September 25th, 2020
Harris Responds to Natural Resources Canada Minister O'Regan's Announcement
St. John’s East MP Jack Harris says that the federal measures announced today are substantial and appear comparable in size with the assistance program offered in Western Canada earlier this year. But that program was directed at employing affected workers, and it’s not clear how today’s announcement will help affected oil industry workers in this province.
“More could be done. What I really wanted to hear was that Canada would lay out a definite plan to reach climate change mitigation targets in 2030 and net-zero in 2050 that would ensure a place for Newfoundland and Labrador offshore lower carbon fuel on the way to reaching them,” said Harris.
“I also thought the $320 million fund was new money until I was shocked to learn that the $320 million comes from dividends on the federal government’s Hibernia share.”
“It has long been the NDP position federally and provincially that this share should have been transferred to the province since it was never intended to be a federal windfall and Canada has more than recouped its investment and received a healthy return. At the same time Newfoundland and Labrador gave up significant tax revenues on Hibernia, breaks that continue to this day. This is money that should already be in Newfoundland and Labrador’s hands,” concluded Harris.