June 27, 2008
for More Information About Creation of Atlantic Energy Office
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is hoping
the federal announcement of the new Atlantic Canada Energy Office will
bring progress towards the Provincial Government�s goal to increase
federal presence in the province.
Recently, the Federal Government announced the regional energy office
for Atlantic Canada will be established in St. John�s in September 2008
to support and promote the energy sector.
�We need to get more details on the mandate of this office before we can
comment fully. We have been lobbying the Federal Government for many
years to live up to its commitment under the Atlantic Accord,� said the
Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. �We hope the
Federal Government�s announcement will produce meaningful and
value-added benefits for the energy sector in this province and Atlantic
Canada, as opposed to just creating another layer of bureaucracy. I have
written to the federal minister to request clarification about details
of this office including its make-up and mandate.�
With 80 per cent of eastern Canada�s discovered offshore oil and gas
resources located off Newfoundland and Labrador, the establishment of a
federal energy office in the province is long overdue and expectations
are high. The Provincial Government anticipates that the Federal
Government will empower the new office and its staff with real authority
to make decisions on the ground in this region and to allow Newfoundland
and Labrador to build on its scientific and technical capacity.
In 2006, the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and
Labrador, wrote the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources,
emphasizing the need for an enhanced presence of Natural Resources
Canada in this province. Minister Dunderdale reiterated the Premier�s
request by writing Natural Resources Canada in June 2007. In addition,
since 2003 the Williams Government has been aggressively pursuing
enhanced federal presence in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Section 49 of the 1985 Atlantic Accord states that the Government of
Canada shall establish in the province, where possible, regional offices
with appropriate levels of decision-making for all departments directly
involved in activities related to the offshore area.
�It is a priority for the Provincial Government to get a fair share of
Federal Government decision-makers and employees based in this province
and this new office will hopefully create such positions,� said the
Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs. �We
look forward to discussing with the Federal Government the further
development of the structure of the new office given the role it will
play in our growing energy sector."
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
2008 06 27