The government of Quebec is hard at it - trying to stop Newfoundland and Labrador from getting too much of the oil from Old Harry. The big question is how does the federal government enter into an offshore agreement with Quebec when the border dispute is unsettled? Can we expect another betrayal at the hands of our federal government? Is our provincial government going to stand up and let it be known we claim all of Old Harry in accordance with the Convention of the Seas - which our country has signed onto? There is absolutely NO time to waste in making our position clear. Or do we trust that our federal Natural Resources Minister, Christian Paradis, a Quebec MP, will negotiate with Ms. Normandeau taking into account our provinces' interests and claims. We must be on guard for a shady, and quick, back room deal here. The following news story came out today in the Montreal Gazette, but was not reported in any of our papers...
By Kevin Dougherty Gazette Quebec Bureau, Montreal Gazette December 15, 2010 5:02 PM
Quebec will ask the federal government for 100 per cent of the resource royalties from oil and natural gas developments in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which could bring the province as much as $8.7 billion.
Natural Resources Minister Nathalie Normandeau emerged from a regular meeting of the Charest cabinet Wednesday to announce that the cabinet has given her a mandate to negotiate a royalty agreement with the federal government.
Several potential drilling sites have been identified in Quebec’s portion of the Gulf, but Normandeau admitted Quebec has been pushed to act by plans to start drilling on the Newfoundland and Labrador side of the disputed underwater boundary between the two provinces at a place called Old Harry.
Corridor Resources Inc. of Halifax wanted to drilled on Quebec’s side of the line, but cannot without an agreement between Quebec and Ottawa.
So Corridor will drill instead on the Newfoundland side.
Geologists estimate that there are about 2 billion barrels of oil in Quebec’s portion of Old Harry. But the deposit could also be natural gas or perhaps a salt dome.
“We want 100 per cent of the royalties,” Normandeau told reporters. “Our priority in the short term is Old Harry.”
The federal government, backed by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, claims full ownership of Canada’s offshore resources. Quebec also claims full ownership of undersea gas and oil deposits.
Normandeau said reopening the constitution to resolve the dispute is a dead-end.
So, like Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Quebec will seek an administrative agreement with Ottawa, which will leave the ownership issue unresolved.
Under the administrative agreements reached by the two Atlantic provinces, joint federal-provincial boards manage offshore hydrocarbons.
Normandeau said Quebec wants to collect all the royalties itself, without federal participation.
She said the fact Christian Paradis, a Quebec MP, now is the federal natural resources minister represents an opportunity to resolve the dispute.
“I would be totally irresponsible not to seize this opportunity,” the minister said.
Normandeau added that Paradis is expecting Quebec to make this offer and talks will take place at the “top level” between deputy ministers, but that she plans to get actively involved in the talks as well.
Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)