Mr. Speaker, this year alone Newfoundland and Labrador will take in more than $20 million in royalties from the long awaited Hibernia oil and gas project, a full $8 million more than what was originally projected.
With that kind of news one would think the people of Newfoundland and Labrador would be overjoyed. But they know that this Liberal government and the previous Conservative government adopted policies that increase rather than help to eliminate regional disparities across the country.
Equalization is supposed to help the seven have not provinces catch up, not keep them down. But today, because the government claws back 70%, each royalty dollar is worth a mere 30 cents.
That is why the federal NDP supports amending the equalization program to increase the amount of money that have not provinces are allowed to keep.
Under this government, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to be resource rich but royalty poor.