Natural Resources
Executive Council
June 27, 2008

Province Looking 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."


Media contacts:

Lesley Clarke
Communications Specialist
Intergovernmental Affairs
709-729-6026, 699-2910
Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-8241

2008 06 27                        4:05 p.m.

SearchHomeBack to GovernmentContact Us

All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.
Disclaimer/Copyright/Privacy Statement