Make N.L. great again
Bring back the “local preference policy.”
I never did agree with the government concept of “open sourcing,” whereby a bilateral bidding process on local government contracts opened to door to companies across Canada to be able to bid on work in Newfoundland and Labrador, the concept being that other Canadian jurisdictions would also open their bidding opportunities to N.L. companies. Part of the reason was that it would ensure that local companies did not take advantage of local contracts and also that the price that was tendered was the lowest possible. Is this the best approach today?
On the face of it, it seems to level the playing field, but instead it is the thin end of the wedge. By that I mean that mainland companies won bids on local work, but due to economies of scale, smaller N.L. companies could not generally compete in larger, more lucrative, markets such as Ontario, for example. Isn’t it time that we went back to basics and put N.L. companies first?
Why have we spent millions of dollars in Romania to built unreliable ferries that have robbed the Marystown shipyard of millions of dollars of well paid and desperately needed jobs that would have kept the shipyard in business for years? So what if it did cost a few million dollars more — the spinoffs and ripple effects are far and wide for the long term.
Has anyone measured the social economic impact, actual losses in income, cost of EI, loss of spending in the local communities in revenue, etc., compared with the small cost benefits of building the vessels overseas? Would we not have better reliability and warranty guarantees if the products were home-built? Perhaps; not necessarily, but I am sure that we would have had a better overall experience! Certainly thosethat-built-it-must-fix-it would be more enforceable! What is the cost to service and support an overseasbuilt product over the life of the ferries, as an example? Do we even know?
We have to get back to basics. Why are we not self-sufficient in local produce, local agriculture, etc? We can be; we have been in the past. Why are we importing fruit and vegetables that are rotten when they get to our tables and cost a fortune? Are we too lazy to grow them ourselves? Isn’t fresher, better? We buy local vegetables and the taste is awesome! Why doesn’t everyone do this?
We need a groundswell of support to make N.L. great again. It is possible. We just need the old-fashioned “hard work” ethic and the drive and enthusiasm to make it work. Isn’t it time to support our own local businesses above all others? It’s what our history has been built on!
Come on, gang — are you up to the challenge?