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Reaction to Budget 2018

Tony Keats is the president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.
Tony Keats is the president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador. - The Telegram

“We want to see some greater focus on spending reform, and unfortunately that’s not in this budget.”

Richard Alexander, executive director of Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council

“The insurance industry really supports that initiative (to lower the tax on vehicle insurance). Anything that makes premiums lower in this province, where people are paying 40 per cent more than the other Atlantic provinces … it’s certainly a step in the right direction.”

Tom O’Handley, manager of government relations, Insurance Bureau of Canada

“The NLMA is calling on government yet again to do an organized review of our health care facilities and services, so that if there does need to be a significant reduction in health care that this is done in an organized manner.”

Dr. Lynn Dwyer, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association

“I just reflect back to 2016, that budget. It’s night and day, basically. I remember back then even just walking through this building people were basically ducking, fearing who was losing their job. What I see today is people being able to focus on doing their job on behalf of the people of the province.”

Jerry Earle, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees

“The budget is called building for the future. I don’t see any building blocks in there. When you’re building, it’s not just ‘we hope, we think, we’re positive,’ without any proof for those statements.”

Lorraine Michael, Newfoundland and Labrador NDP leader

“I think it’s a pretty flat budget. There wasn’t a whole lot to get really excited about and there wasn’t a whole lot to be upset about.”

Debbie Forward, president of the Registered Nurses’ Union of Newfoundland and Labrador

“The Waterford Hospital has to be dealt with. We keep being told it’s going to be. Then we hear very tiny amounts of money that’s being allocated to it that’s not going to deal with it. It’s kind of frustrating when you feel like the project is being re-announced over and over again and it keeps getting presented as if it’s a positive thing. But the reality is it’s just being dragging along. … You’re not going to have an effective mental health care system in this province until you have appropriate institutional care integrated with community services. … We’ve got an ancient hospital there with all kinds of problems … and it’s not as simple as give us a few million dollars to deal with this. Something’s got to be done and we’re not hearing anything substantive or concrete, and that’s very frustrating.”

Mark Gruchy, St. John’s lawyer, mental health advocate, addressing the $6.1 million for the Waterford Hospital

“Looks like if my math is correct, I’ll save $8 a year on my car insurance. That’s a great deal! … I mean, come on! We’re not even going to notice that. I’m on the verge of moving my family out of the province, things are so bad. There are no jobs, no money, gas is sky high and the roads aren’t fit.

Peter Reid, Dildo resident, drill worker in Alberta, addressing the tax reduction on automobile insurance

“We’re very happy to make sure our municipalities are taken care of. When you look at the long range, we’ve got to make sure the federal government comes to the table and every dollar is leveraged, when it comes to provincial funding, so that we’ve got money that we can spend on our municipalities.”

Tony Keats, president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

“We, as a private sector, know the importance of keeping a competitive tax regime, (which) helps attract people to Newfoundland and Labrador. We need to grow our tax base and having a competitive tax environment is key to that, so any reductions in tax are welcome. However, for us the important thing out of today’s budget is that expenditures are still significant and the deficit is still significant and we continue to call on governement to reduce expenditures.”

Andrea Stack, chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade

“What are we going to do about the jobs crisis? Because that’s the real crisis in this economy and we really need to do something. I didn’t see anything that said to me that the people who are the most vulnerable in our society are going to be looked after. There’s little short-term measures, but what we were looking for … is more of a long-term vision that would talk to us about what that strategy is in years to come.”

Mary Shortall, president Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour

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