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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March 16, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

Liberals Politicize Legacy Fund Motion,

 

Short On Details, No Timelines

 

Keith Hutchings, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “While the PC Caucus supports the creation of a legacy fund and made it a key policy of the 2015 blueprint, the Liberals’ motion before the House today was deliberately designed to politicize an important issue so the PC Caucus could not support it.”

 

“The motion was short on details which is becoming a pattern, and provided no timelines of when the government would set up a legacy fund,” said Hutchings. “It simply does not make sense, at a time of deep fiscal crisis, to cut frontline workers and services to people in order to channel money into a new legacy fund when the province is not in surplus.”

 

“Norway waited 20 years before setting up a legacy fund, choosing to address urgent priorities first. We as a government took the same approach,” said Hutchings. Norway produced first oil in 1971, set up the legacy fund in 1990 and transferred their first capital into their fund in 1996.

 

“Like Norway, we also set up a state-owned energy firm. Theirs was Statoil, and Nalcor was modeled on it. Like Norway, we insisted on taking equity stakes in oil projects. Like Norway, we invested in research and development. Like Norway, we invested in hydropower. Norway now supplies 97 per cent of its energy with hydro, and Muskrat Falls places us on the same path. Norway was our model, and our government learned from their example. We were following a comprehensive energy plan that made sense, and it was working,” said Hutchings.

 

“Let’s not forget that Muskrat Falls is a legacy investment that will return benefits to our province for generations to come through least-cost electricity for our people, energy to drive new industries, energy to sell to reduce costs to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, and clean energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Hutchings. “We had a plan and it made sense. The Liberal plan to pour money into a bank account when it is urgently needed for basic services and infrastructure makes no sense.”

 

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Media Contact:

 

Heather MacLean,

 

Director of Communications,

 

Office of the Official Opposition

 

(709) 729 6105,

 

heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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