Dalhousie Law Journal


Memorandum of understanding, offshore mineral resources, maritime provinces, administration, management, constitutional relations, federal-regional relations


On February 1, 1977, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island signed a "Memorandum of Understanding in Respect of the Administration and Management of Mineral Resources Offshore of the Maritime Provinces".' The Understanding removes a major impediment to potential development of any offshore petroleum resources of the Maritimes, after nearly ten years of federalprovincial negotiations, and more generally represents a quite unique development in Canadian constitutional relations. At the time of its execution, it was described variously as "a mile-stone in federal-regional relations ' 2 and "federalism at its best". 3