For as long as I can remember the lack of long-term, good-paying jobs has always been an issue in this province and has led to many of our people having no choice but to leave for other areas of the country where opportunities are more plentiful.
The past few years have been different here though. We've seen many of our young people work here at home due in part to projects like Hebron, Long Harbour, the offshore and Muskrat Falls creating lots of jobs. It's been a good time to find a job here at home.
Unfortunately, right now, those jobs are drying up. This is the case of megaprojects. When they're done, they're done and people move on to other jobs, quite often out of the province. That's been the case here in this province for years.
To me, it has to change. We need to be creating jobs where people can work at home for their entire careers and not just one or two years.
People usually go to colleges here. They should be able to get long-term work here – not get their course and then look to mainland Canada for work opportunities.
We live in a great province, but for it to be truly great, it should include long-term employment opportunities for everyone – not these short-term megaprojects that have long been a part of our province's employment history.
I know in my area, if everything comes to pass, work should be plentiful. A fish farm is rumoured for the area, as is the reopening of the mine in St. Lawrence. These things would create long-term employment opportunities for people. We need stories like that in every corner of the province and not have so many people who right now have no other choice but to leave the province for work.
So if I'm the Liberals and I want to do something to define my government, I come up with some sort of jobs plan. Creating jobs is a must in a province that is looking at 20 per cent unemployment in a few years time, which is a scary prospect no matter how you look at it.
How do you create jobs?
You create jobs by creating a business climate where people want to invest here. Go to other provinces and see what industries they have there.
Tourism has been good to this province. Let's focus on that. Create more tourism hot spots in the province.
Our roads are in bad shape. Maybe we could create jobs by coming up with a multi-year infrastructure plan provincewide.
Consult with people on the types of opportunities they want and go from there.
This province should be a place where people can work and raise their families, not a place that sees more and more people have no choice but to leave home for work.
In closing, people matter and so should creating jobs for them to work here at home.