Today is ‘golden time of opportunity’ in N.L., Marshall says

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Minister’s speech a sour note on opening Oil and Gas Week, says NDP leader

Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall. — Telegram file photo

Oil and Gas Week 2013 was launched with a series of speeches at the Marine Institute in St. John’s this morning, including one from the province’s new Minister of Natural Resources, Tom Marshall.

It was Marshall’s first official speech since taking over the role of natural resources minister, having moved in from finance.

“There’s 4,300 highly skilled professionals that are currently employed in the province’s producing projects and 90 per cent of those are Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” he said, adding to the celebratory tone also hit by other speakers.

He ran through advancements in local oil and gas industry projects, including the Hebron project.

“Hebron will make a significant contribution to offshore production and to our provincial royalties,” he said, also referencing the project’s estimated $14 billion capital cost.

Marshall made no mention of the contracts issued for creation of large pieces, modules, of the Hebron project being filled outside the province.

On Friday, it was announce Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea was awarded the contract for the derrick equipment set. It is the second module awarded to Hyundai.

The minister did highlight project work underway at Marystown and Bull Arm.

He ended his speech by saying he hopes future historians refer to the present as a “golden time of opportunity.”

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, who followed Marshall to the podium, took a playful jab at the present state of affairs of the province’s finances — largely dependent on oil revenues.

“The point was made to me over the weekend that — Hey, did you know that the city is in better shape than the province?”

O’Keefe laughed, admitting the joke might cost him down the road, considering the province’s projected deficit of more than $725 million for the year.

The city is still looking for a new “fiscal relationship” with the province, the mayor said. “Well if he thinks for one minute that we have more money than he has we’re not going to get anything extra.”

NDP leader Lorraine Michael and NDP MHA George Murphy were both on hand for the launch event. Michael was asked if she had any response to Marshall’s speech.

“Here we are ... and the minister — in this setting — is making all these fantastic comments about the future of this province, the future for these young people and talking abut the current moment in the province being a ‘Camelot,’” Michael said.

“At the same time, his government is telling the public service sector that they have to get ready for cuts — both in terms of jobs and, he’s telling the public, in terms of services as well. Once again we have the government speaking out of the two sides of its mouth.”

Michael said she recognizes the importance of the oil and gas industry and the revenues from the oil and gas industry to the provincial economy.

No Liberal MHAs attended the event.

The Telegram will have more in Tuesday’s edition.



Organizations: Marine Institute, Hyundai Heavy Industries

Geographic location: Hebron, South, Korea Marystown

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Recent comments

  • Robert
    February 26, 2013 - 06:31

    With the already negative comments on this forum I'm just glad the sun came up this morning. Some Newfoundlanders always seem to be drinking from a glass 1/2 empty.

  • Recent move west
    February 25, 2013 - 22:46

    I respectfully disagree with mr marshall and all the business owners who are exploiting workers. I recently moved to alberta(suprise) and pay similar rent(and just got a mortgage only 200 more a month in Nl) The kicker is the same laborer job i could have got in NL was 12.50 hr. here i am at 22. This equates to 1200 plus more per month. Newfoundland willl never catch up with business who have thier intersts ahead of the people of NL. Might as well shut er down as moving to AB or sask is the only way to move ahead in life

    • Brad
      February 26, 2013 - 10:52

      I've seen that you can get better value for money on a house in Calgary than here in NL. Pretty sad when you compare the two places...

  • david
    February 25, 2013 - 21:09

    If you're a loyal card-carrying tory, no such statement is necessary. If you're not, it's a lie.

  • Harold
    February 25, 2013 - 14:55

    bla..bla..bla... heard it all so many times before, the future is bright.. better times lie ahead. the future is in our hands. i still remember the comment made by Joey Smallwood when he was forcing resettlement on people, "burn your boats, two jobs for every man". please forgive me if i have a problem believing anything any politician says.

  • Torey Normore
    February 25, 2013 - 14:28

    Minister Marshall, I cannot put any stock whatsoever in your projections, forecasts or predictions. Your past ineptness renders you unreliable, at best. The golden time of opportunity applies only to select Tory supporterts, hacks and wags, as they line up for their plum patronage appointments, unsolicited contracts and paybacks. All at the expense of the NL taxpayer.

  • J
    February 25, 2013 - 14:18

    This may be a golden time of opportunity but I believe that our elected officials will promptly spend it all and then some. The debt should be paid down. Public sectors unions should be reigned in or you just gonna leave a massive mess for our children to pay - to bad the oil revenues won't be there for them. They will have to endure higher taxes, higher costs of living and a lower standards of living and quality of life than their parents and grandparents.