Liberal government failing Newfoundland and Labrador
I have pondered a response to the present government since the presentation of the provincial budget in April.
It was my understanding that this government campaigned on a platform of hope for the people of this province; a commitment to a smarter, stronger economy; and willingness to invest in education by being open, transparent and accountable. I consider this government has failed to deliver on all accounts.
Firstly, full-day kindergarten was implemented at the expense of reducing educational financing to the K-12 school system. Introduction of such a plan requires resources and commitment to the entire education system, not playing one against the other.
Secondly, taxing books coupled with regionalization of libraries in rural and more remote areas place a burden on those who value education at a time when they are facing economic difficulty.
A government committed to a better future for all the people of this province would admit there is value in full-day kindergarten, but it must delay implementation until appropriate funding is available.
Such a government would move to regionalization of provincial libraries, but it would close one library in the St. John’s region to support funding for more rural regions so that all the people have access to this resource.
A government focused on supporting education would not consider taxing books.
A budget sets the financial course for the next fiscal year. It is not an occasion to publicly air dirty laundry. Newfoundlanders know that the Liberal administration had no faith in the viability of the Muskrat Falls project and certainly none in the executive leadership of Nalcor, the Crown Corporation.
However, good political leadership accepts there is a process required to bring about change, not public whipping during a budget speech.
Adding to this inappropriate exhibition of leadership, to say the government leaders did not know about Ed Martin›s severance and compensation package is deceitful. True they may not have known the exact figure but as business people in a former life, they are fully aware no CEO accepts such a position nor leaves it without a negotiated compensation.
Transparent, accountable leadership would have been evident if the Premier and associated ministers had stated that Ed Martin was released from his contract and the negotiated compensation was paid because a previous government instituted it.
Finally, a change in the way government would do business, as stated repeatedly by a campaigning Dwight Ball, would involve listening to the people — I thought that was done in public consultations leading up to the budget — and prudently implementing measures like tax increase and a reduction in spending over a period of time.
Instead, this government pulled no stops in crippling people of this province with huge tax increases in an unprecedented manner under the guise of saving our precious province from financial ruin.
I see these behaviours as unscrupulous and «what a tangled web we weave once we practice to deceive.» All attempts at cover up and speaking from both sides of the mouth have possibly led to the negotiating fiasco the government now faces with the nurses union and other public sector employees.
Where and when will this end! Only when this government is put out of office and the sooner the better. Carol Anne Northcott writes from Bay Roberts