Population decline forecast ‘bullshit’, former premier Danny Williams says

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Former premier Danny Williams didn’t mince words when he was asked about a Conference Board of Canada report which says that the province’s population will shrink by tens of thousands of people in the coming decades.

Former premier Danny Williams speaks to reporters today in St. John's. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

“In my opinion, it’s absolute bullshit. That’s the simplest way I can put it,” Williams said. “When I first got into government, the first presentation I had from the Department of Finance told me that within years, we were going to be below 500,000 people. Well, right now, I think the number I saw today was 525 or 527. We’ve grown by 18,000 people. So where do they come up with this?”

Williams was holding a media event to unveil the new brand for his 2,400-acre development project in Southlands, which will combine industrial and commercial space along with thousands of new homes.

“I’m putting my money where my mouth is, because we’re going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on this project out here over the course of life of the project, and I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t believe in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.

The Conference Board report said that due to an aging population and a low birth rate, population in the province is expected to shrink.

But Williams said that with the economic fortunes in the province brighter than ever, people will come here to live. Williams said he believes that the oil developments that will be coming in the next few decades will drive the economy.

“By way of an example in the offshore, our basins out there — the seismic work that’s been done in the offshore — is three times the size of the North Sea,” he said. “That’s how big these potential basins are. It’s equivalent to the size of the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve only drilled 207 wells out there; in the North Sea, Norway and Britain have drilled 5,500 wells.”

Speaking to reporters, Williams also talked about the fortunes of the IceCaps, about PC Party leadership contender Bill Barry, and mining developments in Labrador.

To listen to the full audio recording of his comments to reporters, click here: https://soundcloud.com/telegramjames/danny-williams-scrum-feb-10

Organizations: Department of Finance, IceCaps

Geographic location: Southlands, North Sea, Newfoundland and Labrador Gulf of Mexico Norway Britain

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Joe Smith
    August 01, 2016 - 13:26

    Sickening. The sight of this man makes me want to vomet.

  • Masterwatch
    May 06, 2016 - 12:41

    The mouth that roared. He'd know all about B.S.

  • george
    April 30, 2016 - 09:20

    fact is, the entire "developed" world's population growth has stalled, we are no exception… want population growth Danny?- go "brand" your big dig somewhere in Africa or central America where your numbers make sense….

  • nomorebs
    April 27, 2016 - 10:46

    With this levy they are putting into place why would any young person want to stay here and live. It is to flipping expensive as it is now without the levy guess all the good young people in school now will benefit from somewhere else in Canada or the world and leave this mountain of rock don't blame them anyways nothing here to look forward too. Just having to pay for the Governments mistake cause they are the ones who don't know how to spend properly or where really needed and nor do the province know how to fix a road properly or purchase ferry's that are always breaking down maybe they should get someone in the Government that actually knows what they are doing and that wants to help the citizens of Newfoundland soon there will be no young ones left here

  • Tammy T. Square
    April 22, 2016 - 18:59

    Danny: Will you please go away? And if you won't go away will you please shut up?

  • Jess58
    April 19, 2016 - 17:56

    Oh yeah gonna be a have province are we Danny. Well how about in the meantime. The population will decline because seniors will freeze to death, low income will starve to death and the rest of us will die of stress related diseases due to the stress of higher taxes , lack of medical care, and lack of being able to live a healthy life due to not being able to afford good food for ourselves or our children. Easy for you to wait for all the so called good times coming to NL. You won't do any of the above. You are living high on the hog while the province goes downhill due to the expenditure created with Muskrat 'Falls and the governments over spending on bullshit..That's what is bullshit and you are full of it. You bailed knowing full well what was happening to this province. The PCs caused what the budget is today. Scary times for the province and it's people.

  • Reese
    February 16, 2014 - 16:21

    To call the work of professionals "bullshit" in an area he only know the basics of, does not make him look very intelligent. Sometimes I think people listen to him just because he has the loudest voice, and that is what people want around here. He only cares about the green and he knows how to sell, which is what he is doing right now.

  • Darrell
    February 12, 2014 - 12:19

    Maybe if we whine and complain a bit more all our problems will magically disappear. Seems to be the only thing on the go lately.

  • Darrell
    February 12, 2014 - 12:16

    Maybe if we whine and complain a bit more all our problems will magically disappear. Seems to be the only thing on the go lately.

  • Devil's Advocate
    February 11, 2014 - 08:45

    A point to add ... it's funny how all you negative commenters rarely mention the stimulation to our local economy that this new development will almost certainly create. All these homes and businesses require service and that creates jobs, and around and around in a very simple circle we go ... you know how it works.

    • Maybe
      February 11, 2014 - 20:30

      As much as the construction creates jobs, I don't think the customers are there. A lot of St. John's is getting old, if not retired, getting there. When the big house is too much, they will downsize and the used house should be cheaper than the new ones. The younger crowd that want to work will move away. What's left is the lazy ones on drugs and can't afford a house.

  • Devil's Advocate
    February 11, 2014 - 08:40

    BS or not, Williams will do quite well with the new development. The reasons for not building the hospital in Corner Brook is declining population - in Corner Brook. The bays are emptying and the lions share of those departing and heading to St. John's. The young that are still in the province want to be in the capital city, of that there is little doubt. Look around. Subdivisions have sprung up everywhere, traffic is maddening compared to 10 years ago, and hotels, both locally owned and from large chains, are going up like never before. Do you think the management of a Hilton didn't do their research before they decided to build a hotel on Stavanger for example? The province's population may not have any promising growth on the horizon, but the population of St. John's (and surrounding area) however, is stronger than ever. Whether or not you agree with Williams, he makes vey smart business decisions.

  • rworried
    February 11, 2014 - 04:17

    You are a very eloquent person Mr. Williams. No wonder the rest of Canada thinks we're heathens .

    • Brett
      April 29, 2016 - 10:17

      Ignorant is the word. Heathen has a religious connotation and has nothing to do with being right, just belonging to the proper religious club.

  • Belinda
    February 11, 2014 - 00:04

    Their are more immagrents in Canada then then Canadians the reason because Canadians are to lazy to work wants high paying jobs with no education or skill that's why they have a forgian workers pouring in all over Canada pretty soon our country we Canadian will be distinked and African s and Philippines will have it took over doesn't matter if your on the rock or in bc that's a fact .

  • Really Now
    February 10, 2014 - 23:40

    Perhaps someone should tell him that his ministers are making decisions with respect to the declining population numbers. A few weeks back, the Minister of Health indicated the reasons for not building the hospital that Williams promised in Corner Brook with complete Radiation & PET scanner was declining population. Said the area would decrease by nearly 20% in the next 10 years. How about that ... perhaps Williams would like to call bullshit to the people he left in power.

  • Danny Mansions
    February 10, 2014 - 21:37

    Donts worries Dans sure the place is maggoty with retired rich fishermen. You go build Danniopolis there son and we'll all be ready with cash for da mansions.

  • PF Murphy
    February 10, 2014 - 19:38

    I'm sorry that the Ex-Premier doesn't agree with the math, but people die and, since the reproductive section of our population has moved to Alberta, Ontario, etc., where's the increase going to come from? Hibernia is running out and Dunderdale has given away onshore processing. Or maybe he is just shilling so there will be people to buy his houses to protect his investment.and calm his investors. Why should the future young people need his houses? Why wouldn't they buy up the cheap, centrally-located houses of the dead boomers and renovate them so that they could possibly own them in their own life time, instead of their grand-children's. Will Galway be another northern European lumber deal? Oh well, Williams bought the land for $600 per acre, but other people develop it with their money so his won't be at risk so he should be safe. God must love him else he wouldn't have so much money or be so cute, eh?

  • Gekko
    February 10, 2014 - 17:48

    Williams is full of BS, and he has his own personal interests in selling property in "Dannyland" or whatever. Those properties will be selling for top dollar I am sure, and in 20 years when the oil dries up they wont be worth jack. Newfoundland is not sustainable, it never has been and never will be, only a fool would buy property here right now.

  • Muggins
    February 10, 2014 - 17:03

    In his opinion it's BS...This from the same guy who blew close to 14 billion in oil money, engineered the Abitibi fiasco, & hand picked Dunderdale as his successor. Me thinks his opinion ain't worth much.

  • Charles Murphy
    February 10, 2014 - 16:53

    Lets stop complaining for a few minutes, As everyone know we have a major problems on the rise, True. Let see if we can come up with some kind of solution. People are leaving for greener pasture, they think they have no future here...True...rural community's are dying...True...Can we as a people bring those community's back to life...Yes we can...So lets think... how is the question, First we need a leader to started with. who know the issue of the people.

  • Huck
    February 10, 2014 - 16:24

    The gospel according to Saint Danny, who is the best of the best when it comes to smoke and mirrors and slinging bullshit.

  • Charles
    February 10, 2014 - 16:22

    @ John, Sorry but Mr Williams isn't speaking up for the people of N & L. But for himself...What we need is a leader for the people. Some one who can bring us into the 21 first century, As of to date, we don't have anybody to fill then shoe. That inclue's Mr Williams.

  • Paula
    February 10, 2014 - 16:08

    Still the same old classy Danny. Would you like some Pepto Bismol for your verbal diarrhea?

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 10, 2014 - 16:07

    Danny's gonna make sure Barry doesn't see the inside of the Premiers Office. Shades of Cabana?

  • John
    February 10, 2014 - 15:15

    I think its ridiculous that a former premier has to be the one to speak up for the province once again. To put a non-negative spin on this information and knock a few of those "newfie lobsters" back down into the pot. No doubt this guy has vested interests in the province, perhaps more of us should.

  • Graham
    February 10, 2014 - 14:57

    Well Danny wont get any argument from me this time because when it comes to Bullshit Danny Williams is the expert. Nice to see he is still full of it.

    • Blair
      February 10, 2014 - 22:00

      If being full of BS makes you popular, wealthy smart and one of Newfoundland's best liked residents ,well I wish I was full of BS too, but I would imagine I already have your vote on that.

  • Tonya Gambin
    February 10, 2014 - 14:23

    I agree with Danny, newfoundlanders away from home think about going back every minute of every day...As for me, as soon as my husband and I find jobs there we'd move back in a heartbeat.

    • david
      February 10, 2014 - 16:57

      Nobody ever accused Newfoundlanders of being the least bit rational, practical, or smart. See you soon.

  • saelcove
    February 10, 2014 - 13:56

    I see nothing has changed with williams,His opinion is the only one that matters everyone else is well nobody

  • Rose
    February 10, 2014 - 13:54

    I never respond to theses posts but I just left NL. My husband and I sold out new two bedroom house in South River in Nov . I was working at Sobeys in long Pond . My husband was going back and forth out West to find work. We played it smart not like some people we tried our best to live within our means of income. We only had a small mortgage but our problems were going to start if my hours were cut back which they did to ten hours per week . My husband was having a hearer time to get back out west because the NL for mans and there GMs would like to favour there family and friends to hire first before others who were just as qualified . I have a newly graduated son from high school . In the area we lived in there wasn't much future for me either unless he had a trade . What ever happened to on the job training and experience s you learn from hard work . My son has some learning issues which will make it very difficult . So as a Mainlander I had no family in NL no friends not one and believe me I tried living in NL was the most lonely 12 years of my life we worked hard as a family to make a beautiful home for us and our son but . We could see the hat is going to fall in NL for the housing market and all theses oil projects are going to end in a big bag where or what is going to happen to all those families that borrowed money based on the oil fields and theses overly large sized trucks and homes plus all their toys . You watch how many are going to go bust in a couple of years . So get back to my own family . To be safe we sold our house as soon as our son graduated high school . We moved back to PEI where we moved from 12 years ago. I'm working full time so is my son. My husband is still trying to be hopefully to go back out west or to get a full time job here in PE . Instead of getting caught up in all theses stats the Goveerment goes by why not go door to door and ask the families out side of St. John's and ask them are they making it in this land or not. If the Goverment did they just just might take off there blinders. This is just my expedience living in NL..

  • david
    February 10, 2014 - 13:17

    Yes...the rest of the world is out to get Newfoundland.....Danny's most time-tested, productive line of personal BS. "Newfoundland is the greatest place on Earth! So buy my land, and be a proud Newfoundlander! Prices start at $79,900.....free snake oil for the kiddies!"

    • W Bagg
      February 10, 2014 - 14:05

      I doubt you'll get a serviced lot for 80K. You are out of touvh with the market

    • david
      February 10, 2014 - 16:46


  • Danny's Wrong
    February 10, 2014 - 13:11

    Most of Canada is in population decline. Only immigration is stabilising current population numbers. Asian workers at fast food outlets in St. John's will not be purchasing property in the Galway development.

  • kent
    February 10, 2014 - 13:09

    Whrer does Willliams get off making ridiculous comments like this? I think the fake-bake is affecting his head.

  • Don II
    February 10, 2014 - 12:46

    It appears that Danny Williams is planning to stop time and prevent the people of Newfoundland and Labrador from growing old or dying! It appears that Danny is hoping that the population does not seriously decline or grow old because that will throw a real wrench into his long term development plans. The fact is, that despite all of the Government "Have Province" bullshit, many thousands of people must permanently leave Newfoundland and Labrador to find gainful employment and thousands more people living in the Province now will continue to grow old and die and that reality will never change! In 25 years from now, those who are 60 years old now will be 85 years old and will be moving from their houses into long term care homes! If the current trend of more deaths than births continues, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that, barring massive immigration, there will be fewer people living in Newfoundland and Labrador! With the kind of logic that Williams uses, it makes me wonder where he thinks all of the people are going to come from to buy all of the McMansions he plans to build in Galway! Perhaps building a massive housing development in Galway, Ireland would be more lucrative. If I recall correctly, Premier Danny Williams wanted Newfoundland and Labrador to resemble the "Irish Tiger" economy of Ireland until it went totally bust a few years ago! Perhaps, the Government of Newfoundland can encourage 500,000 unemployed and impoverished Irish people to immigrate to Newfoundland and Labrador like many of our ancestors did in the 1800's! I don't see any other people lining up and wanting to come to stay and live in Newfoundland and Labrador any time soon!

  • Tony Rockel
    February 10, 2014 - 12:25

    Judging by the amount of bullshit dished out daily by the PC party, it's evident that they're no longer capable of distinguishing bullshit from reality. Yes, oil "development" will "drive" the economy, but only for a select few. The rest will have to cope with temporary jobs, inflated rents and house prices, along with gigantic electricity bills and an obscene Muskrat Falls debt, thanks to Danny, Kathy and NALCOR.

  • ed
    February 10, 2014 - 12:09

    It matters not what a businessman says , the truth is the nepotism and parochial policies of successive Gov in the province have ensured the immigrants do not get jobs because its all about who you know on the rock. You made your bed, you lay in it now. The population will keep dwindling - like it or not

  • Too Funny
    February 10, 2014 - 12:03

    " and I wouldn’t be doing that if I didn’t believe in Newfoundland and Labrador,”. Or, more accurately, he believes in St. John's.

    • Brett
      April 29, 2016 - 10:59

      The writing has been on the wall for all the small towns in NL for decades. They're actually what has been making the rest of the province poorer. The sooner they are bulldozed the better. I know people don't like change, but they're destroying not only the lives of their children, but those of the rest of society who are supporting them. There will have to come a point where the government says if you don't live within 50KM from either this that or the other place, you get no EI and no welfare, no subsidies for driving your children to school. No programs or assistance will be offered. I'm not sure how large a population center you will need, 5-20,000 people, but it's going to have to happen.