© Frank Gale
Cyril McCann of Stephenville, from left, chats with Bob Byrnes, president of the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce and Liberal Leader Dwight Ball following an address by Ball to the chamber on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.
Mel Dean of Stephenville felt Dwight Ball made some good points in an address to the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
He was glad the Liberal leader covered the issue of Bill 29, which Ball said he would change if he became premier after the next election.
Dean said he liked Ball’s idea of consulting with people through a premier’s forum with communities and was pleased to hear him talk about an emphasis on integrity in politics.
But, Dean also noted that he heard a lot of politicians say things like that before.
“So I’ll hold him to doing those things if he does get in,” Dean, a longtime member said.
Ball told the businesspeople in attendance there are a lot of rewards with operating a business and that there is certainly an entrepreneurial spirit in the area.
“I experienced that pride of owning and operating businesses and recognize there are good times and rewards at times, but that there are also challenging times,” Ball said.
Ball said he believes strongly in hard work and integrity in everything he does and that follows through in his leadership role, which he gained from being in business.
“Integrity is my guide and compass in politics,” he said.
Ball said the people in this province believe the current provincial government is not listening anymore. He said a government under his leadership would steer the province to a sustainable and prosperous future.
He said there are a lot of positives in Stephenville and the Bay St. George area and in western Newfoundland.
“If ever there was a community in our province that has resilience, it’s Stephenville because it has survived some tough times. This town has survived because you believe in your community and you want to make it vibrant and strong,” Ball said.
He said the area is playing a key role in the economy in this province through the College of the North Atlantic, the Stephenville Airport, the mining industry and the oil and gas industry.
“The latter is one we must pay close attention to as our environment must not take a back seat to any development,” Ball said, making reference to the hydraulic fracturing issue and how his party supports an independent external review.
He said to be an effective premier, government transparency is needed and that’s why the Liberals held the filibuster to try and block Bill 29.
“People are entitled to information on where your tax dollars are being spent. The problem is that nobody can see information around our own corporations as Bill 29 prevents this from happening,” Ball said.