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I write in response to an article in the July 10 issue of The Telegram titled “Bluebook is a platform, not actual promises: Kennedy.”

Let me begin by inviting your readers to read the entire transcript of

my interview with your reporter (http://www.thetelegram.com/Blog-Article/b/24626/Jerome-Kennedy-in-his-own-words) and to compare that to the article that ran in your paper.

In particular there are a number of areas I would like to highlight:

The Blue Book represents our government’s vision for the province over a four-year term. It sets out clear goals and objectives we commit to achieve during that time. We are less than two years into the mandate and 43 per cent of the Blue Book commitments have been completed or substantially completed.

In implementing these commitments, the fiscal situation has been considered and it will continue to be considered in implementing the remainder of the commitments. That has been stated by the premier and is referenced in the Blue Book. It would be irresponsible to not consider the province’s finances.

I did a lengthy interview with the reporter, the majority of the interview was focused on the budget, fiscal commitments and the commitment in the Blue Book regarding the establishment of a fiscal ceiling for new spending in each budget year. It was not clear in the article that my comments were made about the fiscal ceiling specifically and not about the Blue Book overall. As an example, when I made the comment “I’m not aware of who wrote this, who put this in the Blue Book, what exactly they meant,” I was specifically referring to the fiscal ceiling. I went on to say in the next sentence “Essentially, what we’re saying is that each year we will try to keep our new spending within certain parameters and that we will make our choices accordingly ….”

I acknowledged during that interview that “the Blue Book is a very serious document which we outline our platform and which we try to outline what we will do in the next four years.” Later in the interview I said that “we strive as best we can to ensure that the commitments made or the components of the platform are complied with.” There was no reference to either of these comments in the article.

Specifically referencing the establishment of a ceiling for new spending growth, I referenced that in 2012 new spending was 2.2 per cent and in 2013 it was 1.5 per cent and outlined the budgetary process and how we work to keep new spending low. There was no reference in the article to the spending caps that were established in each of those years in the article.

The article states that I couldn’t talk about specific campaign promises. I did refer the reporter to individual ministers for specific information on commitments, but used the example of the Corner Brook hospital as a commitment made and kept. I said “In terms of the other issues you’ve talked about, you’ll either have to talk to the minister of Education or Advanced Education or the minister of (Innovation, Business and Rural Development.)” Again, no reference in the article.

Our government is proud of the progress we have made to date in implementing 43 per cent of our commitments less than halfway through the mandate.

We will continue to implement commitments in the coming years while maintaining our commitment to fiscal sustainability.

Jerome Kennedy

Minister of Finance and president

of Treasury Board

Organizations: Corner Brook hospital, Treasury Board

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  • Ron Tizzard
    July 14, 2013 - 07:06

    J Mulrooney, I fully concur with your opinion i.e. Our politicians still are not getting the picture, gone are the days when politicians would preach and the people would hang on their every word. ...you are right on the mark. Todays politicians have very large EGOs, their sense of self is indeed 'deity-like'; treating people as if they are brain-dead. The truth be told, the people of the province are fed-up with htis province's 'politics, and politicians' across the board. And, the politicians just don't get it....that's evidenced by the expoenential dis-engagement of our peoples from politics. Trust in our 'so-called' leaders is disappearing. It is statistically scary that our young people are dis-interested! This is likely happenning from the negative political-chat taking place within households these days. POLITICIANS ARE FULL OF...OOOPS, BETTER LEAVE IT AT THAT!

  • Fermuse Boozer
    July 12, 2013 - 20:24

    We are spending millions on projects that have immediate benefit for multinational corporations and financiers, but deferred benefits for us as a province. Yet, we later committ to austerity measures to stay under some arbitrary spending cap? What is fiscal sustainability? Government spending and its impact on our economy, both positive and negative. It is simply not just about being cheap and mean to the masses when the piggybank runs low at the end of the spree. Isn’t the purpose of a government to produce positive value, minimize certain negative consequences and completely avoid those consequences that are entirely unacceptable? Our government treasury is in the hands of those who seem to think it would be irresponsible to not consider the province’s sustainable finances, above the sustainability of it's citizens.

  • Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are now knowledgable as to what transpired with the spending of their natural resource base..
    July 12, 2013 - 17:02

    Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now know full well what happened to their natural resources that have been developed thus far over the past 64 years. Some of the politicians, who over-saw the development of those natural resources became the beneficiaries, along with their business acquaintances. They and their friends built their own vibrant economies and left us, the electorate, who hired them to work for us in good faith and to create an economy for us, in the lurch.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    July 12, 2013 - 13:42

    "Yes Cathy, I know what your are saying, I know , I know I put my foot in my mouth again. Don't worry Cathy I will write a letter to the editor and blame them for making all of us look bad, You go on to the Salmon Festival, I will make sure they all realize their mistake."

  • Sam
    July 12, 2013 - 11:59

    Jerome they usually don't tell the whole story! These days reporters are out to see who can make politicians look bad. We all know that reporters make great politicians...right?? Look at Mike Duffy and Pamela Whallin!!

  • Tony Rockel
    July 12, 2013 - 11:48

    Mr Kennedy, when your term of office is over (which can't be soon enough for most of us) there will be a senior partnership waiting for you with the law firm of Mendacious & Underhand.

  • Just sayin
    July 12, 2013 - 09:46

    And Mr. Kennedy, I will refer you to Hansard, for your statement in the House You said " The need for Muskrat Falls, Is simple, You just use this simple legal trick, you look into your crystal ball" So there you have it. Ignore best practises for forecasting power needs, ignore new efficiency housing standards and technologies with proven cost effective results. Ignore whatever is not in Jerome's crystal ball. In his crystal ball helikely sees a reflection of himself, with eyes closed and with his hands over his ears, ignoring all reasonable facts and arguments. Can the Telegram did out that crystal ball quote. I t may come in handy for the future Inquiry.

  • file
    July 12, 2013 - 09:39

    Does anyone believe anything Kennedy says anymore? He's a hack.

    • Eli
      July 12, 2013 - 12:11

      I think he has a large ego problem.

  • Jay
    July 12, 2013 - 09:31

    Maggy, You're right, but don't forget that they hid away money for their pet projects like Kruger. Tom Marshall and Joan Shea ensured the western region was taken care of. I'd like to think that the promises coming from the other parties aren't as empty, but I doubt it.

  • Craig
    July 12, 2013 - 09:20

    Obviously Jerome Kennedy has never heard of the expression, "The pot calling the kettle black". How in the name of god can any of these Blunderdale yahoos be taken seriously? Jerome helped ram bill 29 through the house which gave him TOTAL and COMPLETE control of what he (the rest of the PC clique) decided the taxpayers of NL should or need to know. Now he is accusing the Telegram of not telling the whole story! What a hypocrite!

  • crista
    July 12, 2013 - 09:04

    Reading the article about Vale????said they could not release and could not say very much about the details???? reasons that were mentioned was it is up before the Courts???? two interviews and an article about what you said of the reasons of the blue book not being sarcastic would it be right to say the readers are confused???? would that be a fair and honest way to respond to your article???? yes Mr Kennedy the way you justified your reasons as a minister,why so much secrecy and not only just you????and reading your article an interesting article????

  • Maggy Carter
    July 12, 2013 - 08:36

    "I’m not sure the Blue Book can be described as a promise”......“It’s a blueprint or a platform as opposed to an absolute promise.”.....“I’m not aware of all the commitments that were in the Blue Book."...... “I’m not aware who wrote this, who put this in the Blue Book, what exactly they meant.”.....Actually Mr. Kennedy, I think the article did tell the whole story and it told it pretty well. That said, I will give you a tiny bit of credit for at least admitting publicly - if inadvertently - what many of us already knew. It is that your Bluebook was merely a concoction of your PC party to get you re-elected after which it would be tossed aside, forgotten and ignored. Government's own Minister of Finance can't even remember what it contained. As to the fine line between a promise and an intention, that is an umbrella of semantics under which only a lawyer would take refuge. Promise, intention, blueprint - call it what you will Mr. Kennedy - we fully appreciate that it is not legally binding on government if that, as it seems, was the point you were trying to make. It is what courts have aptly referred to as 'fluff' - little more than a sales pitch to get passers-by into the tent. I'm not at all surprised that your 'fiscal ceiling' now prevents you from honouring those non-promises - even if you can't remember what they were. Since getting re-elected, you have become a deaf, myopic, dictatorial and dishonest government possessed completely by one project. That project has sucked up every ounce of energy, every dollar of fiscal flexibility, and every trace of integrity your government had from the outset. We have all been indentured as economic slaves for the next half-century as a result of your management of the public purse. I think you'll discover as you edge closer to the day of reckoning a couple of years from now that your legalistic proclivity for splitting hairs will not wash in the court of public opinion.

  • Jmulrooney
    July 12, 2013 - 06:50

    Our politicians still are not getting the picture, gone are the days when politicians would preach an the people would hang on their every word. With all the media availability today people are better informed and more involved than ever before. WHEN are they going to accept the fact that people want them to be HONEST and ACCOUBTABLE for their actions and their comments, that a so called educated man would make such a silly comment and exspect people would just take it, wake up Mr. Kennedy and smell the coffee