We need leadership, not vested interests
In the Telegram a few weeks ago, I analysed most of the worthy goals of the Liberal “Way Forward;” their lack of accomplishments compared to their grand objectives, and concluded that Finance Minister Tom Osborne was put there to move the government to re-election mode.
Apparently, my assessment drew the right conclusions because there was no objection.
“The Way Forward” states: “Together, we will achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living.”
Further: “all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians must be prepared to work together to secure a more sustainable future.”
As true as that may be, there are too many interest groups, too many individuals with a vested interest, too many people looking out for No. 1. That has no chance of success!
All the unions fall in this category; lobby groups; the Liberals; the Conservatives; seniors; people who want to live in remote communities as was done hundreds of years ago but now with full government services; communities with less than 10 students want to keep their schools; Corner Brook wants it’s billion-dollar hospital; Health Science wants it’s plumbing fixed … (Oops, that should not be there, it is on the deferred maintenance list, due to lack of election impact.)
That is not a fraction of the complete list but makes the point.
I, and many others want strong, intelligent, no vested interest leadership!
Vested interest was on full display a few weeks ago in the squabble between NAPE and the Board of Trade.
NAPE loves their no-layoff contract, complete with their $250-million signing bonus, dubbed severance pay.
The board, representing mostly small business ( you can count on one hand the big business in this province), dared to object to the government/union’s no layoff contract given the massive over population of the provincial public service, and uncontrolled deficits.
NAPE’s reaction: boycott the board members.
The board members see our cost of living rising, resulting unemployment increases, and another wave of out migration; the Liberals plan to add billions to our provincial debt over the next few years; the Bank of Canada is predicted to raise interest rates to cool the Canadian economy as well as housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver — all adding mega-millions in interest payments.
Factor the financial hit to the solar-plexus that we are going to take from Muskrat Falls, the inevitability of continuing high taxes, and up goes the already highest cost of living of any province.
With that comes the poorest business climate, and highest rate of bankruptcies.
This looks to me like concern for the truth, not vested interest.
My vested interest in writing these letters was outlined perfectly by Capt. Wilf Bartlett a few weeks ago, and I am sure he spoke for many of us.
Simply put, we are concerned for our beloved province, our families and grandchildren’s future. I am 74 years young and retired. I am not concerned about me. I am concerned about the short term, two to three years where debt accumulation at some point will lead to third-party intervention.
All Canadian provinces have debt problems, however “In relative terms, Newfoundland and Labrador is projected to spend by far the most on interest payments, amounting to 12.7 per cent of total revenue.” (Frazer Institute, Bulletin 7, two years ago).
We now spend 75 per cent of total revenue on debt servicing, health care and education. Every projection from every source has our revenues shrinking, population ageing, and declining; total debt and debt servicing increasing. Currently the provincial government through their lack of action on our spending problem is sabotaging the economy. I have it from a good source that when we hit the borrowing wall they plan to go cap in hand to the federal government for a bail out.
What I expect is Canada will say: “You have a debt problem, welcome to the club; haven’t you admitted to having a spending problem?” “Yes.”
“So fix it!”
MP Seamus O’Regan subtly delivered that message a couple of months ago. Economist Wade Locke, pulling no punches, graphically displayed our problem during a recent presentation.
It is clear that our government needs to get a grip, now!
Jim Radford Salmonier Line