Reader laments prov­ince’s de­pen­dence on oil

The Compass - - OPINION - Bill West­cott writes from Clarke’s Beach

I said it be­fore and I’ll say it again — we are liv­ing in a fool’s par­adise in this prov­ince.

Just imag­ine the deficit now pinned at $916 mil­lion — up $378 mil­lion since the last bud­get was brought down.

How could any­one in their right senses plan a bud­get on hope? That’s cor­rect, hope. The PC party brought down a bud­get last year based on the then cur­rent oil prices of $105 a bar­rel. They hoped it would re­main that way they said.

Now look at it. Oil has had a rapid fall th­ese days, ring­ing in be­low $60 (as of Jan. 2). Each time oil drops by $1 a bar­rel, it re­sults in an ap­prox­i­mate $9-mil­lion loss to the prov­ince. Where will it all end? Who knows? Fool­hardy plan­ning it was All we hear is oil, oil, oil. A good friend of mine who was very aware of the fool­ish path we were on, once said to me, “Fish is why were here isn’t it?” We threw out the baby with the bath wa­ter, didn’t we?

Fool’s par­adise? With­out a doubt. We are dig­ging our own grave ev­ery day we de­pend on oil. And, as Premier Paul Davis found out last week in Ot­tawa, Harper and company don’t give a damn about New­found­land and Labrador.

Here we go again. Same old same old stuff. And if peo­ple think Dwight Ball is go­ing to be our sav­ior, think again. He will face the same prob­lems and find the same an­swers.

It will be a flip of a coin. Heads or tails? An­swer — who gives a damn!

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