Michael questions Premier’s ability to get more from Atlantic Accord without solid fiscal plan
This week in the House of Assembly, NDP Leader Lorraine Michael continued to question the Premier for answers on his intentions for the Atlantic Accord review.
Yesterday, Michael asked how the Premier plans to prove to the federal government that he has a plan for achieving economic stability. She asked the Premier if he was expecting another hand-out of billions of dollars without demonstrating a fiscal plan.
Today in Question Period, Michael noted that the Premier asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister to put in place a review for the Atlantic Accord 2005, which does not have to be done until March 31, 2019.
“I ask the Premier, what exactly does he hope to achieve by opening the discussion early? Does he plan on trying to renegotiate the terms of the agreement by basing it on a different measure of economic activity?” Michael said.
Michael notes the Atlantic Accord says the review will address the extent to which the objective that Newfoundland and Labrador be the principal beneficiary of its offshore has been achieved.
“We know the federal government has received approximately $2 billion in dividends since oil started flowing in 1997 from its 8.5 per cent stake in Hibernia, over and above being paid back in full the $430 million it put towards the project’s construction,” she said.
“I ask the Premier, will he use the review to go after the 8.5 per cent equity share in Hibernia given that the federal government has more than recouped its initial investment, to say the least?”