September 12, 2017
For Immediate Release

Would Have Been the Perfect Time to Press Prime Minister and Federal Cabinet on Issues Important to NL

Keith Hutchings, Finance and Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, says, “The presence of the Prime Minister and federal Cabinet Ministers in the province made this the perfect time to press for answers on issues and obligations outstanding for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

‎Hutchings said, “In a press conference Tuesday morning, the Premier never mentioned any discussion with the ‎Prime Minister on issues such as the $400 million Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries investment fund that Mr. Trudeau promised ahead of the 2015 election in recognition of the decision to relinquish minimum processing requirements to the European Union as part of CETA negotiations.”

“While we have pressed the Premier to engage in discussion with the Federal Government on a range of issues, he appears unwilling to do so. What a great opportunity to have those discussions here in our province. We need to be pressing for fair application of the equalization provisions of our constitution, which are giving billions to other provinces to help them cope with revenue shortfalls and balancing their budgets, but yet Newfoundland and Labrador is getting zero equalization because of unfair federal rules that can be changed any time in the Parliament of Canada.”

“With the current challenges facing our fishing industry, the issue of joint Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries management is never more important as we look to the future of the industry. Joint management was a commitment in the Liberal red book, but again there was no mention of it with the Prime Minister in our province,” said Hutchings.

“We also need to stand up for our offshore oil and gas industry and the right of the joint Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to oversee environmental approvals rather than the made-in-Ottawa approach the federal Liberals are proposing.”

“With our economy today, we need to be creating an environment for growth, and standing up for Newfoundland and Labrador’s small businesses. The recent federal Liberals’ corporate tax change scheme is causing grave concern to local business groups and entrepreneurs.”

“We need to stand up for our ocean technology sector which has grown significantly over the past decade, but all the province’s efforts lost significant ground when the Ocean Frontier Institute headquarters was recently announced by the Federal Government to be placed at Dalhousie in Nova Scotia. Again, there was no discussion with the Prime Minister and Ministers here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“If the Premier can’t find his voice to stand up for Newfoundland and Labrador, the people of the province will hold his feet to the fire and make the case with our own voice,” said Hutchings.

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca