© Cory Hurley
Liberal leader Dwight Ball speaks at the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade luncheon Friday.
The Conservatives got so used to oil revenues, they forgot how to make a dollar.
That was one of a number of claims Opposition Leader Dwight Ball fired the way of the Tory government during his address at the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade luncheon Friday.
He appeared to be in full campaign mode, as he and premier-designate Frank Coleman have traded barbs during recent public appearances.
“When you deal the big industry, you forget that sometimes four or five jobs in a small town means a lot,” he said. “If you can add four or five jobs in a small community, it can have an impact. That is where this government has lost focus.”
Around the digs at the governing part, and the premier-to-be, Ball highlighted a list of accomplishment the Liberals have made while in Opposition. However, his focus turned to shedding light on just what his party would do in power.
“A Liberal government will have the courage and integrity to make tough decisions,” he said. “Those tough decisions have to be made for this province to be sustainable. We will do it with the facilitation, and collaboration, and cooperation of the people.
“We will be open. We will be accountable. We will work with groups, like (the Board of Trade) to find the answers.”
Earlier this week, Coleman defended the Conservatives recent history and lashed out at Ball. Ball had criticized government last week for squandering oil wealth and leaving the province in a poor economic situation.
Friday, Ball played a bit of defence of his own and went back on the offensive. He again accused the Conservative government of mismanagement and highlighted the poor economics of the province.
The Liberal leader said diversification of the economy — highlighting sectors such as forestry, mining and agriculture — is key to the future of the province.
After the luncheon, Ball acknowledged this was a politically motivated speech. He appears ready for whatever type of politics is necessary in the upcoming election.
“For me, whatever opportunity I can get to get in front of a group of people, we are going to be talking about where we see the province heading and what the Liberal party can actually do to be the best choice for people in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.
Ball said he expected some push back from Coleman and the Conservative party, but said he is dealing with the facts.