December 21, 2000 - Skip to content. Accessibility info.
News ReleaseMayor Kelly Proposes Strategy to Secure Offshore Benefits
(Thursday, December 21/2000)-- A conference of key international oil and gas industry cities to be held in Halifax is part of a four-point initiative proposed by Mayor Peter Kelly to position the municipality to reap full benefits from Nova Scotia's offshore play.
Mayor Kelly said today that he will be seeking the support of his colleagues on Halifax Regional Council for the strategy to ensure that all parts of the municipality will have opportunity to share in the benefits from the offshore.
"Now is the time for us to be doing the groundwork, developing the plans and providing the infrastructure for HRM to win its fair share of the tremendous investment and employment opportunities that will be created by offshore oil and gas," he said.
The proposed initiative also calls for:
Mayor Kelly said the proposed Halifax conference would enable HRM to learn from the experiences of other oil and gas industry cities around the world, and better prepare the municipality to take advantage of the opportunities that the offshore will create.
"Our municipality can learn a lot from other key cities and their oil and natural gas representatives, who have prospered while engaged in this important economic activity at home and globally, " he said. "This is the time to lay the groundwork, make the plans and build for the future."
Mayor Kelly cautioned that the Halifax Region must be prepared for the anticipated growth and prosperity resulting from offshore oil and natural gas, and not be caught off-guard by a lack of planning or failure to have the appropriate policies in place to accommodate this new growth.
"Mistakes can be costly and HRM wants to get it right from the start. We need to ensure that we plan for tomorrow, whether its for streets and roads, public transit, commercial and residential development areas, public safety or educational facilities, from community colleges to universities. The social and capital infrastructure must be in place to accommodate our citizens now, as well as those in the future, " he said.
The Mayor said the economic benefits derived from the offshore oil and natural gas industry will help finance the cost of the infrastructure required. Many world-class job opportunities are available here now, but many more will become available as HRM continues to market the skills, intelligence and the high-education level of its workforce in the global market place.
Mayor Kelly said the Halifax Port Authority and the Halifax International Airport Authority are key elements in the success of the strategy. They must not only meet the demands of the offshore industry now, but they must anticipate its needs in the future so they will be prepared to take full advantage of the new opportunities that will arise ( e.g. the Port must plan and have necessary development in place to encourage investment in new common-user dock facilities or other marine-related services.)
The Mayor called for the early resolution of the overlapping regulatory jurisdictions and procedures between the oil and gas industry and government. For example, the boundary dispute between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
'This region cannot afford to have jobs and economic development by responsible companies put on the shelf, while provincial governments fight over boundaries. An interim solution-- whereby work could have proceeded while legal issues were resolved-- as proposed by Premier Hamm could have, and should have, been agreed to by the Province of Newfoundland," Mayor Kelly said.
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Mayor Peter Kelly