The rea­son be­hind the rush to a pro­vin­cial elec­tion

The Western Star - - OP-ED - Bern Kenny Cor­ner Brook

Dear Ed­i­tor,

Do you con­sider your­self to be an id­iot? Do you think you have the IQ of a beach rock? If you an­swered no to both ques­tions the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment of NL is not counting on your sup­port come Elec­tion Day in May.

For the only vot­ers that haven’t the sense that the good Lord gave a cat are the vot­ers that the Lib­eral party is court­ing.

If you are vot­ing Lib­eral for the sole rea­son that we are now record­ing a strato­spheric size sur­plus for the cur­rent bud­get year, you have been hood­winked.

Ask your­self this ques­tion: why are we go­ing to bor­row over a bil­lion dol­lars if we are run­ning such a huge sur­plus?

An­swer: be­cause we are spend­ing more money than we are bring­ing in. But Pre­mier Ball does not want you to think of our financial sit­u­a­tion in those terms. Ball wants you to put on a dunce cap and be as stunned as my arse.

Ball does not want you to ques­tion these bud­get num­bers just like he does not want you to ques­tion his for­mula for rate mit­i­ga­tion of your elec­tri­cal bill.

Ball is telling you that part of the mit­i­ga­tion plan in­cludes the fact that the Justin Trudeau gov­ern­ment is go­ing to pro­vide this province with $200 mil­lion ev­ery year.

Yet there is no guarantee that this money will be paid to this province. The clos­est we have to a guarantee is MP Sea­mus O’Rea­gan telling us that we might find some­thing “un­der the hood” when the fed­eral gov­ern­ment takes a look to see how much money is ly­ing around-must be some­thing sim­i­lar to Mr. Dres­sup’s tickle trunk.

Why then are we be­ing told such pie-in-the sky num­bers from Pre­mier Ball?

Here’s the 411.

In the fall of 2015 when PM Trudeau came to power he had many al­lies in pre­miers across Canada who were Lib­eral-led gov­ern­ments. Then the tide started to change.

As a ref­er­ence point, af­ter the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment was de­feated in 2018 in On­tario that was fol­lowed by a Lib­eral de­feat in New Brunswick and a fur­ther Lib­eral de­feat in Que­bec.

So by the fall of 2018 the last bas­tion of Lib­eral-led pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments was in At­lantic Canada. Three of the four prov­inces were Lib­eral dom­i­nated.

As I write this let­ter there is an elec­tion cam­paign un­der­way in PEI. The in­cum­bent Lib­eral gov­ern­ment is in third place. By the time my let­ter is pub­lished the elec­tion will be over in PEI and there will only be two provin­cially led gov­ern­ments left in the coun­try: NL and NS.

Now, con­sider also how much trou­ble PM Trudeau is in po­lit­i­cally with the SNC-Lavalin scan­dal.

The Fed­eral Lib­er­als could eas­ily lose power this fall. That is why Pre­mier Ball called an early elec­tion. Had our pro­vin­cial elec­tion fol­lowed a de­feated Lib­eral fed­eral elec­tion Ball would be sweat­ing bul­lets.

The Lib­eral brand is tak­ing a huge body blow all across the coun­try and

Ball can’t get vot­ers to the vot­ing booth fast enough.

In the re­cent Al­berta elec­tion the Lib­er­als never won a sin­gle seat and man­aged about one per cent of the to­tal vote. Ball’s own pop­u­lar­ity is rated 2nd worst in Canada among all pre­miers.

So with all that weigh­ing on Ball’s mind (as his col­leagues all across the coun­try have been de­feated and Trudeau is no longer a slam dunk to win) to en­tice you to vote Lib­eral he is not only call­ing an early elec­tion but also pre­sent­ing the financial sit­u­a­tion of this province as if we have money to burn.

I’ll ask you again, do you con­sider your­self to be an id­iot?

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