Dear Ms. Johnson,
Thank you for sharing your election priorities in your letter dated August 23, 2021. Canada’s New Democrats know that the oil and gas industry is important to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and that the workers within the industry have been hit hard by lower oil production and prices and the impacts of COVID-19. Many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians rely on the industry for work, and the entire country and province benefit from the economic activity and revenues generated mom it. We also acknowledge that lower carbon emissions at extraction in the NL offshore industry can be an important factor in Canada’s achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
New Democrats firmly stand by the principle that Newfoundland and Labrador should be the principal beneficiary of its offshore resources. In government, Canada’s NDP would work with the provincial government, industry, employees, and their representatives to ensure the joint management of offshore resources and that the underlying principles of the Atlantic Accord are upheld and strengthened. We have also long supported the transfer of Canada’s 8.5% Hibernia Share to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and see the recent provision of some of the revenue to NL as partial fulfillment of that goal.
We believe it is important that there be ongoing monitoring of the benefits of the Atlantic Accord in order to ensure that the declared intent is met. We will work in consultation with NOIA and its members to address any barriers to full participation in the oil and gas sector, including the expressed desire to maxmize local benefits and employment, diversity and inclusion, as well as offshore environmental and worker safety.
We know that there must be a balance between the needs of industry, environmental protections, and the interests of stakeholders as we recover from COVID-19 and think of the future we want to build. We will continue existing COVID-19 supports to ensure that workers are supported.
We recognize that responding to the Cimate Crisis challenge will require a transition that will in the long run affect workers in the offshore industry. We are fully committed to a fair and just transition for workers that includes full and proportional support to Newfoundland and Labrador for measures in any programs and opportunities, including research and development of alternative energy strategies, that could help meet our goals.
Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have left workers to navigate these shifts on their own. New Democrats know that skilled workers – construction, trades, engineering and others – will be needed to build a low-carbon economy. We will put those workers front and centre of our climate action plan, and fight for workers and their communities to make sure nobody is left behind. The workers most impacted by the changes in our economy cannot pay the price of inaction on climate change. We will work together with labour, employers and provinces to find solutions. We would invest $2.5 billion to support workers and those affected by this transition.
In government, New Democrats would work with stakeholders to develop policies that would best meet the needs and concerns of all those who share the offshore waters. We know that a one-size-fits-all solution does not meet the needs of a diverse Canada, and we would be happy to explore options and share perspectives with NOIA membership.
Thank you again for sharing your concerns with us.
NDP Candidate for St. John’s East on behalf of the NDP Team
Source: New Democratic Party | This text was excerpted from the media outlet cited on September,10,2021 and is provided to Noia members for information purposes only. Any opinion expressed therein is neither attributable to nor endorsed by Noia.