Two Years of Liberal Government Action
When the Liberal Government was elected with an overwhelming majority two years ago they faced a great fiscal mess that required some very tough decisions. But despite the obstacles faced, many positive developments have occurred in the province in the last two years. This post covers some of the significant actions taken in the last two years.
Keeping Our Communities Safe
The Liberal Government has taken significant action to make it safer for citizens of the province. Earlier this year a Sexual Assault Response Pilot Program was created to provide free legal advice to help survivors. In November, legislation was introduced to create a Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT). This team will investigate all matters involving death, serious injury, sexual offence, and domestic violence as well as matters of significant public interest that involve police.
Building a New Hospital for the West CoastAfter years of delays the Liberal Government is moving forward with a new Corner Brook hospital. The new facility will feature 309 beds and will include radiation therapy which is a new service available for citizens who obtain treatment on the west coast. Over 200 public sector workers will be employed at the new facility, which will open in 2020.
This is the first government in the history of the province to partner with the private sector to build important infrastructure. The model will be used to build and maintain the long overdue new Corner Brook Hospital, ensuring west coast residents get services they deserve at less cost to the taxpayer. This model will also be used to build new long-term care facilities in Corner Brook, Grand Falls – Windsor, and Gander.
Taking Care of Our SeniorsOur province has the fastest ageing population in Canada. It’s our responsibility to look out for our seniors. For the first time in the history of the province an Office of the Seniors Advocate has been created. Additionally, the seniors benefit has been increased from $1063 to $1313, helping 48,000 households.
Growing Our Food IndustriesWe need to reduce our dependency on imported food and our plan is to grow our food producing and processing industries in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Liberal Government has opened up more Crown land for development, giving farmers access to more land. This land is easier to develop and there are flexible payment options when paying off the leased land. As more land is developed, your government is also committed to further developing our Aquaculture Industry. The bays and coves of Newfoundland and Labrador already produce world-class product and we want our harvesters to do even better. The goal is to grow mussel and salmon production and more than double the number of jobs in the aquaculture industry. This fall we held an Aquaculture Summit in Grand Falls – Windsor to explore how we can support the growth of our Aquaculture industry. We look forward to working with our farmers and fish harvesters to create well-paying jobs throughout our province.
New Full-Day KindergartenFull-day Kindergarten was promised and the Liberal Government delivered. Fall 2016 featured the first full-day Kindergarten classes in the history of our province. It has been proven that full-day Kindergarten improves education outcomes for our children and it has already decreased childcare costs for young families.
Opening Seven New SchoolsNew schools have opened in Gander, Conception Bay South, Portugal Cove – St. Philip’s, St. John’s, Torbay, Paradise, and Corner Brook. These new facilities will help ensure that students receive a quality education in a modern learning environment.
Paving More New Roads With Less Money and Less InterruptionsEfficiency has been found in road work programs. In 2016, 90 KM more roadways were paved than in 2015, for $5.6 million less. Also, for the first time in our history roads have been paved at night. The new nighttime paving pilot project on the TCH from Kenmount Road to Salmonier Line was completed this Fall. The Liberal Government will continue to find safe and innovative ways for this province to better serve the motoring public and tourists by having less road construction delays.
New Pavement and Safety Improvements for the Trans-Labrador HighwayThe citizens of Labrador deserve a safe highway that will also serve as a backbone for business development. Not only does this highway link Labradorians, it is the province’s connection to mainland Canada. The Liberal Government is investing $55.7 million to pave more of the Trans-Labrador highway. Another $45.4 million will go towards improving a section of highway from Charlottetown Junction to Cartwright Junction.
Meeting With Our Indigenous LeadersThe Liberal Government respects and values our relationships with the Indigenous peoples of the province. The first ever Premier’s round-table discussion was held in 2017 with Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous leaders. Knowing the concerns of Indigenous citizens important and this is another sign that communication lines are open for discussion with these important communities.
Another Two Years of Liberal Work Ahead
The financial mess inherited by your Liberal Government has not prevented them from investing in the province for the present, and preparing for our successful future. They continue to innovate and explore all potential areas for growth in the province. Government spending continue to be decreased to reduce the deficit, but in a balanced way that will not shock our provincial economy. This new way of governing will change the culture of spending inside Government and finally allow for a realistic plan for our common future. Let’s all come together and achieve even greater things for our province in the next two years.
This is the first in a series of posts about the work the Liberal Government has started or accomplished in the last two years. Stay posted for more highlights and reflections in the coming weeks.