The province has been clear that we don’t have the financial capacity to become an equity partner in West White Rose, but Federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan says they are talking to Husky.
He told reporters yesterday that he spoke with Rob Peabody from Husky, indicating that Ottawa wanted to run White Rose and West White Rose.
In the meantime, Newfoundland and Labrador has formed an Oil and Gas Recovery Task Force to decide how best to spend this money. Prime Minister Andrew Fury says the funding will be unconditional.
The official agreement will be signed on Monday, according to the prime minister.
Noia and CAPP say impact of money will be seen in detail
Industry stakeholders are cautiously optimistic, as how the money will be spent has yet to be determined.
Noia CEO Charlene Johnson says she won’t know the difference the money will make until more details are provided. She says strategic investments must be made in order to stretch the money as much as possible.
Paul Barnes of CAPP echoes this sentiment. He says how the money is used is the key to the industry’s prosperity, but he hopes it will result in good.
Political parties are not impressed by the announcement
Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie, however, was not impressed with yesterday’s announcement. He says that because the task force has 90 days to decide how to use the money, it won’t put people to work anytime soon. He says the 20,000 affected families across the province should be angry.
Federal Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole accuses the Liberals of “leaving behind” workers in yesterday’s announcement.
He said it did not contain any details, timelines or details of the supports requested by the industry. O’Toole says their slow response has already cost too many jobs.
Meanwhile, the NDP MP for St. John’s East says the ad missed a few key points.
According to Jack Harris, while the funding is comparable to assistance offered in Western Canada earlier this year, it is unclear how it will help affected oil and gas workers in that province.
Harris says he was also shocked to learn that the $ 320 million is not new money, but rather comes from dividends on the federal government’s share in Hibernia.
Harris says more could have been done.