Nfld. premier-to-be: Ottawa should give up oil stake
The Hibernia platform stands tall above the waters of Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, Nfld. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 8, 2014 2:26PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 8, 2014 2:31PM EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Newfoundland and Labrador's incoming premier says the federal government should consider giving the province its stake in the Hibernia offshore oil field.
Frank Coleman says Ottawa has benefited from provincial investment in Hibernia since it drew first oil in 1997 and it would be fair to now give up its share.
The province first offered in 2010 to buy Ottawa's 8.5 per cent stake in the lucrative oilfield about 315 kilometres southeast of St. John's.
Ottawa took the stake and invested $431 million on top of grants and loan guarantees to keep the project alive in the 1990s.
The federal government has since got that money back along with hundreds of millions of dollars in oil dividends.
The late former finance minister Jim Flaherty said last fall he was willing to discuss selling the stake, which by some estimates is worth more than $1 billion.
Coleman is to be confirmed leader of the Progressive Conservative party in July and sworn in as premier soon after.