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MHA must take budget uproar into account

First of all, I have always had the utmost respect for Burin-Grand Bank MHA Carol Anne Haley since we met many years ago, and appreciated any help from MP Judy Foote’s office – which, as her constituency representative, she took on. 

I trust she will make the right choice to stand by the people that elected her.

As a member of Burin-Grand Bank, I would like to ask her to listen to the overwhelming amount of public outcry and reaction to the Liberal government’s budget.

We, as the people, put her in the position she is in now. She may say, “I was elected to represent my district and my province.” That is correct, but the people in your district and people around the province are calling on their MHAs to make the right choice – vote no.

Why do I feel this way?

Locally, we have seen the closure of the Supreme Court in Grand Bank, which employs people in the district. This decision makes no logical sense as crime on the Burin Peninsula has been increasing and becoming more serious. We would then have to travel to St. John’s or Clarenville for court proceedings, which will amount in more expense for the residents of the Burin Peninsula. Furthermore, there were 10 beds cut at the Burin Peninsula Health Care Center in Burin. The minister of Health’s explanation was the beds are only 65 per cent in use; I would like to see proof of that because the Burin hospital has long needed more beds for patients. Residents of the Burin Peninsula have been asking for more beds for years, and your government decreased them – compromising health care on the Burin Peninsula.

I believe these decisions should be reversed; they have a direct impact on our region. Our safety and health was compromised, while jobs have been lost.

In a general sense, this budget has targeted the wrong individuals to make up the deficit. Your government decided to tax and raise fees that will directly impact everyone in our province, but especially our young people, seniors and low- and middle-income earners. The gas tax will increase food and consumer goods prices, and will cause many to live below the poverty line. People will move away and businesses will close. That will cause more jobs to be lost. This budget has an extremely negative impact on our economy.

Her party ran on “plans” to diversify the economy to increase revenues. This budget is not diversifying our economy – it’s diversifying taxes and fees to destroy our economy.

I do not plan to just criticize. Here’s my idea of economic diversification for the Burin Peninsula:

- Work and collaborate with Kiewit: Encourage them to apply for tenders, such as the St-Pierre-Miquelon ferries that slipped through our fingers. Ensure government creates a tax regime that entices them to do keep doing business and keep their employees in Marystown. 

- Invest in mining on the Burin Peninsula: We have two potential mining operations on the Burin Peninsula – the Canada Fluorspar mine and the potential gold mine in Point May. Show your government’s commitment to them by investing money to jumpstart their operations; this will have a huge impact in improving our economy and increasing revenues for the province. 

- Grieg’s sea farm: This is a new and improved technology for the fishing industry; we need to be a part of it but ensuring the environment is protected. Again, collaborate to ensure they stay in business on the Burin Peninsula for many years and make an investment if needed.

These three projects have the potential to make the Burin Peninsula the hub of economic stability for our province and create thousands of jobs including spinoff opportunities. This can attract new people and will truly diversify the economy – three different industries (not oil related).

However, our government’s decisions will do none of those things. We will lose young people and jobs will be lost. Please MHA Haley, I truly hope you make the right choice and say no to this regressive budget.

Donald Slaney

St. Lawrence

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