Reacting after the fact has been our political history in this Province, until Danny Williams that is. We often approached national and provincial issues in a defensive way, and assumed good will amongst our fellow man. However, this is not the Law of the Jungle, as it were, in the political realm. In this realm you must fully focus on your objective, believe in your cause, and be prepared to fight it until the end.
Recently I wrote a blog questioning why our federal MP's were NOT standing up for Newfoundland and Labrador's interest in the Gulf of St Lawrence, and in particularily the Old Harry sub-sea oil /gas field. It is with regret that I inform you that not a single MP, all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, has spoken publicly on the issue or even bothered to return my email to them.
Give credit where credit is due. Prime Minister Harper's office answered the call. I would expect Minister Paradis would now follow through and ensure the border dispute is settled prior to granting Quebec an offshore petroleum agreement of any sort. If this occurs, it is a signal to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that the right decision will be made, despite political cost, and that their interests are being defended - rightly in this case. It is that kind of governance that could result in the transformation of a minority government to a majority.
The following is a copy of my Email and the PMO's response:
December 15, 2010 8pm EST
Dear Mr Harper,
I am writing to you today in regard to the Province of Quebec`s ambition to
attain an offshore petroleum board agreement with the federal government. It
is of great concern to me, as I know it will be to my fellow Newfoundlanders
and Labradorians, that the Province of Quebec is seeking to attain such an
agreement without first successfully negotiating administration lines with
our province for the demarcation of exploration rights in the Gulf of St
Quebec Natural Resources Minister Natalie Normandeau has publicly alluded to
a ``special understanding`` between herself and your Minister of Natural
Resources, Christian Paradis, as noted in an editorial of the Montreal
Gazette today. It concerns me deeply that Ms Normandeau has been making many
public remarks on this point. It also concerns me deeply that you have
stated, and in all places Newfoundland and Labrador, that a you see no
reason why an offshore agreement with Quebec cannot be reached.
Specifically, in the case of the Old Harry site, there are legitimate
questions as to whether Quebec has any right to explore there. The Magdalen
Islands, after all, are far removed from Quebec`s natural shoreline, and as
such could rightfully be relegated to a 22.5 km territorial sea, as was the
case with the French islands off Newfoundland`s coast. In any case, without
a maritime administration line agreement how can the federal government give
any credence to Quebec`s assertion that an agreement is possible.
I believe, as our Prime Minister, that it is your duty to also represent
Newfoundland and Labrador`s interests in this dispute. At a minimum, I
believe that Mr Paradis or yourself must publicly state that an agreement
with Newfoundland and Labrador is necessary before the federal government
and Quebec can enter into an offshore petroleum agreement.
Yours sincerely, Brad Cabana.
January 7, 2011 9pm EST
Dear Mr. Cabana:
On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to thank you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources. The Prime Minister always appreciates receiving mail on subjects of importance to Canadians.
Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Paradis, so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the Minister will give your views every consideration.
Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre
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)