Premier Dwight Ball launched pre-budget consultations this afternoon with a grim “call to action.”
Ball is asking people to tell the government how to cut, and what to do in order to raise more money.
Ball, flanked by senior ministers Cathy Bennett and Siobhan Coady, stressed the “multi-year” nature of the government’s plan. Ball said the government didn’t wind up in a fiscal crisis overnight, and the province won’t get out of it quickly either.
Finance Minister Bennett got into the ugly nitty gritty, and she had some choice words for the previous Progressive Conservative government.
Bennett pointed out that the previous government was running a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars even when oil prices were much higher.
Bennett said the government needs to fundamentally alter course and there will be tough choices.
“Engagement must be real, and must lead to substantial and measurable change,” she said.