Kennedy fires back at Telegram on PC party promises

James
James McLeod
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Five thousand word news release lists action on PC ‘commitments’

Jerome Kennedy

Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy spent the day batting back at The Telegram for reporting comments that cast doubt on Tory election promises.

Kennedy called VOCM Open Line in the morning, and then called VOCM Backtalk in the afternoon to say that his comments had been “taken out of context” by The Telegram.

He also sent a letter to the editor (See page A6) and late in the day, he capped it off with a 5,069 word news release laying out — in excruciating detail — all of the PC Party campaign promises that the government has already fulfilled.

“Our government is proud of our record in implementing commitments we have made to the people of the province and we will continue to do so in a responsible manner,” Kennedy was quoted as saying in the news release.

On Tuesday, The Telegram reported on the PC Party’s fiscal promises from the campaign.

The party specifically committed to “establish a ceiling for new spending growth and make our choices accordingly.”

In fact, in the two budgets since the 2011 provincial election, the government has not publicly stated a ceiling on new spending growth ahead of the budget process.

Speaking specifically about that election promise, Kennedy said, “I’m not aware who wrote this, who put this in the Blue Book, what exactly they meant.”

More broadly, all of the $135 million worth of election commitments the PC Party made came with a caveat that they would only be implemented if the provincial government could afford to.

With the government running a $563.8-million deficit, and a $650 million forecast deficit next year, The Telegram asked whether some of those promises need to be reconsidered.

“You used the word promise. I’m not sure that the Blue Book can be described as a promise,” Kennedy said.

“It outlines a platform of initiatives that we plan to undertake during a mandate, which is the election in 2011 until 2015. We strive as best we can to ensure that the commitments made or the components of the platform are complied with.”

In Thursday afternoon’s news release, the government said that 228 of the 534 election commitments were “either complete or substantially complete and moving towards implementation.”

As of press time, The Telegram was not able to fully analyze the list of campaign commitents, but it appears that the PC party may be understating things slightly.

In the PC party’s 2011 platform, it promised to act on recommendations to overhaul the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

“We will introduce appropriate reforms to the legislation. We will continue to protect personal information, commercially sensitive information and cabinet documents,” the Blue Book says.

But on Thursday, Kennedy’s news release does not appear to mention access to information or Bill 29, the controversial legislation the government passed in 2012.

Bill 29 greatly increased government secrecy by making many classes of documents off-limits to public disclosure under the province’s access to information laws.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: The Telegram, PC Party

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Recent comments

  • saeed
    January 27, 2014 - 15:32

    thanks for you

  • Tony Rockel
    July 12, 2013 - 22:23

    Proud of your record? Does that include Bill 29? Are you really proud of that piece of treachery?-- because for everyone else it's a total embarrassment. You've made us look like a banana republic.

  • Eileen
    July 12, 2013 - 16:23

    I was a PC supporter in 2003 because I believed the openness, transparency and accountability Blue Book promise. However, the implementation of Bill 29 has exposed the underbelly of the PC party. I will never be a PC supporter again!

  • Jiggles
    July 12, 2013 - 12:18

    I seriously doubt the political objectivity of the Telegram's news reporting.

  • Eli
    July 12, 2013 - 12:01

    Jerome is the same yellowbelly who said emphatically some judges were politically appointed and not qualified to sit on the bench. He was admonished by the judge (Hughes?) and ate crow when the Law Society sanctioned him. Oh yes, he was taken out of context on that too. His obfuscations seem to have carried over to the entire PC government.

  • M. Carter
    July 12, 2013 - 12:01

    Jerome is getting all upset because people are telling it the way it is. People are fed up with this govt. and if they don't smarten up, then they're going to be out the door - of Confederation Bldg. and looking for a 'real job'.

  • Ben
    July 12, 2013 - 11:50

    Good for Kennedy! The media is brutal these days...they don't really care if its true or not, they put it out there. Plus they do tend to take things out of context! I find alot of the different media stations are fighting for the better story. Ie...Telegram James wants to beat Cochrane to a story, or make one up! Its pitiful reporting!

  • Maggy Carter
    July 12, 2013 - 11:27

    Good observation James. Bill 29 is a non-promise they most definitely kept. How they kept it is another matter. It's not surprising they don't want to brag about it given that it has become a universal symbol of everything wrong with their government. I predict that the Kennedy/Dunderdale government will itself repeal Bill 29 before the next election. It will have achieved its purpose of providing a smoke screen for Muskrat and they will want to limit its political value to the opposition parties. As far as Mr. Kennedy's rush to claim a 43% delivery on their pre-election non-promises, he'll forgive us if we wait for some independent corroboration. Even if it were true, there is the obvious question of whether it represents 43% of the total cost of the Blue Book commitments. My suspicion is that the dollar value on what they actually achieved is considerably less.

  • Jim
    Jim
    July 12, 2013 - 11:09

    As a former PC supporter, I do not trust nor believe anything this man says or the PC government as a whole. They are the worst lot of politicians I have ever seen in NL. Come 2015, the people of the province are making a promise to this government - YOU WILL NOT BE RE-ELECTED. That promise in written in red, for the anger and embarrassment you have caused for all of us.

  • John
    July 12, 2013 - 11:00

    Jerome, Why don't you come out to Saskatchewan where you can see A REAL BOOM!!!One that is affecting the entire population not just a few chosen ones like in NL. One where there is no prov tax on restaurant meals. One where there is HALF!!!! as many politicians.One where there is a real and competent premier and not the joke circus that you have. One where there is real politicians and not the bunch of cry babies you have ("You said something bad about me on Facebook").

    • W McLean
      July 12, 2013 - 14:01

      There are 58 MLAs in the SK legislature. There are 48 MHAs in the NL legislature.

  • Too Funny
    July 12, 2013 - 10:51

    What do politicians and journalists have in common? Neither can admit it when they're wrong.

  • file
    July 12, 2013 - 09:57

    Jerome is a lawyer. He is a master of semantics and small print.