Premier, cabinet wrap up three days of meetings in Corner Brook

Gary
Gary Kean
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Members of the provincial cabinet speak to the media following meetings in Corner Brook Friday morning. Pictured are, from left, (front) Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien, Premier Tom Marshall, Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Kent, Environment and Conservation Minister Joan Shea; (back )Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley and Child, Youth and Family Services Minister Paul Davis.

Although the topic likely dominated much of their discussions in Corner Brook for the last three days, Premier Tom Marshall was not about to divulge any of government’s spending plans when he met with the media Friday.

Marshall, the Tory legislature member for Humber East, played host to the provincial cabinet for the meetings this past week.

A press release issued later Friday morning stated the cabinet held “successful” meetings that covered a wide range of topics, including the upcoming legislative session.

Earlier in the morning, Marshall and a selection of cabinet ministers met with local media, but said their discussions would remain confidential for now. The premier did say the budget will obviously be the major focus of the upcoming sitting of the House of Assembly.

“The big part of this session is the budget and interim supply, which will take up most of the time and doesn’t leave a lot of time for legislation,” said Marshall.

“We have lots of legislation we want to bring forward but we are going to have to make decisions on which we’re going to bring forward and which we’re going to have to defer to the fall, given the shorter time frame.”

Last year’s budget was a harsh one, with plenty of job cuts and reductions in services and programs throughout the various government portfolios. Marshall said people will have to tune in on budget day later this spring to find out what the fiscal plan for the coming year will be.

The Progressive Conservative party promised during the 2011 election campaign that it would establish a ceiling for new spending ahead of the budget and make decisions on spending accordingly. However, the current administration has never publicly announced such a ceiling.

Marshall, a former finance minister, said government has always been conscious of its spending as it relates to its revenues in any given year and that has not changed.

“There are some years where, for public policy reasons, we may feel it is appropriate to spend more to help the economy be stimulated and grow,” said Marshall. “In other years, we will spend less and use that money to pay down the debt we took out to stimulate the economy.

“It depends on the economic and fiscal circumstances of the time.”

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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  • Crazy
    February 22, 2014 - 05:16

    @ Edward, Was Tom elects MHA for Humber East? Yes or No... Did the people of the province of N & L agree to this man to be premier? Yes or No, if your answer is No to both question, Then he got no right to be doing what he is doing.

  • Edward
    February 21, 2014 - 19:50

    Crazy: no ballot ever asks you to chose a premier. The party won the most seats in 2011 and the leader becomes premier. Marshall has taken over that role and an election is being triggered early. He's the Premier, there's really no such thing as "interim" Premier, and he'll step aside soon like he should. He has every right to govern while in the post, and I hope he listens to people and make prudent choices as we would expect. This is how democracy has been carved out over thousands of years by and for the people.

  • Crazy
    February 21, 2014 - 14:48

    I listen to Tom Marshall on the radio, Trying to tell everyone ( HE IS THE PREMIER ), He sound like a man about to cry. Sir your title is ( INTERIM LEADER ) that it, people of our great land didn't crown you premier. And you got no right's to be making major decision on behalf of the people. Sir show us the ballots where its say Tom Marshall is the premier?