Tuesday, June 16, 2009

South Hibernia Good News for Newfoundland & Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a tentative agreement with members of the Hibernia Consortium that is expected to inject $10 billion into the growing piggy bank of the province. That's in addition to the $13 billion the province expects to receive from the main Hibernia project. Last year an MOU was signed on developing the Hebron oilfield - which will be worth up to $20 billion, give or take $5.

Well the future does look bright in the long run in many ways. Certainly there is no healthier industry here than the oily one. One would expect to see "Have" status next the Newfoundland and Labrador for many years to come. Now, like any past time is a good time to think of economic diversity. There will be an ever more booming St. John's. Today Randy Simms on his VOCM talk show made a point of mentioning how other industries like the fishery, the past mainstay of the economy, and major employer, may have possibly taken a back seat amidst the oil growth. From listening to a clip of the audio it seemed like a reasonable topic to throw out to listeners, and one which can be addressed at any time. It didn't detract from the good oil news. However, Premier Williams gave Randy an earful, and accused Simms of being pessimistic and a naysayer. Premier Williams' business skills, and personal success are certainly very handy in negotiating with oil godfathers, but boy does he have a temper. Have a listen.

Back to Newfoundland and Labrador's future, so much positive can come from this. On health we should focus on illness prevention. There are many health problems, from cancers, strokes, heart problems to obesity that stems from our choices of lifestyle and diet. Yesterday President Obama gave a comprehensive speech on health reform in the U.S. One of the ways to save costs and lives was to focus on preventing the illness in the first place by educating the public, encouraging companies to offer health premium payment reductions for healthier personnel. Fewer visits to the hospital will put less strain on already stressed doctors, and at the same time, allow nurses more breathing room at the workplace. Plus, we can have better quality lives.

The province really needs to accelerate recycling. There are a couple of facilities being constructed in St. John's, but this is another area that is beneficial on many levels. The environment does not get wasted quite so much, it is a money making industry, and there would be more individual involvement and responsibility for keeping the place clean, and also cutting down on the expense of collecting garbage and finding a place to throw it.

We still have a huge debt. What an opportunity to really pay that credit card off over the next 10-15 years.

People in the province have to look at the future as a stem cell, something that can be turned into whatever you can dream of, and be encouraged to excel at individual talents and trades. The oil industry in a huge sector of the economy, but not a remedy for everyone everywhere. Hebron and South Hibernia development are still years away from construction and development, and in the meantime, the best bet is to plan for your own personal development, growth and future.


Anonymous said...

I hope this works out for Newfoundland. We truly need a good boost. I really think Newfoundlanders are still hurting from the loss of the fisheries, to many, like my fellow Buriners, have felt that loss for many years. Although my father was in the oil industry working with Imperial Oil dealing with the oil tankers that came in shore, and at times filling peoples homes, until that was shut down many years ago. It seems at times we are given hope , but they are still walking backwards, waiting. great write

Charlie said...

You are right about the fishery. After all, over 30,000 people were displaced as a result of the cod moratorium. That's a big void. Outmigration noticeably jumped after 1992. It's been unfortunate for so many to have to adjust, when an industry they grew up working in, vanished. I think people will continue to diversity more personally and not rely on single industries. Our oil industry injects plenty of dollars into the bank but as some transplanted NLs said yesterday in a Globe article, projects get delayed, or are not long-term, and not always worth selling their homes out west and coming home for.