Transforming Our Future

The Employers’ Council hosted the Transforming our Future summit on Tuesday, February 25 to get an outside perspective on the province’s fiscal position.

Guest speakers included Dr. Janice MacKinnon, Former NDP Finance Minister for the Province of Saskatchewan and Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist for the Conference Board of Canada.

Both emphasized the need for government to develop a credible plan to deal with our spending problem by modernizing and reforming government services. They said a lack of a credible plan to deal with our spending problem is making a bad situation worse. It is creating a downward cycle of deficits, debt, and constraint. We now spend more on interest on our debt than we do on education and social assistance combined. Young people are leaving the province. Businesses are not motivated to invest. They encouraged our government to act now, before it is too late.

Watch their presentations above to learn more.

View media coverage here.

Newfoundland & Labrador is facing a fiscal crisis.

But we CAN have a brighter future.

All we need is a credible plan.

Everyone in Newfoundland & Labrador knows that our government has a spending problem. So why don’t we have a plan to deal with it?

We need a credible plan to modernize government services to make them sustainable. This is the only way forward to a brighter future. A credible plan to fix our spending problem will not only address our deficit and debt burden. If done right, a credible plan will:

  • improve outcomes to citizens in the services we really need,
  • end government waste and inefficiency,
  • create economic opportunity,
  • free up government money currently going to interest to invest in other areas,
  • provide stability and hope,
  • increase business investment,
  • enable us to better handle risk,
  • create a more positive outlook for future generations,
  • make us a more attractive place to live, work and do business.

Other jurisdictions have done this, and there are examples we can follow. But we need elected officials that are willing to act. To put a plan in place and stick with it. It is up to us to demand better.

The upcoming change in leadership and election provide an opportunity.  Join us in asking candidates for a credible plan to modernize government services and fix our spending problem once and for all.

About the presenters:

Dr. Janice MacKinnon was Finance Minister in the 1990s under NDP Premier Roy Romanow’s government when Saskatchewan’s debt was so bad, and credit ratings so low, they could no longer borrow. During MacKinnon’s tenure as Finance Minister, Saskatchewan managed to significantly reverse its fiscal fortunes, and remains in comparably good shape. Her government took significant steps to reform spending, and educated the public as to why these steps were necessary for a bright future – and they won reelection. Click the video to the right to hear her advice for NL based on her experience.

Pedro Antunes is Chief Economist for the Conference Board of Canada. The Conference Board have conducted significant research on NL’s fiscal challenges on behalf of the Employers’ Council, including Achieving Sustainable Prosperity, our 2016 Shadow Budget, and the research behind our 2017 Another Way Forward campaign. Antunes provided an overview of NL’s fiscal situation, where we are an outlier from other provinces, and what cost savings and reforms are achievable.

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