$150M worth of bad publicity?

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The provincial government has valiantly tried to put a good face on the loss of fabrication of a module for the Hebron offshore development by touting the $150 million penalty paid to them by the project proponents. I do not think this is a good thing.

Effectively, this is admitting to the world that the province’s infrastructure is not capable of taking on this work, presumably through a lack of capacity or whatever. Put another way, Hebron is saying that the province’s fabrication capacity is so inadequate that it is willing to spend $150 million to get away from it and take their business elsewhere.

The details behind this action are not as important as the action itself. The fact that the province negotiated this clause in the Hebron Benefits Agreement shows they were aware of inadequacies in our fabrication capacity — a pity they could not have addressed the capacity issue itself.

One hundred and 50 million dollars may seem like a lot of money but does it compare to the message that we may now leaving with the world, namely that we are not really seriously developing our fabrication capacity to attract future such post-Hebron (or for that matter, post-oil) construction?

Marvin Barnes

St. John’s

Geographic location: Hebron

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Recent comments

  • David
    October 20, 2012 - 14:27

    Newfoundland having this oil is like a ten-year old inheriting a billion dollars from a distant uncle.....we'll look back when we're 30 years old, completely broke, and all of this will be perfectly clear. We'll understand a lot more than we do now. Unfortunatley, we will never get the chance again to use that knowledge. This "$150 million" is already gone, we've bought more fire engines or fridge magnets or something else, and this island's fate is sealed. We get exactly what we deserve.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    October 20, 2012 - 08:59

    You know that this deal didn't pass the smell test right from the get go. The politicians themselves knew it, why on earth were they trying to mask the announcement by tying this money to various different projects around the province to try and deflect attention from actually how bad this deal really is. Furthermore who are they to say how this money is to be spent so many years down the road before they even know what party will be in power? Now that is what I call pure arrogance!

  • William Daniels
    October 19, 2012 - 12:22

    Whoever doesn't think this was a financial disaster for NL and a pure givaway is fooling themselves. The mack truck just drove through Dannys deal. The damage Williams has done has not even started to come to light.

  • a business man
    October 19, 2012 - 09:46

    I am happy with the payout because the money goes to things that are important to me, like health care and education. Frankly, if there module WERE to be built here, I don't see how this would have benefited me.

    • Winston Adams
      October 20, 2012 - 10:26

      Mr business man, to quote Ray Guy , who said of Danny Williams -He's a self made man- who worships his creator. Seems to describe you, don't you think so? Only if it benefits you is it good! I nominate you for humanitarian of the year award.