Vive Le Canada

N.L. oil industry backs Williams over Hibernia South
Date: Saturday, January 20 2007

In marked contrast with their showdown over one oilfield, the Newfoundland and Labrador government and local industry are on the same side regarding a new disagreement over another.

"The province's position [is] very reasonable," NOIA [Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association] president Ted Howell told CBC News.

[Natural Resources Minister] Dunderdale said the province cannot approve the development until Hibernia's partners turn over information, including details on what benefits which would include jobs and royalties the province could expect to see.

However, Opposition leader Gerry Reid said he sees a disturbing pattern with how Williams's government is dealing with oil companies.

"He doesn't seem to be able to make a deal with anybody," said Reid, noting that Newfoundland and Labrador's population continues to decline.

"While that is occurring, we're having an exodus from this province, the likes of which we've never seen before."

Liberal Opposition Leader Reid is not making any sense in his statements. Granted, an opposition is supposed to oppose. But please gentlemen, let us have some sort of rational opposition, if you please! Newfoundland is hemorrhaging workers because of Fort Mac in Alberta. Danny Williams wants to ensure that the oil off Newfoundland's shores is used to keep Newfoundlanders at home. The oil companies apparently are not willing to sign on to any kind of guarantee that would do this. Ergo, no deal. How could Gerry Reid oppose this? He should be solidly on side, shoulder-to-shoulder and toe-to-toe, in the interest of Newfoundland's citizenry.

Were that our Conservative PM Harper had the fortitude of Conservative Premier Williams!

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 22, 2007]

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