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MHA Keith Hutchings, Opposition Natural Resources Critic, said the $60 million innovation funding recently referenced in an announcement by the Premier in Placentia, will actually be a substitute for the installation of gates at an Argentia graving dock..
Thursday, September 27, 2018

St. John’s, NL (September 27, 2018) – MHA Keith Hutchings, Opposition Natural Resources Critic, said the $60 million innovation funding recently referenced in an announcement by the Premier in Placentia, will actually be a substitute for the installation of gates at an Argentia graving dock and subtracted from the province’s oil revenues.

Under the 2013 White Rose Framework Agreement our administration negotiated with Husky, the company promised to build a gated graving dock at Argentia – an infrastructure legacy that would have been used for future maintenance work and building in the industry.  What we saw under the Ball Government’s 2017 White Rose Framework negotiated amendment was removal of the gates from the graving dock commitment.  Instead, the company will fund a $6-million-a-year Innovation and Business Development Fund totaling $60 million in a decade.

However, the Framework Agreement also states that such funding “shall qualify as and be classified as eligible capital costs for the WHP Proponents, for the purpose of calculating royalty payable under the Royalty Regulations, 2003” – meaning Husky’s innovation funding will be subtracted from the royalties the province receives.

“Not only did the Ball Liberals let Husky off the hook for their obligation to build a gated graving dock that could have been used to attract future projects and badly needed jobs, but the Liberals let Husky buy their way out of their obligation using the province’s own money,” said Hutchings

“The Ball Liberals not only traded away industrial infrastructure that would have driven economic activity in our province for decades, but they negotiated the giveaway in exchange for absolutely nothing.  It’s the same thing they did when they negotiated a giveaway of Minimum Processing Requirements in the fishery in exchange for absolutely nothing before the Liberal Prime Minister signed the CETA agreement.  This Liberal government’s lack of negotiation abilities is hurting our province.”

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