Is there a progressive answer to how Newfoundland & Labrador’s debt could be managed while avoiding crippling austerity?
The news is full of prognostications of doom and gloom these days. Province set to go bankrupt, unassailable debt, unpayable power bills. What are we to do? For one, we need to start talking seriously about what a bail-out of this province’s crippled finances would look like, if it happens. More and more people (such as the economist cited in this CBC story) think it’s likely to happen. A country like Canada, which espouses to first-world status, does not simply allow an entire province to go bankrupt and shut down. What we should be focusing serious public discussion about, is not if there will be a bailout, but what the terms and conditions of that bailout will be, and how it will happen. On whose terms, and with what end-goal in mind. We need to be having that discussion now, and it is deeply troubling the government has not made…
Two words: Danny Williams.
Yet our politicians tell us we all must pay.
Can the province’s new Liberal government deliver a “stronger tomorrow”, or will incoming Premier Dwight Ball build on the dangerous legacy left by Danny Williams and the PCs?
After reaping upward of $20 billion in offshore oil revenues in a decade, we have little to show for government’s reckless spending. After years of great promises wrapped in fierce pride, the PCs have placed us in worse fiscal straits than before they took office.
While most eyes in Newfoundland and Labrador will be focused on provincial politics, news from Ottawa this Fall will likely come fast and furious. After years of hoping and planning, the Conservatives are expected to act now on many of their initiatives that were derailed due to the politics of minority government. However, with a majority, hot topics the Fall are expected to include: the redistribution of seats in the House adding 30 more ridings; the passing of new crime and punishment measures; the elimination or diminishing of the Wheat Board and Long Gun Registry; the issues surrounding Canada’s need to reduce its deficit; and the future of the Senate. Many of these issues will be directly relevant to Federal/Provincial relations, so keep an eye out for how the House of Commons’ agenda will affect the races here back home.
Amidst reports that the government will collect about $600 million extra from higher-than-expected oil production this fiscal year, NDP leader Lorraine Michael says “This money, I think, needs to be seen as revenue that has come early, and we [should] keep it until we look at how we need to spend our money in 2012/2013”. Newfoundland and Labrador debt currently sits at $8.2 billion, and Finance Minister Tom Marshall has already committed to applying whatever surplus the province sees towards lowering that debt. Source: CBC