No, there is no clawback. Give me a chance to explain.
We have 100% of the provincial share of the revenues. We have the equalization that we are now receiving. We have the 30% in the offset mechanism that is there and is enshrined. Now we have 100% of the 70¢. In other words, all of those combined is 100%.
That is there for eight years, keeping in mind there are seven years left in the offset mechanism in the Atlantic accord. There is one year of grace to renegotiate a deal for the future, if that is necessary. I will get to that in a second. Those four components should and could bring Newfoundland and Labrador up to the Ontario standard. That is a notch above the standard of five provinces, which sets the equalization formula.
I know all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on both sides of the House and everyone who supports this deal for Newfoundland hope we continue to get more oil. I do not believe the oil and gas will end. I think there are a lot more opportunities out there. I will be an optimist on this, as I always have been. We have a long, bright future ahead of us.
Let us suppose that we strike two or three more wells and our revenues grow. We will still keep 100% of the revenues regardless, the same as Alberta and Ontario, and the revenues will continue to grow. As we go above the threshold set by the equalization formula across Canada, the only thing that will start to depreciate is the equalization payments. The revenues will keep growing as long as revenues continue to go to Newfoundland and Labrador.
If at some point in time the revenues climb up to the same level as Ontario, the five province formula, this will not be worth discussing because we will be self-sufficient and we will not need to receive equalization payments. The Newfoundland minister of finance and I talked about that.
Speaking on behalf of every Newfoundlander and Labradorian, we all have pride. We do not want to be a receiving province. We want to contribute to Canada's economy which is what the equalization formula is based on, to bring all provinces up to a reasonable standard of parity across this country. We have dreamed about that all our lives.
Members say there is a cap. The only cap is on equalization and that will only be capped when revenues start to climb. Let me say this very clearly. Even when the revenues start climbing, that 30% and the 70¢ on the dollar in the offshore mechanism will still stay there for eight years. There will be no decline in that for the next eight years even though our revenues would continue to climb.
I am not being critical but I do believe there is a real misunderstanding of what is on the table, which is why I believe that we need to sit down and go through this again. It is very clear that Newfoundland and Labrador will not lose on this deal. What all people want to receive is 100% of their revenues. We are receiving 100% of the revenues and we want continue to receive 100% of the revenues. We also want to continue to receive equalization as long as it is within the standard set down by the country, a standard which makes this country one of the greatest places in the world to live. No one part of Canada should be better off than another part.
As a citizen of Newfoundland and Labrador, I feel very strongly that at some point in time our revenues will climb above the standard and we will become like Ontario and Alberta, proud people contributing to the economy of this great country.
What is on the table is exactly what was committed to by the Prime Minister. I would like to make a couple of points about the letters the premier sent to the Prime Minister.
The one thing the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Prime Minister agreed to after they had talked on June 5 was to go forward with the deal. There is no argument about that. However, what the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador said very clearly, and it is on the record and he will not deny it I am sure, was that he would appoint his minister of finance, not the minister of natural resources, Ed Byrne, a good friend of mine. The Prime Minister said that he would appoint his Minister of Finance. If the deal had been completed in June, why would the leader of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Prime Minister of the Government of Canada say that the finance ministers need to be at the table? It was because they had the basis for a deal. Did they talk about timelines? Absolutely. I can assure members that the premier talked about timelines to me.
Did the Prime Minister talk about a ceiling on how far we could go? Yes, I believe what the Prime Minister said. Nevertheless, the negotiations between ministers of finance had to be on a day to day or week to week basis, either in person or by phone. Negotiations cannot continue in any other way. Do not tell me that they only spoke once after June and no more until the deal was completed. That is not possible. I spoke to the minister of finance of Newfoundland in Ottawa. I spoke to him by phone on several occasions. I spoke to the premier on several occasions.
Let us go ahead to when the deal was supposed to have been concluded. There is a disagreement. We will not argue about that fact. On the Friday morning, I was briefed by the finance minister on this deal. I believe in it very strongly, otherwise, as a Newfoundland and Labradorian, I would accept it. I am putting my reputation of 20 years on the line, on this deal, because I believe it is the right deal for Newfoundland and Labrador. This is what I understood from that briefing. Our finance minister and the finance minister from Newfoundland and Labrador had concluded their discussions. The Minister of Finance was supposed to go to the Prime Minister with the conclusion of the deal and sign-off. The finance minister of Newfoundland and Labrador was supposed to go back to the premier.
I went home that weekend full of excitement, but not saying a word because it still had to be completed by the two leaders. When I got to Halifax airport, I got the call that the deal had fallen apart. We had agreed not to talk about it on the weekend. On the Monday we would, either by phone or in person, go over what both leaders had said and discuss any problems. That is exactly what happened. Since then, all we have heard is rhetoric. We need to get past that. I will not point fingers at the premier, his minister or anyone else. We will all take full responsibility.
This deal matters to the future of our province. Do all of us want Newfoundland and Labrador to be a have province? Absolutely. We are a very proud people. We are limited to what we can do on our own on the Atlantic coast. We have lost our fisheries. There have been major economic differences and other problems in our province, but now we have a chance. The offshore oil and gas will give us that chance to get there.
Can we break up the equalization formula that has kept the country together and kept all parts of it at a reasonable parity and with a reasonable standard of living? No, we cannot do that. Nobody in their right mind would suggest that we do that. Can Newfoundland and Labrador reach a have province status? Absolutely. This deal will allow it the benefit and the ability to get there.
Let me just reference a deal that was put together back in 1984. I could photocopy this and give it to every member of the House. Jean Chrétien was minister of mines and managed by the Government of Canada. He went to Newfoundland and Labrador and offered almost exactly the same deal in 1984 as is being offered now. I will photocopy it and send it. The government of the day refused it. Then in 1987 that same government signed a deal with another government and accepted 30%. This deal is 100% of the revenues go to Newfoundland and Labrador. That was 20 years ago. Let us add all of the royalties, the revenues and the loss of income since 1984. Let us say it is $200 million a year: $200 million times 20 years is $4 billion.