Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
Since 2003, My Government has taken a series of deliberate actions to raise
Newfoundland and Labrador, step by step, from underperformance toward the
full measure of its potential. The journey has not been easy, and the work is not
yet done, but how far we have come!
Prior to 2003, people were moving away from Newfoundland and Labrador by
the thousands for lack of work. The tax burden on families was excessive. Critical
infrastructure was crumbling from neglect. The government was hamstrung by
the highest per-capita debt in the country. The province relied heavily each year
on Equalization payments just to provide basic services comparable to those in
the rest of the country. Newfoundland and Labrador was in a downward spiral.
Thanks to the leadership of My Premier and My Government, and the deliberate
efforts we have taken together since 2003, all that has changed. More people
are working in our province today than ever before in our history. With 70,000
job openings on the horizon thanks to the Muskrat Falls development and other
important initiatives, people are moving here. Families are paying half a billion
dollars a year less in taxes than they were paying a decade ago. Consumer
spending is up. Housing starts are up. Capital investment is up. Critical
infrastructure has been repaired or replaced. Public debt has been reduced
by 28 per cent. We no longer need equalization to raise our revenues to the
Canadian average. We are generating those revenues on our own, and we are
able to contribute to the Canadian family. That does not mean we have a windfall
to spend. It simply means we are paying our own way. That is what it means to
be a “have” province. And all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are sharing in
the benefits of the gains we have made.
But all the gains we have made are in jeopardy if, at this critical juncture,
we choose the wrong path forward. We are at a crossroads, and there are
two fundamental reasons why.
The first is that our primary source of new revenue is oil. Not only is oil nonrenewable, but it is also subject to large and unpredictable price fluctuations
on the world market. From Alberta to Ottawa and beyond, all jurisdictions heavily
reliant on oil revenues have suffered large reductions to their bottom lines
this year because oil prices have tracked far lower than the markets projected.
Even the Government of Canada has been negatively affected because of
the reductions in natural resource revenues. We must diversify away from an
overreliance on oil if we are to put our economy on a solid, sustainable footing.
My Government made this crystal clear in its 2007 comprehensive energy plan.
That is why developing the renewable energy resources of Muskrat Falls is so
important to Newfoundland and Labrador’s future.
The second major threat to the gains we have made is just as fundamental.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s public sector costs are greater than our economy
can afford or sustain. This province’s public sector spending per capita is the
highest of any province. There are only two ways to pay for that level of public
spending – taxes and borrowing. But, when taxes are too high, they crush
the very economy that the government is supposed to be serving. And when
debt is too high, the cost of servicing that debt becomes a crushing obligation,
draining revenues. Unpaid debt leaves our children a burden that crushes their
opportunities. We cannot borrow for our day-to-day spending and send the bill to
our children down the line. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians understand this.
We have to live within our means and continue to set clear and responsible
priorities. It is about a balanced plan, a sustainable approach. To that end,
My Government embarked last year on a Core Mandate Review to identify
efficiencies and eliminate duplication and waste. The review protects essential
functions while identifying innovative ways of consolidating and streamlining
operations to meet these core functions more effectively and more affordably.
With our economy now stronger than ever and private-sector employment at
record levels, this is the prudent time to take on the challenge of focusing on
critical priorities, streamlining our public sector accordingly and zeroing in on
the initiatives that place our province’s economy on a solid, sustainable footing
for the decades to come. Let no one pretend we have arrived. Let no one
pretend the need for fiscal prudence has passed.
Truly, Newfoundland and Labrador is at a crossroads. Two paths loom before us:
the path we are on, and the path that inevitably leads back to where we were
a decade ago.
Still, there are some voices in this province calling loudly for us to take this
other path – to grow the size and cost of the public sector and raise taxes and
public debt levels to pay for it. These same voices have also disagreed with
My Government’s decision to develop Muskrat Falls. They have disagreed with
shifting from an overreliance on oil to a more-diversified economy with a stable
revenue stream from renewable energy. Their path would lead us back to the
predicament from which we have come – high debt, high taxes, less consumer
spending, less investment, less employment, fewer people, fewer opportunities
and a bleaker future for our children and all of us. My Government will not
choose that path. We know where it leads. We have come too far and learned
too much to turn back the hard-won gains that together we have achieved.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
The path forward is about setting sound priorities. My Government is listening to
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. We will continually examine best practices
to ensure we provide public services in the best ways possible.
The path forward is also about sustainability. There are many ways My
Government is working to make our economy more sustainable and secure.
We are diversifying our economy to reduce exposure to fluctuations in the prices
of commodities such as oil. We are investing in business attraction, retention,
expansion, innovation, research, development and trade. We are continuing to improve strategic infrastructure to attract new investment while making equity
investments of our own to foster growth. We are assessing options to put
pensions on a solid footing so they will be there for those who need them.
We are running the government the way a sound business is run – in accordance
with effective management principles. We are continually planning forward and
making decisions strategically, with a view to their implications both now and
over the long term. In this way, we are planning for the needs of today while
securing a stronger, more-sustainable future.
The path forward is also about innovation – about finding new and moreeffective
ways of achieving our goals. We cannot dismiss out-of-hand the
suggestion that there might be better approaches worth trying just because
things have been done a certain way year after year. There is always room to
improve. We can learn from the pioneering approaches and best practices of
other jurisdictions, just as they can learn from ours. In poverty reduction, ours is
the model to follow; in other sectors, we may have things to learn. Some of the
best new ideas will come from our own people, who have seen how things work
and thought hard about ways of doing things better. We need to remain open to
that – open to innovation; open to suggestions. New ideas are being reflected
in our approaches to providing infant child care, home care, child protection,
policing, career placement assistance, and business and regional support
programming. New ideas are reforming our approach to public procurement to
get more value for the money we spend. “Thinking outside the box” is not just
a catch phrase: it is a principle we are embracing, because it improves the ways
we govern while improving the lives of the people we serve.
My First Minister, the Premier, is guiding this process with a keen eye to the
impact on people. She is honest with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians about
the challenges and choices we face, bringing her experience to the table and
listening to others who have perspectives and particular expertise to offer. She is
a champion for the vulnerable with an appreciation of the value of self-reliance;
an appreciation of the role of the private sector in generating the new wealth our
economy requires to thrive; an appreciation of the need to engage our youth in
building the society that they will inherit from us. My Premier is determined to
leave our children a legacy more sustainable and secure than the circumstances
we inherited. She has a plan for our province.
This Sustainability Plan will guide our approach moving forward. It is a fresh
approach to governance, with a clear focus on the people we serve, the priorities
we stand by, the results we need to achieve, and the path that will get us there.
Good governance means serving the people as effectively as possible while living
within our means. It means making choices that will leave our people better off
than they would otherwise be. That is the essence of sustainability.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
Growing our economy is at the centre of what we do. Growth sustains us.
Businesses, industries and the people they employ are at the heart of every
thriving community. The government’s role is to create the conditions for
growth, open doors, build networks, promote partnerships, educate and inform
our people, showcase our strengths, foster innovation and till the soil so new
enterprises can take root and our communities can continue to thrive.
Nowhere are the opportunities more promising than in the Arctic. Why shouldn’t
we be leaders in the Arctic! We are home to Arctic Peoples. Boasting one of the
harshest marine environments in the world, our people have been harnessing
the oceans for hundreds of years. Investing in the Arctic, economically, is
simply the next step. Our government’s Research & Development Corporation
is spearheading ArcticTECH, a new three-year program that will make the most
of our competitive advantages – our location, infrastructure and proven track
record in the harshest of environments. RDC has also partnered with Statoil
Canada to leverage an investment of $5 million in private sector-led R&D right
here in Newfoundland and Labrador that will prepare us to fill key technological
gaps in Arctic oil and gas development.
And that’s not all. Through the Arctic Opportunities Initiative, our innovation
department is working with the Nunatsiavut Government, local businesses,
organizations and communities to identify lucrative prospects in the Arctic.
We’re linking our experts, combining our capacity, and marketing this province
nationally and internationally as the gateway to the Arctic. For those not afraid
of a challenge, the Arctic offers incredible opportunities, jobs and returns on
investments. And we can do it all from a staging ground here in Newfoundland
The same harsh marine environment that prepares us for leadership in the Arctic
also prepares us for leadership in the ocean technology sector here at home.
Our “blue” technology sector is on track to grow in value to more than a billion
dollars a year. A US-based trade publication is already celebrating our province
as “standing tall as an international epicenter of marine technology”. Through
partnerships linking the government, Memorial’s Marine Institute, the private
sector and companion institutions as far afield as China, we have positioned
Newfoundland and Labrador to take the lead in pioneering blue-tech solutions
to challenges confronting coastal states around the world. Imagine that!
All sizes of businesses, large and small, can secure new business opportunities.
So while we are pursuing the diversification agenda, there are opportunities
for small- and medium-sized enterprises with major projects and resource
development on the island and in Labrador. Supplier development helps local
companies identify new business opportunities within major industrial projects.
This program connects small- and medium-sized enterprises with large industrial
projects by making them aware of how the supply chain for those projects
works and introduces them to the specific opportunities and players involved.
Capitalizing on supplier development opportunities, particularly in terms of
our major projects, is critical. We need to make sure our local companies
have the information, skill and financial resources required. My Government
supports economic growth through strategic investments in sector and market
development, research and development capacity, key infrastructure, and
workforce development. Investments made by the government are strengthening
the business environment in Newfoundland and Labrador. Small and mediumsized
businesses are helping diversify the provincial economy, develop
innovative industries in our regions, and attract talent to our
We are transforming rural communities through leadership in aquaculture,
and continuing to invest in innovation in agriculture through Growing Forward.
Diversification enhances sustainability. That’s why in all of these sectors and
more, we are making investments to broaden our economic base. From tourism
and the arts to fisheries and geosciences, even in a year when public spending
is being reined in, the sum of our investments in growth will remain enormous
and the impact will continue to be huge and lasting.
To enhance sustainability, My Government has set its sights on improving
telecommunications. Since 2003, through cooperation with industry,
we have increased access for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to where
today, 87 per cent of the island and 95 per cent of Labrador has broadband
access. As impressive as that is, it’s about to get even better with the
announcement this month of a major investment in Phase II of the Rural
Broadband Initiative. By working collaboratively with a blend of wireless and
wired providers, My Government is fulfilling its Blue Book commitment “to
advance initiatives that improve broadband access” and make Newfoundland
and Labrador a technology leader in the 21st century.
Here’s the real secret to sustainable, long-term growth: innovation and
collaboration. By thinking inventively and working together, we can make
our investments work harder. By linking up, we can make it easier for new
developers to link in and gain the solid foothold they need to thrive. That’s why
we are working, not just with industries, but also with regions and municipalities
to promote regional growth and success. We will commence engagement with
key stakeholders, including Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, on
a potential comprehensive fiscal framework that is sustainable and works for
municipalities in the province. We are partnering with the Newfoundland and
Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, to leverage the strengths of
women in business to help drive our vibrant economy. We are partnering with
the Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives through a brand-new
five-year memorandum of understanding. Four out of every five dollars of the
development money we invest goes to rural regions because we want these
regions to succeed. We are leading a collaborative approach to economic
development province-wide, partnering with municipalities, community development organizations, industry associations, business groups and
private enterprises to get regions growing – to get regions benefitting fully
from the opportunities springing up all around us.
We celebrate the progress we have made in developing strong and respectful
relationships with Aboriginal peoples who contribute to this province’s rich,
vibrant culture. Building on land claims, negotiated frameworks and resource
development, together we continue to strive for socio-economic success in our
We are focusing, not just inward, but outward, counseling
companies on how to make inroads in new markets across Canada and
abroad. Trade means profit. We are helping companies knuckle down to
develop robust marketing plans and growth strategies that maximize
their strengths and capture new customers around the world. Their
successes abroad benefit all of us here at home. That’s why we are
opening doors through trade missions, not only to traditional
markets in the US and Europe, but also to growing markets in Brazil
and China, where opportunities for growth are off the charts. Thanks
to the annual international mining expo in China’s Tianjin, for
example, Labrador is getting unprecedented attention from investors
with money to spend. In Europe, one of our major markets for fish
products, Canada is working to reach a new free trade agreement. We
welcome free trade there as well, as long as it means removing
barriers that disadvantage our products, or improving access to our
products. Newfoundland and Labrador will aggressively work to open
up new avenues for trade, as long as those trade agreements are
truly fair and do not compromise our best interests.
Trade is something we’ve been doing for centuries. We understand that
a successful fishing industry must respond to the evolving preferences of
global markets and international competition. After several months of intensive
negotiation, the province and Ocean Choice International reached an agreement
to reopen the Fortune fish plant to process its unutilized yellowtail quota.
This agreement will return a minimum of 110 workers to the plant when the
retrofit is complete and secure an additional 126 year-round harvesting jobs.
We are confident our partnership with OCI to process yellowtail for the Burin
Peninsula will prove to be a resounding success.
In western Labrador, the mining industry is abuzz about new prospects for iron
ore. The Julienne Lake prospect is a hot commodity, for which the province
has already solicited Expressions of Interest and has most recently invited six
interested parties to submit detailed proposals. Our goal is to secure yet another
new mining venture in Labrador and additional long-term revenue and jobs for
the people of our province.
Off the coast of Labrador, there is tremendous excitement over the discovery of
three new basins and the doubling in size of an existing basin with the potential
for the discovery of more oil. Thanks to the province’s investments in geoscience
under our Energy Plan, our offshore is yielding new and unexpected finds.
It is offering the promise of expansion beyond the current projects at Hibernia,
Hibernia South Extension, Terra Nova, White Rose, North Amethyst and Hebron.
Our offshore is not done yielding good news yet. Far from it! To promote even
more interest and competition in our offshore, My Government will work with
the federal government and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore
Petroleum Board this year to improve the competitiveness of our land tenure
system to open up new opportunities for growth.
Newfoundland and Labrador is now recognized as a frontrunner in promoting
strategic and sustainable energy development in Canada, thanks to this
province’s leadership in developing the hydropower resources of Muskrat Falls.
Through this project, we are opening a new energy conduit in eastern Canada
while putting our own province’s economy on a strong, sustainable footing.
My Premier is also working alongside the Premiers of Alberta and Manitoba in
leading the development of a new Canadian Council of the Federation energy
strategy. Newfoundland and Labrador is seen across the country as a leader
in driving energy development, cooperation and innovation.
Growing our resource sector benefits all of us. The more our resource sector
grows, the more development revenues they generate, and the less taxes
we need to collect from people to pay for the services we provide.
Resource sector growth supports population growth by providing a solid
foundation on which people can build for the future, sink down roots, ground
their families, and make strong and lasting connections. Strong, thriving
communities attract and anchor the skilled workers our economy needs.
This principle has motivated My Government from the very start. A decade ago,
it identified the solution that would meet the demand for skilled labour in our
province while at the same time addressing the need in our communities for an
influx of young families. A decade ago, it recognized what was wrong that needed
fixing. New post-secondary graduates were hamstrung by burdens of debt so
onerous that many had to leave the province to find jobs lucrative enough to
pay those debts down. Others who would have benefitted from developing
post-secondary skills were scared away by the high costs of going to
college. They were instead heading out west for whatever jobs they could
get. Newfoundland and Labrador was hemorrhaging its brightest and best,
and largely because of a failure to appreciate the importance of accessible
and affordable post-secondary education. My newly elected Government
immediately took aim at the problem by launching a White Paper on Public
Post-secondary Education followed by the Skills Task Force. The goals were clear.
Prepare our young people with the skills they would need for the opportunities
coming down the pipe, and reduce the burden of debt that was deterring them
from putting down roots here, buying homes and starting families.
Well, what a difference a decade makes! Today, Newfoundland and Labrador
offers among the lowest tuition fees anywhere in Canada and a student aid
program second to none. People once prohibited by costs from advancing their
skills are now thriving at college and graduating free of the excessive burdens of
debt that were driving graduates away. Not only our own children, but students
from across Canada and around the world are forming strong attachments to our
province’s communities in greater numbers than ever before, and joining us in
lifting our province up to the next level of sustainable economic activity. What
we are today witnessing is a wholesale transformation of our society. Graduates
– from both here and away – are now choosing to stay in Newfoundland and
Labrador and make this place home. With an influx of young people and
families, we are beginning to experience the renaissance we have long been seeking, with renewed vibrancy and new energy to drive growth. We are on the
right track, and that’s why we are determined to ensure Memorial University and
College of the North Atlantic remain among the most accessible post-secondary
institutions in Canada, with the lowest tuition fees and the best student aid
program in the country. That was My Government’s Blue Book pledge, and
Newfoundland and Labrador is stronger today because we are keeping this
promise. Our actions ensure the College and the University remain nimble,
responsive and relevant to the needs of the population they serve.
We are also giving our college graduates the leg up they need to access
apprenticeships and obtain journeyperson certification so they are ready
to take the jobs our economy is generating. The high uptake under the
Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program and the new Journeyperson Mentorship
Program is a clear indication the programs are meeting real needs. We will
continue to open wider the door of opportunity to those under-represented in
the skilled trades, including women, Aboriginal people, visible minorities, and
persons with disabilities. To promote inclusiveness, we will work with employers
to achieve diversity obligations for major agreements and projects, just as we
have with Hebron and Vale.
Our Workforce Development and Productivity Secretariat will lead the
development and implementation of a government-wide labour market strategy.
The provincial government will build stronger partnerships with major resource
developers, other employers, employer organizations, sector associations,
organized labour, community-based organizations, and post-secondary education
and training institutions to ensure we stay abreast of our changing labour market
needs and supply challenges so we can adapt quickly, collaboratively and
effectively. By forecasting our needs well in advance and learning to adjust to
shifting circumstances, we will be better able to match people seeking work with
employers seeking workers as each need arises. By linking development
to towns, we will spread the benefits throughout the province.
We are participating in a similar initiative regionally. The Atlantic Work Force
Partnership, sponsored by the Council of Atlantic Premiers, is focusing on the
particular labour needs associated with the mining, electricity and shipbuilding
sectors to ensure we are prepared as demand grows.
My Government’s 10-year Child Care Strategy also supports labour market
development by making quality child care accessible and affordable for parents.
To bring the benefits of growth to individual citizens, we will transform the
province’s network of Career Work Centres to an enhanced network of
Employment Centres to take on a greater role in transitioning people from
joblessness to the work force. AES offices will take on this employment-focused
role to complement the already existing network of departmental resources.
No one should be left behind simply because they are not currently in receipt
of Employment Insurance. We want to give all of our people the opportunity to
find meaningful and productive careers so they can share in the opportunities
that are growing throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The renewed one-stop
Employment Centres will offer people the resources and support of trained staff
with the expertise to help them make a quick and seamless attachment to the
work force. This is a prime example of the way our government, by finding new
ways of doing things, can accomplish more with less.
My Government realizes that new ways of thinking and new approaches cause
stress and turmoil. It is important to deal with these issues honestly and
openly so people are not caught by surprise, but fully engaged in the process.
My Government is listening. It has heard people’s concerns, and it is committed
to making the transitions to new approaches as easy as possible, by working
cooperatively with people to smooth out any rough patches.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
No area of public investment is more important than health care. Nevertheless,
spending on health care simply cannot continue to grow at the current pace
without becoming unsustainable. We are convinced there are ways to spend
our health care investments more effectively to maintain and improve the quality
of frontline services while increasing the value we get for these investments.
In this year’s Budget, My Government will make investments to improve
the quality and performance of our health care system while ensuring a
continued focus on caring for patients who rely on the services our health care professionals so capably and compassionately deliver. By finding efficiencies in
how services are delivered, we can continue to make sustainable investments in
programs that deliver results to patients. Health care will not be compromised.
Patients will not be compromised. But we will do a better job of living within our
means while delivering services more effectively.
As My First Minister, the Premier, announced on the 20th of March, with
a $227 million investment over the next three years, My Government will advance
construction of a new regional acute care health facility in Corner Brook.
Budget 2013 will provide for the significant advancement of this important
infrastructure project. The new hospital complex will provide vital health services
to the residents of the western region for generations to come. It includes an
acute care centre, a separate long-term care facility with in-patient mental
health services, and a hostel. Construction is expected to commence in 2015.
As part of the Supportive Living Program, which helps provide housing to people
with complex needs, Newfoundland Labrador Housing has engaged a national
consultant to better understand homelessness in our province. The findings will
inform future decision-making by ensuring we get a clear picture of needs that
may be hidden from view.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
We must continue to stake a stand against violence. Last year, My Government
undertook an evaluation of the first phase of the Violence Prevention Initiative
it launched in 2006. Province-wide consultations were complemented by a
provincial attitudinal survey about violence and abuse in Newfoundland and
Labrador. Clearly, there is more work to be done. The information gathered
will shape the initiative’s second phase and help us prevent violence against
vulnerable populations, including those who have been sexually exploited.
Violence has emerged as a significant issue among young people, particularly
through new vehicles such as social media. Bullying and harassment of
students cannot be tolerated. No student should live in fear. In the coming year, My Government will use information gathered during recent consultations on
bullying to inform changes to the Safe and Caring Schools Policy and protocols,
and if necessary, to spur legislative amendments to address the serious issue
of bullying. My Government will continue to advance the new teacher resource
called My Gay-Straight Alliance to support students with different sexual
Parents and the public are increasingly concerned about those who are
subjected to violence on the internet. Some 80 per cent of the victims of luring
and other violence perpetrated online are young girls. Led by Newfoundland and
Labrador, the Atlantic Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women are working
together to create awareness and prevent cyber-violence targeting young girls
online. On the 11th of October, the first International Day of the Girl, MacDonald
Drive Junior High School in St. John’s became the launch site for the Cybersafe
Girl Initiative. This program provides young girls, their parents and educators
with information on how to prevent young girls from experiencing violence and
abuse on the internet. This initiative was recently showcased at a United Nations
Meeting on the Status of Women in New York as an example of best practices
that other jurisdictions are interested in emulating. Our leadership online will
help keep many young girls safe.
My Premier has just announced a new task force linking members of the RNC
and RCMP in this province to investigate organized and serious crimes, such as
illegal drug activity and child exploitation. Working together in this way, our police
forces will make a tremendous difference in combatting crime and protecting
our people, particularly children, from harm.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
Expect to see advances over the next two years in the implementation of
province-wide 911 emergency services.
Expect to see new legislation in this session to improve safety in the province’s
offshore. Even though people labouring on our province’s oceans have been
facing risks with courage for generations, My Government believes there are
things we can do and ought to do to solidify the importance of safety in the
offshore oil and gas industry. The first Bill on the legislature’s Order Paper
will be amendments to the Atlantic Accord Acts to provide for a comprehensive
offshore petroleum Occupational Health and Safety regime. The amendments
will provide a clear and enforceable regime and provide regulatory-making
powers in offshore petroleum occupational health and safety.
Already, this past September, we provided for the establishment of a
Harvester Safety Association to bring a greater measure of protection to one
of the most dangerous professions in the world.
As part of our open government initiative, we have started releasing restaurant
inspection reports online, along with reports on school repairs, geological
mapping, park statistics, game harvests and departmental salaries, and the
annual reports of the governing bodies of regulated health professions. There is
much more to come. Ours is the most open and accountable government in this
province since Confederation, and among the most transparent in the country.
More information is readily accessible than ever before, while information that
warrants protection for reasons of privacy is kept secure. My Government has
struck the proper balance that preserves the right to know while protecting
privacy and personal information.
Open government also means open consultation, which we are achieving through
our new Office of Public Engagement. This office enables us to engage young
people, seniors, rural stakeholders, community organizations and other citizens
in deliberations and decisions that profoundly affect their lives. In a truly
open democracy, engaging citizens is not a luxury but a basic principle of good
My Government is clearly focused on the well-being of children. Complementing
our Continuum of Care Strategy is our ongoing province-wide Foster A Future
campaign welcoming new foster parents, whose care our vulnerable children desperately need. Our continuum of care approach is all about giving these
children the stability and support they need to thrive.
There are other ways we are preparing our young people to maximize their
potential. Through our investments in early childhood learning, we are targeting
children at the youngest stages of their lives, when cognitive development
is most rapid and structured intervention makes the greatest difference.
Intervention in those earliest years opens the floodgates to learning in
the years that follow when children go to school.
Through our continuing investments in K-12 education, we are continually doing
more to ensure our students can compete with their peers across Canada and
around the world. We are paying close attention to the best practices of others
and setting the bar high so our students can excel in mathematics and the
sciences, language arts and technology. We want to ensure they are ready to
take the lead in seizing the opportunities they are about to inherit.
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
We are determined to prepare our children with the skills they need to secure a
bright and prosperous future. We are determined to leave them a legacy that is
sustainable fiscally, environmentally and economically. Spending within our
means is fiscally sustainable. Developing renewable energy is environmentally
sustainable. Diversification is economically sustainable. These are deliberate
approaches we can take and must take to shape the future our children will
inherit. That’s why they are at the heart of this year’s budgetary plan. When we
are honest about where we have been, how far we have come, and what it took
to get to where we are, it is clear the plan we have chosen is sound. The best
path forward is the path we are on.
* * *
Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly:
Estimates of expenditure will be laid before you in due course and you will be
asked to grant supply to Her Majesty.
I invoke God’s blessing upon you as you commence this new Session.
May Divine Providence guide you in your deliberation.