Premier defends Newfoundland budget, government's record

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James McLeod
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Premier Kathy Dunderdale speaks to members of the St. John's Board of Trade. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale defended the provincial budget and her government's record in the past couple of years in a speech to the St. John's Board of Trade this afternoon.

Dunderdale especially defended her record on Muskrat Falls and her relationship with the federal government pressing for a federal loan guarantee.

The premier gave new details about the negotiations with Ottawa, saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to get the province to make concessions on other issues in exchange for the loan guarantee.

Dunderdale said she personally had to play hardball, and insist that Harper lived up to his election promise.

"We're not going to walk away from a billion dollars," Dunderdale said. "You stand up; you do the right thing."

Dunderdale also talked about the spring budget which has been an ongoing source of controversy.

"It's a very good budget," Dunderdale said.

The March 26 provincial budget included hundreds of civil service layoffs and deep spending cuts across the board.

Dunderdale cited BMO's report on the province, saying the government's "prudent fiscal management" is supporting a strong local economy.

"This province is the picture of health, strength, and prosperity," Dunderdale said.  "Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are better off, and our economy is much better off than a decade ago."

Instead of announcing any major new initiatives, Dunderdale largely used the speech to celebrate accomplishments from the past decade in government, especially the past year.

She talked about Nalcor's investment in oil and gas, along with their own push to do drilling exploration off Labrador.

She also highlighted the government's negotiation with Vale for underground expansion at the Voisey's Bay nickel mine.

"We need to celebrate that we're doing things differently," Dunderdale.

 

 

Organizations: St. John's Board of Trade

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Ottawa

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  • Mary
    May 27, 2013 - 16:06

    Kathy Dunderdale, MY OH MY, The board of trade is all you have premier no one else wants to listen to your tripe. I think you are living in never never land with Michael Jackson. Prosperity -- Muskrat Falls shoved down our throats like it or lump it, multi million $$ deficits because of your incompetence, Thousands of public service layoffs, Cut backs in services, down grading of Corner Brook Hospital, the love affair you have with Stephen Harper of all people. Kathy you dare state Nfld is a have province. I don't know. Maybe you should get out of the big city driven by oil money and come see the rest of us mere mortals on the Island. I make a solemn promise to help rid you from Nfld. & Labrador, its time for you to go. DUNN with DUNDERDALE, PROBABLY ONEOF WORST THREE PREMIERS WE EVER HAD. THATS MY RANT.

  • marilyn
    May 27, 2013 - 14:00

    Public pensions did i miss the part where they say government also .oh silly to ever think such a thing .

  • Misery Loves Company
    May 27, 2013 - 13:56

    The only place she would feel welcome is the St. John's Board of Trade. Same thing goes on there that goes on Confederation Building. Make a bad choice and then say the Board of trade supports it. I have no memory or evidence of my Board asking me for my point of view before the Board came out and said it approves the Muskrat falls project. Just a little club for local business types who have political aspirations, that's all the current Board is.

  • Shawn
    May 27, 2013 - 13:27

    "It's a very good budget," Dunderdale said....The truth of the matter it was a historically incompetent budget. No thought whatsoever to the ramifications of the budget on the citizens and businesses of Newfoundland. Reversing decisions after the fact only supports their incompetence. There is nothing more they could do to change my opinion of them. I have seen more than enough. See you on election day Kathy...

  • Babbaloo
    May 27, 2013 - 13:19

    In her speech she said will be clawing back public pensions to strengthen the economy even more.

  • Brian
    May 27, 2013 - 13:12

    The premier indicated that the Prime Minister wanted concessions from the province in exchange for the loan guarantee, what were the concessions that he wanted? The taxpayers should be aware of these concessions Maybe this is a secret , ( do you know about this Peter?---you were at the table)Don't forget, the loan guarantee is only for the first 6.3 billion and we as a province could be in trouble if the rates for the cost overruns are higher. What if Nova Scotia is not a partner and there are no markets? I think that the politicians that voted for the project and Nalcor executives who prepared and touted the bill calculator should be personally liable for any difference that the ratepayers of the province are forced to pay . There should be some accountability for this project .

    • Eli
      May 27, 2013 - 15:55

      There won't be any accountability BRIAN. Nalcor's legislative protection has seen to that. Bastards.

  • YOGIBEAR
    May 27, 2013 - 12:57

    And all the while I thought she had gone back home with the groundhogs.