Marshall says N.L. is in an era of opportunity

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Scott Tessier (left), the new chairman of the CNLOPB, and Finance Minister Tom Marshall attend the opening to Oil and Gas Week at the Marine Institute Monday.
— Photo by
Keith Gosse/
The Telegram

Oil and Gas Week 2013 was launched with a series of speeches at the Marine Institute in St. John’s Monday morning, including one from the province’s new Natural Resources Minister 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 announced 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, saying 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, he 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 event, sitting amongst a crowd of about 160 students and industry representatives. 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 about 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.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Marine Institute, Hyundai Heavy Industries

Geographic location: Hebron, South, Korea Marystown

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Recent comments

  • Randolph
    February 27, 2013 - 10:04

    Well, that's great news for us poor workin folk, eh!!!!! Guess the unions won't have to worry about cuts now,or the fat-cat MLA lowlife that are on allowances,pensions after only 8 yrs, etc., etc., they won't have to worry about cuts either, eh!!???? My oh my, how much more sickening can this place get?? (As usual, my comment won't get posted, what's with this, eh!?)

  • Not impressed
    February 27, 2013 - 09:52

    Tom Marshall said that heat and light is like cable TV in the HoA just before Christmas. A man in his position should know better. Perhaps it was an error. Whatever the case, I’m glad to read Lorraine Michael’s view. However, I would like to know where the revenue from Big Oil goes. Why hasn't government shared it's Big Oil Wealth with ordinary citizens here like they do in Alberta?

  • fredpottle
    February 27, 2013 - 01:56

    i am a senior citizen if prices keep going up people on a fixed income will have a hard time to make it .all this goveronment seems to do is spend.look at the millions they given to nalcor.they have bankrupt the province.its time to get rid of this goveronment.

  • yes sir
    February 26, 2013 - 10:59

    So which is it? Are they fibbing to the people of the province or to the oil and gas companies? Both? Or is it that we have a bunch of give aways for oil companies and just the bills for taxpayers? I'can't believe why marshall wasn't removed from cabinet for the mess we're in. Either that or theyu brought jerome in to spin something and make sure the nalcor bonuses are lined up for when we go over budget on Muskrat. Meh? Maybe they should use the dripping water on the eight floor next time they are giving an interview to see if it can produce the truth from some of these guys.

  • Eli
    February 26, 2013 - 10:45

    Marshall and the whole clique we elected have as much credibility as a Quebec contractor.

    • seanoairborne
      February 26, 2013 - 15:03

      That "we elected"???You're kidding,right?Why would you vote for somebody you didn't like?

  • McNeill
    February 26, 2013 - 08:52

    The only ones excelling in this province are the ones associated with the oil. The rest of us have to deal with rising prices on housing and basic living expenses. I work 45-50 hours a week just to make ends meet and I know many like me. If you are not into the oil there is no prosperity just enough to make the rent or mortgage. Where is the prosperity in that. Now I know why most of the people I grew up with are gone somewhere else. They have the same cost of living but much higher wages. It doesn't take much to do the math!

  • Pete
    February 26, 2013 - 08:31

    Lorraine Michael really doesn't understand how overspending doesn't have anything to do with the state of the economy, it's probably why she released a platform that likely would have added an extra billion dollars in spending. Why should we have the largest public sector in North America? We're giving wages/benefits thst clst $28 to employees that are getting minimum wage in the private sector. We could help the private sector create good paying jobs in other areas if not everything was done by the public sector. We need to make changes that will help the private sector prosper.

  • paul
    February 26, 2013 - 08:25

    given that we are in such an era of golden opportunity, then its painfully obvious why the public sector needs to be cut back... note the saracasm.

  • Torey Normore
    February 26, 2013 - 07:58

    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. I can vote Tory nomore.

  • Bi-focual finance
    February 26, 2013 - 07:54

    Rose colored glasses for sure.