Saturday, January 29, 2005

Offshore Oil Crisis Resolved for Now

I have to say I'm rather dissapointed by this.

The agreement-in-principle, which almost collapsed late in the evening, would see Nova Scotia get $830 million over eight years. Newfoundland would get at least $2 billion over the same period.

Ottawa will guarantee that much in either equalization payments or energy revenues. The federal government is also willing to extend the plan a further eight years, if either province is still receiving equalization payments.

In exchange, Newfoundland took off the table a demand to keep all equalization payments, as well as energy resources.

To me it looks like the Premiers simply became exhausted by protracted negotiations and took what money they could get their hands on. The oil revenues are worth far more than that and while Ottawa is running huge surplusses is as good a time as any to tackle that 'fiscal imbalance'.

I'm also going to miss the "Danny Williams Hates Ottawa" show, that's been on the evening news these last couple monthes. It seemed like a great sequal to the "Ralph Klein Hates the Federal Government" show.


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