2011 is certainly going to be a year of change in Newfoundland and Labrador. This should be a time we use to honestly review promises and deliveries of our politicians. As people we want to protect this land and sea for our children and their children. In order to do this we must once and for all shed the cloak of partisan zealotry and don the jacket of reasoned thinkers – those worthy of protecting resources and industry for those generations to come.
This will certainly mean we have to look truthfully into issues of great public concern and earnestly seek answers from our leaders – constantly trying to spin or hide the truth.
What does “passion for Newfoundland and Labrador” really mean? Who really possesses such a passion? Let’s ask some tough questions of unelected Premier Dunderdale.
I respectfully ask the reader to consider some of my suggestions.
1. At a time when we are a “have province” and Ontario a “have not province” why is our unemployment rate higher?
2. During the last decade we have lost more industry than we have gained – why is this?
3. Why is Quebec continuing to receive the most equalization but yet has no desire to become a “have province” and lose it?
4. Why is Ontario now the recipient of equalization when they hold the most seats in the House of Commons and the Senate, virtual home to Canada ( the federal government) the beneficiary of the auto bailout and the greatest population?
5. Why is success being measured by the numbers of houses being built in Paradise rather than the continued decimation of rural communities?
6. What happened to the paper mills, the fish plants and other local processors and manufacturers?
7. What has been the net effect of the fight with Ottawa?
a) Have we lost more money than we gained?
b) What happened to the 2 billion dollar windfall – did we lose substantially during the meltdown of the stock markets?
c) What about the 10 billion dollar loss after that? – Was the only payback that we did not elect a Conservative while Manning went to the senate and Hearn disappeared into a seal pack?
8. Should Kathy Dunderdale be permitted to sign any resource deals while she remains an unelected Premier? What was her own position on that when she was in opposition?
9. Why are none of our politicians tackling the federal government on the loss of our fishery? How will we be compensated? Remember the moratorium should have ended a decade ago and the stocks should be recovered.
10. Why do we continue to have some transportation issues when we are a “have province”? While the “have not province” of Ontario has trains, planes, ships, highways, subways, and significant commuter infrastructure – why do we have prohibitively expensive and unreliable forms of transport?
11. Do our politicians believe we will maintain or grow our industrial base over the next decades? If so what do they plan to power them with?
12. Why are we an energy warehouse and not an industrial warehouse?
13. Why are politicians who scream “no more giveaways” in fact planning the biggest giveaway of all (the Lower Churchill power)?
These are but a few of the questions I suggest.
If we are truly interested in our future these and many others must be asked and answered. The rhetoric of an unelected Premier and the absence of the Opposition other than to visibly cooperate when they want to take a Christmas break – will not suffice if we are to save our land and sea for the children who will follow.
Who will step up to this plate?