberta's oil and gas revenues was used to determine Alberta's entitlement to Equalization is actually moot (i.e. irrelevant). Simply put: it's revenues were so great that the province didn't qualify for Equalization.

Compare that to the Nl case.

From 1998 and thereafter for 12 years, the provincial government was effectively able to make a choice between two different approaches:

1. to shield 30% of its non-renewable resource revenues from Equalization, effectively not limited to the Atlantic Accord (1985); or

2. to use the temporary, declining offset provisions contained in the 1985 agreement. These will expire in 2010, provided that the provincial government continues to qualify for Equalization and its Equalization entitlement declines.

Since 2005, the provincial government has been able to avail of another offset mechanism (essentially replacing the generic formula) that applies only as long as the provincial government qualifies for Equalization.

As it turns out, Newfoundland and Labrador will cease to qualify for Equalization around 2011/12.

Effectively, that will mean the province will collect Equalization and oil revenues for a total of about 12 years. Compare that to Alberta which received Equalization from 1957 to 1964/65 - a total of seven years.

Caps Lock said...

TO: ED HOLLETT

I SENT SENATOR BAKER A COPY OF YOUR LAST POSTING, HE PROMPTLY GOT BACK TO ME WITH THE REPLY BELOW.

THE ARTICLE IS HARD TO DIGEST BECAUSE IT EXPLAINS HOW THE LAST FEDERAL BUDGET STRIP THE PROVINCE OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR OF SO MANY GAINS IT HAD MADE OVER THE YEARS. AND WHEN YOU READ YOU WILL SEE HOW ALBERTA AND ONTARIO GAINS BIG TIME FROM THAT BUDGET.

MR. BAKER'S REPLY

QUOTE The piece you just sent me written by Mr. Hollett is I believe substantially correct in the numbers according to what we heard during hearings on the matter in the mid 1980’s, however it is Alberta who gains from this Budget in financial transfers from Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador are the losers. Let me explain: The House of Commons Committee of which I was a member in the mid 80’s heard evidence about the negotiations that went on to initiate the scheme of equalization payments.

The other money transfers from Ottawa are direct payments for health, social programs and post secondary education. With this budget Alberta ends up the big winner and we end up the big losers – that is in financial transfers from Ottawa.

Alberta was the main reason why natural resource revenues were not included in the 1957 formula. As I recall a full implementation of what was called the Rowell Sirois theory would have seen such revenues included. In fact five years later, in 1962, the revenues were included at a rate of 50%. Even with the 50% inclusion, strenuously objected to by Alberta, the treasury of Alberta continued to receive equalization for the next two years (in other words they received 100% of equalization and resource revenues from 1957 to 1962 and from 1962 to 1964 they received equalization with 50% of resource revenues calculated). That deal was exactly the same as the deal we were about to receive from 2005 to 2012. The equalization payments would be reduced but an offset payment or “side payments” as they called it would be made to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Crosbie intervention had nothing to do with what Premier Williams was promised (specifically in a letter to him from Mr. Harper) that all revenues from non renewable natural resources would be excluded from the formula. (This would have meant that Newfoundland and Labrador would gain considerably simply because of our debt and the fact that we over-tax our people something like 120% of the national average and something like 140% more than Alberta). However, that issue is distinct from the Crosbie amendment to the Budget Implementation Act. The Atlantic Accord Implementation Act of 1987 provided that a maximum of 70% of offshore resource revenues would be included in the formula. That provision has been totally removed in the Budget Implementation Act just passed. Sections 220 and 222 of the 1987 Act have been replaced. No section of the Nova Scotia Implementation Act was replaced. The “Martin Agreement” of 2005 was also changed. Crosbie is angry because he signed the original MOU in 1985 that contained a provision that the Accord could not be amended without provincial approval, and then he was the one who was credited with Mulroney and Peckford for the Atlantic Accord Implementation Act in 1987. This is not the same issue as that pursued by Premier Williams. He was promised that all natural resource revenues would be excluded from the formula for all time.

However something else has happened at the same time in this Budget and that is the Health and Social transfers to the provinces from the federal government has switched to a population driven formula – this means that Newfoundland and Labrador will lose a hundred million a year for health care and social programs whereas Alberta and Ontario will be the big winners – in both cases they will benefit in excess of $1 billion according to the economic analysis done by reputable groups of late. So the bottom line is that the greatest contributor to the national economy, namely Newfoundland and Labrador simply because we export more per capita than anyone else and have for the past 50 years, ends up the big loser in transfers from Ottawa. Alberta, which has no sales tax and the lowest tax rates in the nation, ends up getting the largest increase in financial transfers from Ottawa for health, social programs and education. And when you think about it, what are the largest expenditures in the provincial government? Yes, health, social programs and education.UNQUOTE

Ed Hollett said...

Well, Caps Lock I am not quite sure that Senator Baker and I are at odds. Once I dug back into it, it was pretty clear what he was talking about. Although - since he was there - he has considerably more direct knowledge than i do.

What he brings up at the end is another issue, that is how other transfers are set, transfers different from Equalization.

That's a different issue and on that he is quite right.

WJM said...

Hey caps lock: another question for you... what do exports have to do with equalization or other transfers? What's the connection?

Cap Locks said...

The information that the Senator furnished was surplus but instrumental to me in understanding the financial structures or vehicles utilized by Ottawa to breathe economic life into other the provinces. Now if only some of the monies were put into one of those financial vehicles to breathe economic life into the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ed and WJM the two of you don't want Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to know that the other provinces get specialty foods. Do You? I say that since you asked why the Good Senator provided the extra information that was akin to the question. I do not know who wishes you to argue that question, but obviously you are asking the question on behalf of some unknown entity. The both of you having hailed from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, I would have thought you would want your fellow inhabitants to know exactly how Ottawa operates. But for some strange reason you seem not to want all the information out there in the Newfoundland and Labrador public.

That is the reason I wanted to debate with you and drag out of you the reason why you came over, in the first place, to this blogsite to argue the points in our postings that Newfoundland and Labrador is not being treated equally in Canada.

Thank You Senator Baker for the wonderful information.

republican said...

Now Patriot ,what in the name of "GOD" can anyone do with this .This Gentlement spent all day talking to a Senator or his aids all day ,ALL DAY!!!

And this is the re-action given by thease too gentlemen.If this is not an excellent excample of why you and the organizations that you support,namely the Newfoundland and Labradore Defence Leauge ,need to have some sort of Forum were issuses such as this need to be discussed.
If it comes down to needing someone to admin or someone to donate time to its construction count me in .Whats a weekend of my time to donate to your work .It would be a pleasure to help out a gentlmen such as yourself.

OH Mr Hollett,if your so intersted in seeing who I am ,come on over .

http://cccure.org

i'm sure "Mr D" will answer all the question you need answered.If you cant talk to me there ,you will find me here.

http://www.sans.org

I look forward to seeing you Mr Hollett.

Ed Hollett said...

Caps Lock wrote:

"Ed and WJM the two of you don't want Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to know that the other provinces get specialty foods. Do You?"

I am not sure what you mean by this.

The simple fact of the matter is that Alberta did not receive any special treatment for its resources that netted any benefit.

Period.

After 1964, Alberta did not receive a penny of Equalization.

Period.

The rest of the discussion about how Equalization handled natural resources (as described accurately and clearly by Courchene) is all fine and good, but it does not provide a single example of what you describe, oddly, as "specialty foods".

All the information supplied by Senator Baker does not continue to that simple point: Alberta got nothing extra through Equalization. Not a copper. He dealt with the specific question you asked, but he does not continue on with the saga to get to the final conclusion. No special favours. No extra cash through Equalization on top of considerable oil and gas revenues.

If anything, the Alberta experience is of a province which the federal government consciously treated in such a way as to avoid having to provide it with Equalization on top of its huge oil and gas revenues.

That is unquestionably the conclusion Courchene comes to and if you look at other discussions of Equalization you see much the same point.

Far from not wanting all the information out there, the exact reason I have started debating with people here is to ensure that all the information does come forward. That's the whole point of busting up the myth: get the whole story out there and people will start to understand the victim story is just that: a story.

Far too many people make arguments around only a fraction of the story in order to support false conclusions, like the one that NL gets the shaft or that others get some kind of magically special treatment while NL is victimized.

The victim story is horsefeathers, to put it politely and mildly.

WJM said...

Ed and WJM the two of you don't want Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to know that the other provinces get specialty foods.

Specialty foods? Like, what, halal goat meat?

Starrigan said...

Caps lock, republican and everyone else reading this blog..... how many times have I told you, you're dealing with two big a$$holes. Ottawally and Crazy Eddy don't give a rats a$$ about facts, they're being paid to do exactly what they just did. They irritate the crap out of you, make you work like dogs to get information and then they just spit on it. You see this is what they're getting paid for, their job is to go to these blogs and pi$$ on anything pro NL but at the same time praise their Ottawa overlords. Like I said before, don't even bother to read their posts. They are designed to disrupt discussion. I mean just look at how pathetic Ottawally is, he has zero creativity, just the same old lame questions everytime. So in the future just ignore these a$$holes, don't get sucked into their stupid little game.

republican said...

Starrigan - I need you to do me a favour Brother ,next time that i start talking or trying to be polite to those to a$$holes ,can you do something for me please.In big bold letters ,"YELL" and tell me to snap out of it ,and get my head out of my a$$.

Thease two guys are the biggest racist,hypocrits ,and liars that i have ever seen .I cant believe that anybody from Newfoundland and Labrador is that much of a Liar.To do or say anything agaisnt thease people leaves me in shock .Anyway,thanks for bringing me back to reality.

"REPUBLIC OF "

Caps Lock said...

WJM: Specialty foods? Like, what, halal goat meat?



No WJM, I did a WJM there when I referred to Specialty foods, no different than you do WJM, it is a pun on words. Specialty foods to the provinces come in the form of transfer payments from Ottawa to the provinces, and the other goodies compliments of Ottawa, whose arms are never reaching enough to stretch to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Remember when Newfoundland and Labrador got its $2 billion for the Atlantic Accord, Ontario's McGuinty demanded and got $5.75 billion.

Here is what the Premier of Nova Scotia had to say about it.

RODNEY MACDONALD ASKED THE QUESTION BELOW IN HIS SPEECH

QUOTE“Why is it that just two years ago when the federal government supported economic development opportunities in the Province of Ontario with a cheque worth 5.75 billion dollars - roughly seven times the value of Nova Scotia's Accord - and Nova Scotia did not object because economic development in one part of the country is good for all Canadians in all parts of Canada." UNQUOTE

QUOTES FROM SENATOR BAKER

Read on you will understand what Specialty Foods are.

The other money transfers from Ottawa are direct payments for health, social programs and post secondary education. With this budget Alberta ends up the big winner and we end up the big losers – that is in financial transfers from Ottawa.

However something else has happened at the same time in this Budget and that is the Health and Social transfers to the provinces from the federal government has switched to a population driven formula – this means that Newfoundland and Labrador will lose a hundred million a year for health care and social programs whereas Alberta and Ontario will be the big winners – in both cases they will benefit in excess of $1 billion according to the economic analysis done by reputable groups of late.

Ed Hollett said...

Well, Caps Lock, I still do not get your point about "speciality foods" which you describe as federal transfers "whose arms are never reaching enough to stretch to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador."

This is a pretty extreme and complete false description of what goes on.

In transfers on a per capita basis, it is only logical that places with a bigger population will get more cash - if the money is handed out on a per person basis, the place with more people will get more money.

This particular federal government under Stephen Harper has decided to send transfers equally across the country on a per person basis. By no stretch of anyones reasonable imagination does that mean at all times and in all cases, typically that the federal government has short-changed Newfoundland and Labrador as your comment suggests.

Frankly, I'd consider your comment to be nonsense.

What Senator Baker described is the impact of decisions made by the current Conservative administration in Ottawa. The people who voted for them - including people in this province - are getting what they wanted. It is not something I support.

That said, if you look at a straightforward comparison between Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador when it comes to Equalization and resource revenues, the two have been treated essentially the same over time.

In more recent years, NL is actually getting a better deal than Alberta got. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. At least, two different administrations of two different political parties have supported providing extra federal transfers to this province and, in fact have agreed that NL should not be treated like Alberta and other provinces.

That's nothing to moan about since this province actually comes out better off as a result.

There is something terribly wrong with trying to spread the myth, the utter falsehood that NL is somehow being treated unfairly or less favourably than Alberta was.

Now, Senator Baker wrote: "No section of the Nova Scotia Implementation Act was replaced."

There is nothing sinister in this. The simple reality is that the Nova Scotia agreement on Equalization offsets is already effectively capped by the original agreement. (If I am reading it correctly)

The harm being done to NL on this point is that the 1985 agreement was changed unilaterally the Mr. Harper contrary to the 1985 agreement.

However it is equally wrong to take the very specific actions by a very specific federal administration - i.e. Harper's - and turn that into some sort of case of NL constantly being shafted and victimized.

Caps Lock said...

Ed you understood what I meant, since in your statement below you hold the same philosophy as the Federal Government.

Senator Baker spoke of the unfairness in that system.

ED YOU SAID: "In transfers on a per capita basis, it is only logical that places with a bigger population will get more cash - if the money is handed out on a per person basis, the place with more people will get more money.

THERE IS NO EQUALITY FOR NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR IN THE VIEWS THAT YOU ESPOUSE IN THE PARAGRAPH ABOVE. ESPECIALLY SINCE THE PROVINCE OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR EXPORTS SO MANY OF ITS RESOURCES OUT OF THIS PROVINCE FOR PROCESSING, AND IT HAS GOTTEN SO LITTLE OF THE FEDERAL REGIONAL OFFICES, MILITARY BASES AND OTHER GOODIES THAT HAVE BEEN HANDED OUT OVER THE PAST NUMBER OF YEARS.

Starrigan said...

Caps lock you're pissing into the wind my friend when you talk to these morons. It's best to just ignore them. They hate that, just ignore them for about 2 weeks and see what they do, they'll snap. Getting you riled up is their games, don't play it. Nothing you say will ever make a difference, no matter how much fact or passion you direct towards them.

republican said...

Caps Lock - My Freind ,its really not any of my buissness to tell any man what to do or say ,but let me let you in on a "Little" secret.You might as well be talking to the wall my friend ,because they don't "SEE" the crimes that were committed agaisnt the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

And,as you can see my friend,they really dont care because it simply "DID NOT HAPPEN TO THEM."

As a matter of fact all they want is for everybody to move into St Johns or move away to Alberta ,or God help us Ontario.And,if you think that the governement doesnt want that ,well,simply watch the news ,cause Harper ,is like Paul Martin .Only with a differant suit.And a bigger Pile of CRACK!!!

The oil we know is going to the mainland.The electricity is going were ,to the mainland.And the minerals are going were ,to the mainland.And the most important resource ,the people ,are going to .......................................................... do I have to go to a senator to prove that my friend !!!

Ed Hollett said...

"Ed you understood what I meant, since in your statement below you hold the same philosophy as the Federal Government."

Just because I understand something doesn't mean I necessarily agree with it.

Without putting words in his mouth, Senator Baker pointed out that the change in the way CST and CHT are being handled will cause this province to lose money and other provinces to gain more.

I don't seem him speak of unfairness of the system - of the thing in general -but rather the specific set up.

Now you and others of course who simply have a conclusion you want to race to will leap there irrespective of what goes on.

But once again, do not attribute comments or conclusions to me I did not make or reach.

Perhaps we can go at it from a slightly different angle.

Are you suggesting that every provincial government should get exactly the same amount of federal transfers?

How do you define equality?

Should a province get Equalization even if the province doesn't need it?

And as for starrigan and republicna:

What exactly are you two so afraid of? obviously you are quite terrified of people actually thinking and thinking for themselves. you spend a great deal of time trying to get them to stop.

Why is it that information intimidates you?

Why does thinking make you tremble?

Caps Lock said...

Now that is not what I said that you agree with it. Was it?

You said you didn't understand and I pointed out a paragraph in your second last post that showed quite clearly that you understood.

We are quite aware you do not agree, that is the prime reason you came to this blogsite in the first place.

We know you are pulling on the oars for Ottawa to keep the status quo as it relates to how it treats the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and you are pulling on the oars for the Oil Companies, that is quite apparent from your posts and from the fact you said you do not agree with our approach to obtain an equity position.

Big Oil doesn't want the province of Nefoundland and Labrador to have equity in our off-shore oil fields, that would mean more than anything, that this province would have to set in on all meetings, then we would be apprised of what exactly those ecological structures contain in oil reserves. That knowledge would be dangerous to their bottom line. We know full well how they let the air out of that balloon by letting us know in small increments that there is more oil than first thought. Of course that information is released for the financial community, rather than for the province's benefit. It is time we took equity and found out what is really contained in those basins as it releates to Oil and Gas. Our Oil and Gas Industry is in its infancy.

Alberta once had equity and now it is fully apprised as to what is contained within its ecological structures. They have a humunguous figure on that. Now they know exactly where to set their Royalty Regime.

Premier Danny Williams please do not give up on the getting equity for the province in that industry, we need to know what is in those reserves, after we know those figures, maybe then, if we rather go with royalties we can do just that. But first follow the pattern of Alberta, Norway, China, etc. and get a handle on what the Oil Consortium in our off-shore is actually Lording Over.

Starrigan said...

Republican, I agree with you 100%. My point is that talking to Ottwally or Crazy Eddy is useless. They're here just to bait you into endless arguments. All I'm saying is, just ignore them, they are useless a$$holes who sold their souls to Ottawa. They have no purpose except to irritate people like you and me.

babe in boyland said...

capslock: oil is contained in reservoirs, not "ecological structures". ecological means that there are live plants and animals there, which arent there in oil reservoirs.

heres a question - what if the first project we take equity in goes wrong? what if the rig sinks, like the ocean ranger? will you accept having to pay for schoolbooks again, so government can pay compensation to families? what if the field contains less oil or gas than believed, like the sable project in nova scotia? what hospital should we close to pay off our construction and operation costs until the project starts making money?

we have to think hard before investing in this stuff. if we had lots of money we could afford to lose, then we could gamble with it. as of now - not really worth it.

i say we should squeeze all the royalties we can out of the oil companies, enjoy the jobs created and use the regulation system to make sure the oil companies report their information accurately and fully. we dont NEED to have equity to have all those things. we dont NEED to take risks with our tax dollars, when we need them for our rural communities and our children.

Ed Hollett said...

Caps Lock wrote:

"We know you are pulling on the oars for Ottawa to keep the status quo as it relates to how it treats the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and you are pulling on the oars for the Oil Companies, that is quite apparent from your posts and from the fact you said you do not agree with our approach to obtain an equity position."

Absolute nonsense.

"... then we would be apprised of what exactly those ecological structures contain in oil reserves."

Again, this is pure nonsense.

Equity is about owning an oil company. It is not about knowing what is underground. The provincial government already has that information. You have that information. I have it.

Your claim is a common one but it is pure nonsense.

meanwhile, starrigan thanks for admitting thought scares you.

Caps Lock said...

babe - Sorry I used the wrong science, Oil is found in geological structures. I know the difference but my brain and my keyboard fingers got all confused. I will try not to make such an error again.

And babe my answer to your second question is, hopefully we will have the endurance to go past the first structure, if it should happen to be a dud.

Ed - Big Oil wishes that we not take an equity position, since with equity we would have to find out what is contained in those geological resevoirs. Equity equates into knowledge. The knowledge is the Asset that Big Oil wishes we never possess.

Ed -Please Stop trying so hard to twist things around so as to skew matters in favour of Big Oil. Please let Premier Danny Williams do the job that we want him to do for this province.

Alberta has more than 100 years experience in Gas and 60 years in the Oil Industry and is safe with the knowledge it has acquired with its equity positions over those years. Ed - Would you please stop telling the Premier of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador what to do? I will trust whatever he does, if taking an equity position is the right thing to do according to him, I will be quite satisfied with that or if Not, I will also be happy or whatever other option he chooses. I have faith that he knows what is right for the province.

A little History of Alberta's first Gas and Oil Industry

Alberta’s first recorded natural gas find came in 1883 from a well at CPR siding No. 8 at Langevin, near Medicine Hat. This well was one of a series drilled at scattered points along the railway to get water for the Canadian Pacific Railroad’s steam-driven locomotives. The unexpected gas flow caught fire and destroyed the drilling rig.


George M. Dawson in May 1885. (National Archives of Canada)This find prompted Dr. George M. Dawson of the Geological Survey of Canada to make a notable prediction. Noting that the rock formations penetrated in this well were common in western Canada, he prophesied correctly that the territory would some day produce large volumes of natural gas.

A well drilled near Medicine Hat in 1890 - this time in search of coal - also flowed natural gas. The find prompted town officials to approach the CPR with a view to drilling deeper wells for gas. The resulting enterprise led to the discovery in 1904 of the Medicine Hat gas sand. Later, that field went on production to serve the city, the first in Alberta to have gas service. When Rudyard Kipling travelled across Canada in 1907, he remarked that Medicine Hat had “all Hell for a basement.”

In northern Alberta, the Dominion Government began a drilling program to help define the region’s resources. Using a rig brought from Toronto, in 1893 contractor A.W. Fraser began drilling for liquid oil at Athabasca. He abandoned the well in 1894.

In 1897 Fraser moved the rig to Pelican Rapids, also in northern Alberta. There it struck gas at 250 metres. But the well blew wild, flowing uncontrolled for 21 years. It was not until 1918 that a crew led by A.W. Dingman succeeded in killing the well.

Dingman, who played an important role in the industry’s early years, began providing natural gas service in Calgary through the Calgary Natural Gas Company. After receiving the franchise in 1908, he drilled a successful well in east Calgary on the Walker estate (a well which continued producing until 1948). He then laid pipe from the well to the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, which began using the gas on April 10, 1910. Later mains provided the city with domestic fuel and street lighting.

Calgary & Southern Alberta



Introduction | Bison Economy | Kootisaw | Fort Calgary | Ranching | Agriculture
1895-1946 | 1947-1970 | 1971-1991 | Oil & Gas | Diversification | Ethnicity | Labour | Women


The Oil and Gas Frontier: 1913-Present
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Early Oil Speculation: Courtesy of the Glenbow Collection

The discovery of oil and gas in Alberta transformed the province’s economic, political, and social structures. As oil expertise became centred in Calgary, the city became a major destination for immigration from inside and outside the province. Alberta’s resources made what had been one of Canada’s poorest provinces into one of its richest. As a consequence, the province demanded a greater voice in the administration of the country.

Although people commonly associate Alberta’s oil and gas history with the discovery of oil at Leduc in 1947, the industry’s history began much earlier. In the early 1910s, William Stewart Herron, an Okotoks farmer, discovered gas at Turner Valley, southwest of Calgary. Two decades later, in the early 1930s, exploration uncovered oil beneath the field's gas wells. As a consequence of these developments, international oil companies began operating in Alberta. In 1923 and 1939, respectively, Imperial Oil and British American Oil built refineries in Calgary. The provincial government further contributed to Calgary’s development as a permanent administration centre for the oil and gas industry when it set up the Alberta Energy Conservation Board in 1938.

The original Dingman drillers, 1914: Courtesy of the Glenbow Collection

When oil was discovered south of Edmonton at Leduc in 1947, Calgary retained its position as a permanent administration centre for the industry. Numerous international oil companies began operating in Alberta and many established head offices in Calgary. Further exploration in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in a number of large discoveries. Pembina, located south of Edmonton, soon emerged as Canada’s largest oil field. In order to transport oil and gas to potential markets, oil and gas pipelines were required. These pipelines, which connected Alberta to the United States and the east and west coasts of Canada, became the "mega-projects" of the 1950s. They were as important to Calgary and southern Alberta’s development as the Canadian Pacific Railway had been in the early twentieth century.


The Expansion of Alberta's Oil and Gas Economy



Wells
Barrels
(millions)
Exploration
Expenditure
($ millions)

1947 502
6.3
25


1960 9,878
133.5
353


1972 14,168
522.2
870

Source: Foran’s, Frontier Metropolis



Dingman Nos.1 and 2 by Roland Gissing
Courtesy of the Glenbow Collection


The Turner Valley Oil Era: 1913-1946


Post-Leduc Oil and Gas Exploration and Development


Pipelines


The Energy Crisis and Constitutional Debates Between Alberta and the Federal Government





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Calgary & Southern Alberta / The Applied History Research Group / The University of Calgary
Copyright © 1997, The Applied History Research Group

WJM said...

Ontario's McGuinty demanded and got $5.75 billion.

Yip. And?

WJM said...

The other money transfers from Ottawa are direct payments for health, social programs and post secondary education.

ALL provinces get those. There's nothing "special" about them.

WJM said...

Hey caps lock, or is it Steve? how about a history of Alberta's equity position in its onshore oil?

Caps Lock said...

WJM: You said: Ontario's McGuinty demanded and got $5.75 billion.

Yip. And?

To your YIP, I wanted to demonstrate to you that statement was uttered by Rodney MacDonalnd, Premier of Nova Scotia.

Unlike the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia has not been neglected by Ottawa in any way, shape or form and it doesn't export from its province anything near the resources that are exported out of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I wanted to demonstrate how ungrateful.

WJM said...

Nova Scotia has not been neglected by Ottawa in any way, shape or form

There's a lot of Nova Scotians who'd disagree.

How has NL been neglected?

and it doesn't export from its province anything near the resources that are exported out of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

That's because, as a smaller province, it doesn't have as many to export in the first place. Perhaps you've never watched gypsum ships loading up and leaving from Hantsport. I have.

Anonymous said...

Small fry compared to 5800 mega watts of Hydroelectric Energy, Oil, Nickel, Iron Ore, Fish, etc.

Ed Hollett said...

Caps Lock wrote:

"Ed - Big Oil wishes that we not take an equity position, since with equity we would have to find out what is contained in those geological resevoirs. Equity equates into knowledge. The knowledge is the Asset that Big Oil wishes we never possess.

Ed -Please Stop trying so hard to twist things around so as to skew matters in favour of Big Oil. Please let Premier Danny Williams do the job that we want him to do for this province."

Sorry, but equity as described by Danny Williams is purely about having the provincial government own an oil company.

That's all it is.

The knowledge about what is underground in the geological structures is well known at the offshore board, the provincial government and Memorial university.

There is NO geological information of any value to be gained by an equity stake.

if nothing else the Premier should actually explain the whole thing in clear, plain language. Sadly, it doesn't matter at this point. the whole thing was quietly slipped into place in the last session of the legislature. If it turns out to be a complete folly, then my grandchildren will be paying for it.

"I will trust whatever he does, if taking an equity position is the right thing to do according to him, I will be quite satisfied with that or if Not, I will also be happy or whatever other option he chooses. I have faith that he knows what is right for the province."

That's just what everyone said about Joe Smallwood and Churchill Falls. Blind obedience to a politician. Like that has been successful around the globe over the past 400 years.

No politician deserves unquestioned obedience of the kind you advocate. It's a recipe for disaster.

Thanks for confirming that the same thinking that got us into this mess is still alive.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but equity as described by Danny Williams is purely about having the provincial government own an oil company.

That's all it is.

And what is wrong with that.If the govenement took that money and paid down the debt ,or created an industrail back-bone in the province .Or ,if the money that came from those resources went to then bebefit of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador .

republican said...

Thanks for confirming that the same thinking that got us into this mess is still alive.

June 26, 2007 6:07 PM - Its not that Smallwood was a bad man or that he had the support he did.The fact of the matter shows that smallwood ,and i quote hm here ,"did not relise what he was dealing with" namely canada.

And ed ,Its nice to see that the thinking that has gotten us here is still alive and well.Thanks for displaying that to me ,time and time again.

WJM said...

Small fry compared to 5800 mega watts of Hydroelectric Energy, Oil, Nickel, Iron Ore, Fish, etc.

Who decided to export those resources?

What would you do to turn those resources into cash, if not export?

Caps Lock said...

Ed: I heard your call to VOCM Night Line last evening in rebuttal to a caller who presented an argument for the province taking equity in its Oil Industry. I must say your delivery was great, but the message in the delivery was too cut and dried. I do not know whose interest you are arguing on behalf, but it certainly isn't the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's.

I did hear you mention though a couple of industries that the province had created a Corporation out of, and you stated the only one that you could remember stood the test of time was Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

Ed, I have a question for you. Were you not part of the Clyde Wells Government who wanted to privatize Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro?

I remember Sue Kelland Dyer took on the fight of her life to keep that flagship corporation out of the hands of the private sector, and as a result of months and months of Sue's efforts, Sue and her proponents who were against the privatization of that Crown Jewel were successful in stopping the process, and because of those efforts, that Crown Corporation, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is still going strong. I might add it is now the catchment basin for millions of dollars of net profit, profit that would otherwise be going to shareholders pockets all around the world if Sue Kelland Dyer had not use her talent and efforts to stop the giveaway.

I was happy to hear you say, in so many words, that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro was a winner, since I never thought that I would hear that statement out of your mouth.

You are my hero Sue Kelland Dyer for taking on the establishment at the time and seeing that the horrible deed did not come to past.

Of course Bay Street doesn't want us to talk about equity, when we do they prefer to call us Communists or Nationalists, since they work on behalf of the private sector. I don't care what Bay Street or the Globe and Mail think, since I want what is best for Newfoundland and Labrador. If Premier Danny Williams decides that a higher Royalty Regime is the way to go instead of an equity stake, I will trust his judgement and accept that as well. I do hope he will look at all avenues with his experts and choose the correct one for the province.

Ed Hollett said...

"If Premier Danny Williams decides that a higher Royalty Regime is the way to go instead of an equity stake, I will trust his judgement and accept that as well."

That's the same thing people said about Joe Smallwood.

Go with a winning strategy.

No politician deserves blind, unthinking, unquestioning support.

Not a one.

Hydro is financially successful (well, sort of successful) because it is a regulated monopoly.

Every other business venture operated by the province has typically turned out to be a spectacular failure.

private sector ventures backed by the provincial government? Typically spectacular failures.

The people who pay the price? The grandchildren of the people who gave blind, unquestioning support to politicians to do exactly what other politicians did - equally unsuccessfully - with the blind support of thousands at the time.

I don't know whose interest you think you represent, Caps Lock, but it definitely isn't the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Someone so familiar with the province's history - as you claim to be - could never advocate doing the same things over again that caused the mess we are in today.

Your staunch defence of Sue though would almost make me believe you are her, masquerading. Then it would fit perfectly since her entire argument is built around repeating the mistakes of the past, bar none.

babe in boyland said...

caps lock: its not the endurance, its the money. the last well drilled off newfoundland's coast cost a quarter billion dollars. it takes a whole lot of endurance to suck up that kind of loss. again, what hospitals should we close? what crown corps should we sell off?

oh and by the way - dd and others, the big success as a crown corporation is the NLC. nobody goes broke selling booze.

Caps Lock said...

Ed how come you were so wrong on Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro? You and your ilk the Liberal Government was deep into the process of privatizing Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, a Crown Corporation which you now acclaim as being a healthy entity.

Ed, had Sue Kelland Dyer not intervened with her group at the time she did, I am 100 per cent sure that Jewel of a Crown Corporation would have been sold and morphed into the private sector.

If that had happened you could now be described as the slayer of a healthy Crown Corporation, which would be augmenting private shareholders' bank accounts, instead of the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labador's Treasuary.

You would have completely erred on that front Ed, what do you have to say about that? You and your Party would have made a bad decision.
As we know now with hindsight that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, the Crown Corporation your government tried to slip to the private sector so many years ago was thriving then and is thriving now.

You say in your last post that Premier Danny will be making the wrong decision if he decides to take equity.

Ed your party's mistake in a RENEWABLE resource would have been MUCH LARGER than anything that the Premier will make by taking an equity stake in a NON-RENEWABLE resource should it not work? What is your opinion on that?

No Ed, I am not Sue Kelland Dyer but sometimes I wish I were her. But nevertheless I am thrilled that you could even think that I am her. Sue Kelland Dyer is a credit to this province and let us not forget it.

Ed Hollett said...

"Ed how come you were so wrong on Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro?"

Who said I was wrong?

At the time, privatizing Hydro would have reduced the provincial government debt, generated a significant one-time cash intake and created a locally-owned energy company that, as part of Fortis, would have been successfully involved in developing major projects around the globe.

On top of that, the company could have pursued energy development in Labrador free of the political tangles that have hamstrung a host of negotiations since 1972 and continue to hamstring governments in this province.

Even if the provincial government had followed the Norway model, we would have a very successful company doing considerably more than Hydro has been doing.

Hydro's entire financial success has come from delivering energy within this province: its "success" has come entirely out of the pockets of local people (you are in Ontario, right?).

People should not forget that the current legislature has created a situation in which Hydro can be involved in non-regulated activities and those will be tied to your power bill.

Compare all that to generating new cash for the province from outside the province's borders and at the same time making energy available for development within the province.

Hysterical, illogical arguments from the other side at the time do not constitute a gigantic win.

Rather they are a testament to how good ideas get shot down based on hype and misinformation.

Successful?

That wouldn't be the word I'd use for it in comparison to what could be.

As for oil and gas, I'll be extremely sceptical. It has started off with a $600 million debt. Let's see when - and if - it actually starts generating any profit.

If Hebron is any indication, then a net of $1.5 billion after 20 years is hardly something to write home about. The province could have had a far greater benefit than that if the project had gone ahead without equity but with a sweeter royalty regime.

Certainly the odds - from experience - are against the state-owned oil company matching the success of the many locally owned businesses who have already established themselves in the oil and gas industry.

As long as we keep making emotionally-driven political decisions on these things instead of calmer, economically driven ones, we'll keep going around in the same circles we've always gone around in.

Caps lock said...

No matter what you say about Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, I am elated that it didn't get spun off to the private sector. It is a great Crown Corporation as it stands now, but when all our energy resources come into being, I can see that Crown Corporation expanding greatly. It has the ability to be one of the greatest Corporations in North America, and I think it will end up being that in a few years with all the resources, oil, gas, wind, water and wave power that we have waiting to go through the pipeline.

Ed Hollett said...

First blush reaction: I am hardly surprised you reject out of hand an alternative that just doesn't fit your obvious preconceptions.

Second thought: if you listen to your favourite researcher, all the power will be generated and used in NL and the entire bill will come out of the pockets of the people in this province.

Of course that assumes that somehow, by some miracle the tens of billions can raised to build projects for which there is no market. After all, her whole premise is that not one tiny morsel of power must be exported.

If I want to run a business, I'll hire Stan Marshall long before I'd hire any politician or bureaucrat.

Too bad some people in the province refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past.

Anonymous said...

"Too bad some people in the province refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past."

yes, they have ,they stopped voting Liberial for starters.

WJM said...

yes, they have ,they stopped voting Liberial for starters.

What's "Liberial"?

Anything like "Conservationist"?

Anonymous said...

nope ,a little left wally!!! On the scale that is .

Anonymous said...

"obvious preconceptions."

This came from Ed Hollett.Were in the name of God is the pan guys ,cause I think someone is calling it Black!!!!

Ed ,your sounding like your true hipocritial townie self.How re-freshing Eddy!!!

so,what department was it guys,c'mon!!!!you know im going to catch you ,right simon.when was the last time you guys called Aylmer,Ontario.Oh an Jackin the browser isn't going to show shit guys ,this is a spooff,check it out simon.Gotta love thease free "TOR" Routers .
Why not just come clean guys and send me the email ,and i 'll go away no problems ,ad nothing said.

Anonymous said...

why all the heavy wieghts "scoping" the sight.You will drop the ball guys and you know it .Why all the flushing.

Anonymous said...

If the federal pot of money is to be handed out on a per capita basis then shouldn't it be collected on a per capita basis as well?
Why then did user fees get excluded from the formula?

The only reason NL, NS would receive more money through returns in the first two years of the new formula was because the Per capita transfers won't come into effect immediately.

Just get out!