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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Will Old Harry Put Ottawa - Quebec - Newfoundland & Labrador at Odds Once Again?

With excerpts from the Vancouver Sun

Que. seeks deal on petroleum exploration in Gulf of St. Lawrence

QUEBEC — The Quebec government on Tuesday called on Ottawa to come to an agreement that would allow oil and gas exploration in Quebec's sector of a multi-billion dollar prospect in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Old Harry formation is one of the largest undrilled prospects in Eastern Canada with an estimated potential for up to two billion barrels of recoverable oil or up to five trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas, making it almost twice the size of the Hibernia oil project.

Old Harry has remained undrilled because Quebec and Ottawa have not struck a deal yet on oil and gas management and revenue sharing. The most likely reason for the delay in striking a deal is the location of Old Harry which straddles a disputed marine border between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This represents a good opportunity and lot of money for Quebec...", said Natural Resources Minister Nathalie Normandeau. "We want to settle this issue for good. Quebec has been very patient and we're taking a firmer line today. We've been waiting for 12 years and now we want to reach a deal."

The minister noted the main two points of contention are the ownership of the sea bed and the boundary between Quebec and Newfoundland in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Old Harry prospect is located in the Laurentian Channel and straddles the Quebec-Newfoundland boundary, agreed to by Quebec in 1964 but still disputed by Newfoundland and Labrador.

Normandeau wants Quebec to come to a deal similar to the ones reached separately by Newfoundland and Nova Scotia with the federal government in the 1980s.

In a statement sent to Canwest News Service, federal Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis said his government is "willing to work with Quebec and all provinces to ensure a responsible and lasting development of our natural resources."

Corridor Resources, which has the drilling rights to 60% of the Old Harry site announced last month that it will conduct a site survey on the Newfoundland side of the Old Harry structure in preparation for drilling an exploration well.

The PQ fears the company will siphon Quebec's resources through Newfoundland and end up leaving the province short of billions of dollars in royalties.

"We don't want Old Harry to become payback for Churchill Falls," said PQ critic Alexandre Cloutier.

The CEO of Corridor Resources said Quebec's sector of Old Harry remains the most desirable location for an exploration well, but stressed the company has to go where there are no impediments.

"If a well on the Newfoundland side is indicative of a potential, there may not be a followup on the Quebec side," said Norman Miller.


Anonymous said...

"We don't want Old Harry to become payback for Churchill Falls," said PQ critic Alexandre Cloutier.

Interesting that he would choose those words. Quebec has never admitted to doing anything wrong with relation to the Upper Churchill so why would Mr. Cloutier believe there was any reason for "payback" by NL?

The truth slips out when people are frustrated I guess.

Anonymous said...

Simply stated, Quebec knows that it has it coming. The crimes that they have committed still go unpunished to this day because of Ottawa’s “Lack of Spine “

It’s very funny though how Quebec is running to a Government that it has embarrassed several times on the world stage. Not including what they have said durng the Copenhagen talks. Charest can talk and bad mouth Albert’s dirty Oil but when it comes down to it’s the seats that Quebec has that make this Conservative Government so committed to warm relations with Charest and his cronies.

This in turn is what scares me the most now. With Harper so eager to do everything and anything to get back at Newfoundland and Labrador. If I am exaggerating, why do we have Portuguese boats dragging what remains of our beloved Cod fishery into extinction? Without a word being raised by the animal crackers that are Peta.

Its seems that under a Canadian sky anything is possible. Except a free and fair deal for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Looking at the Laurention Channel this on this map, I can understand why Newfoundland and Labrador has not agreed to this border claim.


Maybe, just maybe this will be the nail in the Confine for Confederation. With so much injustice being done on Quebec’s and Ottawa’s part, it will finally awaken us to just how bad a deal we really got in 1949.

Quebec knows of the crime that it has committed. It will defiantly be the elephant in the room for any talks on any future agreement between these two nations.

" Republic Of "

Anonymous said...

Just some real nice facts Myles !!!


Anonymous said...

I thoughtthat you might want to share this PDF with your readers Patriot. This map clearly shows why Newfoundland and Labrador should never accept the agreement that was put in place regarding the border that Quebec has agreed to.


Anonymous said...

In response to an email about this issue I have received a response from Minister Kathy Dunderdale indicating that the provincial government is monitoring the situation and are ensuring NL's interests are protected.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a little off base regarding the actual blog but why aren't Newfoundlanders filling the email box at CBC regarding the disparities about countries such as Portugal fishing what's left off the coast of Newfoundland? Why isn't the provincial government of Newfoundland blashing out about that so it is known right across this country? A. Morris

Anonymous said...

can somebody please respond to Mr A. Morris. C'mon guys I wrote a letter to my member of parliment here in Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Not sure guys about your info about the border Quebec NEVER agree with that. First it was a "steal" to lower Canada (Quebec)



The border between Labrador and Canada was set March 2, 1927, after a tortuous five-year trial. In 1809 Labrador had been transferred from Lower Canada to Newfoundland, but the landward boundary of Labrador had never been precisely stated.[4] Newfoundland argued it extended to the height of land, but Canada, stressing the historical use of the term "Coasts of Labrador", argued the boundary was 1 statute mile (1.6 km) inland from the high-tide mark. As Canada and Newfoundland were separate countries, but both members of the British Empire, the matter was referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London), which set the Labrador boundary mostly along the coastal watershed. One of Newfoundland's conditions for joining Confederation in 1949 was that this boundary be entrenched in the Canadian constitution. While this border has not been formally accepted by the Quebec government, the Henri Dorion [2] Commission (Commission d'étude sur l'intégrité du territoire du Québec) concluded in the early 1970s that Quebec no longer has a legal claim to Labrador. [3] [4] In 2001, Québec Natural Resources Minister and Québec Intergovernmental Affairs Minister reasserted that Québec has never recognised the 1927 border:

"Les ministres rappellent qu'aucun gouvernement québécois n'a reconnu formellement le tracé de la frontière entre le Québec et Terre-Neuve dans la péninsule du Labrador selon l'avis rendu par le comité judiciaire du Conseil privé de Londres en 1927. Pour le Québec, cette frontière n'a donc jamais été définitivement arrêtée.[5]"

(The ministers reiterate that no Quebec government has ever formally recognized the drawing of the border between Quebec and Newfoundland in the Labrador peninsula according to the opinion rendered by the privy council in 1927. For Quebec, this border has thus never been definitively defined.)