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MP Ryan Cleary’s bill debated

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On Friday the House of Commons in Ottawa debated a bill put forward by Newfoundland and Labrador NDP MP Ryan Cleary – a bill that would launch an inquiry into why cod stocks collapsed off Newfoundland and Labrador two decades ago, and how to go about rebuilding the industry. The idea of a fisheries inquiry is an idea that Cleary campaigned on during the 2011 federal election. Unfortunately, the Conservative government had already categorically dismissed the idea of an inquiry, and a debate in the Conservative-powered House of Commons didn’t change things. “While some may prefer to live in the past, our government has no intention of conducting a formal review into the collapse of the cod fishery,” said Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield. Source: CBC

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Likelihood of NDP/Liberal merger shrinks

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With two of the leading contenders for the leadership of the federal NDP party now saying that they do not support a Liberal / NDP merger at this time, the odds of the “unite-the-left” movement making headway anytime soon is now quite slim. “I’m firmly opposed to any talk of merger with the Liberals,” leadership hopeful Thomas Mulcair said on CTV’s Question Period this past Snday. Brian Topp, who is also running for leadership, said no to a merger now, saying the NDP “don’t have to become Liberals to win.” Read more at the National Post. Source: National Post

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… and the Winners are …

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The ballots have been counted and results are in. The PCs, as expected, won their third majority government in Newfoundland and Labrador by winning 37 seats (56% of the popular vote). The Liberal party made a gain of 2 seats to hold on to official opposition status by winning 6 seats in total (19% of the popular vote). The NDP made party history by winning 5 seats in total (and 25% of the popular vote). For a list of district-by-district winners for the 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial election, along with their share of the vote, click here. Kathy Dunderdale becomes the first woman elected Premier in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, and the 2nd ever in Canada.

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Everybody Wins!

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Some post-election thoughts from Kieran Hanley

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Election night at NDP Headquarters

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Photographer Susan Morrissey Wyse was at NDP headquarters as the election results rolled in.

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Election Round-up: This is it!

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On the cusp of Voting Day, a final analysis of the 2011 General Election…

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Election Round-up: One week to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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NL Election 2011: The Final Week

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Newfoundland and Labrador is entering its final full week of its provincial election campaign, and VOCM is giving an update on where the leaders will be today. PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale will begin this week’s campaign in St. John’s with a visit to the Independent Living Resource Centre on Escasoni Place. She’s then heading off to the west coast where she will campaign with Wally Young in Rocky Harbour and Darryl Kelly in Deer Lake. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward is focusing his energies today in St. George’s-Stephenville East where he’s hoping to win back the district he held for 18 years away from incumbent, Joan Burke. NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is making an announcement this morning at 11 at her campaign office concerning the 2014 Health Accord. Michael will be joined by Megan Leslie, the NDP MP for Halifax. Stay tuned this week for TheIndependent.ca’s review of the three political…

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NDP’s oil surtax raising eyebrows nationally

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Lorraine Michael and her NDP are making national headlines this week not just for their historical chance at coming in second place for the first time – but for their idea of charging a new tax on oil companies. The NDP Leader plans to pay for about half of the $142 million needed for the party’s health and social spending platform by charging oil companies a three-per-cent surtax on offshore royalties. CTV reports that “she concedes that such a move could require rewriting offshore deals that were months or years in the making”. Michael said the party will seek a legal opinion on the matter. Asked why she did not do that before releasing her platform, she said the surtax is only an issue if she becomes premier. So the leaders only have to rationalize their platforms if they actually had a shot at becoming Premier? Source: CTV

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The debate over Health Care

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“I think the minister is denying the fact that we do have a mess and when I say that it’s not my word people inside the health care system are continually saying to me: our health care system is a mess,” said NDP Lorraine Michael during yesterday’s debate on the health care system. Michael, who believes there are major problems with our system, is calling for a full independent review of it. Health Minister Jerome Kennedy says an independent review would inevitably lead to recommendations that rural services should be cut. “There was an external review done in 2004 and if we had followed the recommendations at that time then there would be no rural health care left,” said Kennedy. “I really don’t know why Ms. Michael believes a review today would be any different … They’ll try to streamline and create efficiencies,” he said. “I can predict that that’s…

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The election – 4 years ago

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The Independent roots through its archives to present the political scene just 4 years ago – on the eve of the 2007 election.

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NDP leader pressed on plans to go after oil industry for more money

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“I think any agreement can be opened,” NDP Lorraine Michael said on CBC television over the weekend. Michael was responding to questions about her campaign promise to add a new 3% surtax on the Hebron partnership. Michael re-iterated that she was not afraid to throw out the Hebron contract to deliver on her promise. “I think we can ask for more money, and I intend to go after it.” Michael admitted that she is not sure how an NDP government would accomplish this, even though the Hebron agreement with the government specifically says the contract cannot be changed. Source: CBC

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Election Round-up: Two weeks to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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The Party Platforms

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Liberal, NDP, and PC plans for Newfoundland and Labrador post October 11

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NDP would decrease gas tax

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Lorraine Michael, leader of the NDP, said yesterday that her party would eliminate the provincial portion of the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. “It’s perfectly fair to have taxes. We have to have taxes, but it is not fair to tax people on a tax,” Michael said at a campaign event near a gas station on Elizabeth Avenue. Michael said the gas tax cut will save consumers about 3.5 cents per litre, and put about $35 million back into people’s pockets. Michael made the announcement a day after revealing an election platform that included imposing a new surtax on offshore oil companies. That tax would be used to pay for broadened social spending. Source: CBC

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The PCs: Smooth Sailing

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Barring a monumental collapse in support, the party will be just fine heading into their 3rd consecutive majority government.

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Open Marystown fish plant: NDP leader

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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael unveiled the NDP party’s fisheries policy yesterday, which includes wanting the provincial government to help reopen a fish plant that has been idled amid a dispute over exported raw product. Workers from the OCI plant in Marystown who travelled to St. John’s liked what Michael had to say. Despite the party’s support for a rationalization program — which would have seen drastic cuts in shrimp and crab processing capacity —the NDP now also wants action taken to protect the groundfish operation in Marystown. Source: CBC

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The NDP: A Long way to go

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In this 3-part series, the results of the 2007 election are represented geographically, giving us an idea of the work ahead for each party to win even just one more seat.

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NDP candidate breaking election rules

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George Murphy, NDP candidate for St. John’s East, says a fundraising letter sent out prior to the issuing of the election writ was done by accident and is asking his supporters to ignore it. Candidates are forbidden by law to raise money until the election writ is officially issued, which isn’t expected to happen until next Monday. The chief electoral office has also received a copy of Murphy’s letter and a spokesperson says Murphy will be asked to repay any money raised. Source: CBC

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NDP says students need grants, not loans

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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael unveiled Monday the latest part of her party’s platform — support for needs-based, non-repayable grants — in a campaign-style event at Memorial University’s Student Centre. “I’m delighted to be able to let students in this province know, that no matter where they go to school in this province, as post secondary students, [they] do not think that they should have to carry debt loads,” said Michael, adding that there are still post-secondary students who cannot afford to get an education. The grants would eventually replace the loan system and cover all 8,000 post secondary students in the province who receive student loans. The announcement was the central piece of the NDPs education platform. Source: CBC

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