Ottawa's position on this makes me sick. Newfoundland and Nova Scotia are wanting to be put in the same place as Alberta relative to their resources. Until the 1930s, Ottawa controlled the under the ground wealth out west but transferred it to the provinces, making Albertans rich as hell without doing anything but suck the oil out of the ground, just like Ontario gets to pull the ore out of the hard-rock mines in the vast north. Don't buy the sanctimonious hard-work ethic and fiscal conservative clap trap out of Calgary. They live on a hill of gold.
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia also live near a hill of gold - it's just under the sea. All Ottawa needs to do is tranfer the resources under the waters that Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders have lived off of for centuries - just as Ottawa did for Alberta. But Ottawa won't. Ottawa needs to tie it up with conditions and clawbacks because it apparently believes that an extended period of poverty needs to be imposed now rather than, say, when these have not provinces hit the national average for wealth per person. Newfoundland today rightly told them to stick it.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams says offshore royalty talks with the federal government are over, describing Wednesday's negotiations with federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale as fruitless. Williams – who had set a Christmas deadline for a new deal on offshore royalties – said his province and Nova Scotia were told they could not keep their energy revenues without conditions. Describing the federal government's last offer a "slap in the face," Williams said he saw little point in talking further with Goodale. "I am deeply disappointed," he said. "I am not as disappointed for myself as I am for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," he said.Ottawa is wallowing in surplus and can easily treat the provinces equitably but chooses not to. If Tory leader Harper had half a brain he would be in Atlantic Canada hammering this issue and getting the seats he needs to win. But he would need half a brain. So much for the leadership the country needs.