Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. won't be left out of funding for oil producing provinces, says Judy Foote

Contrary to Senator David Wells’ comments, the federal government actually will be giving money to Newfoundland and Labrador to help with the current oil slump, says Minister Judy Foote.
Judy Foote said Friday that Senator David Wells should check his facts before assuming Newfoundland and Labrador will be left out of funding packages. (CBC)

Contrary to Senator David Wells' comments, the federal government will be giving money to Newfoundland and Labrador to help with the current oil slump, says Minister Judy Foote.

Foote, who is minister of public services and procurement, said $400-million will be coming to the province, as soon as the provincial government decides on infrastructure projects that qualify for the funding.

"I would expect that they're determining their priorities and that they'll make sure that as quickly as possible the federal government knows what they are," Foote said.

"We'll move forward as quickly as we can, because we need to get the money out the door."

Ottawa plans to fast track roughly $1.4 billion infrastructure money to oil-producing provinces hit hard by plunging prices.

Foote said this isn't new money, but rather cash set aside from an infrastructure fund called the New Building Canada Plan two years ago.

Around $700-million will go to Alberta, while roughly $360-million will go to Saskatchewan.

Newfoundland and Labrador Senator David Wells said Thursday that it would be unfair for the government to leave his province out of any money, after the Financial Post reported Ottawa was announcing an infrastructure program aimed at Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Foote, however, said Wells should no longer assume that Newfoundland and Labrador will be left out.

She said that the funding for Alberta and Saskatchewan had only been discussed first because Minister Hunter Tootoo hadn't yet met with a Newfoundland representative.

"The reality is for [Wells] to say that we have been left out of this, he really should check his facts before he comments," Foote said.

"I can tell you that under this government we will never be treated in this province as poorly as we were under his previous boss."

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