Opposition Leader Gerry Reid says the debate currently taking place on FPI’s
Income Trust proposal in the House of Assembly should not be linked to
federal government assistance. Reid says both issues should be pursued
separately to ensure there are proper safeguards in place to guarantee the
promises made by FPI, while seeking an assistance package and quota from the
federal government for Harbour Breton.
"The debate and vote on FPI’s
Income Trust proposal is still raising many concerns," said Mr. Reid. "I
still believe there are too many holes in this income trust legislation to
allow its passage. There are no real safeguards in place to ensure FPI keeps
their promises to the people of Fortune and Bonavista, and no guarantee that
ownership of the company won’t fall into the hands of a direct competitor
that would make business decisions that are not in the best interests of
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
"This current proposal should be taken off the table and reworked. New
security provisions should be added to strengthen the promises made by FPI,
and ensure that ownership of the company remains in this province. The
people of the province should not be asked to support a piece of legislation
that provides no real security for their future, transfers the ownership of
the company to foreign investors and pits community against community.
"I am calling on Premier Williams to withdraw this piece of legislation.
An all party committee of the House of Assembly should be formed to travel
to Ottawa to lobby the federal government for an assistance package and
quota for Harbour Breton. FPI’s Income Trust proposal should not be linked
to a potential federal government package.
"It is clear that FPI’s proposal to this province is not sufficient from
a benefits and security perspective. If Premier Williams was using a vote in
the House of Assembly as a negotiating tactic to get more out of the
company, it failed. We must now focus on the real issues at hand, securing a
future for Harbour Breton, and ensuring that FPI will not be able to break
their commitments to the people of this province as they have in the past.
This will only be achieved by forcing FPI to rework their current Income