A PLAN FOR PEOPLE
The Liberals have a record
Four years ago they set a record for political promises.
Four years later, they have set a record for broken promises.
Is the Province better off today than it was four years ago?
Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
Honest leadership requires courage.
The courage to know when to sit down and listen, and the courage to know when to stand up and speak. We’ve listened to voters in every electoral district and now it’s time to stand up and speak, and to ask you to say:
YES for honest leadership.
YES for an affordable future.
YES for jobs and hope.
YES WITH CHES CROSBIE!
Read the CROSBIE BLUE BOOK 2019
Hard Times for the Province
Liberals raised the cost of the government from $7 billion in 2014 to $8 billion in 2019, and paid for almost all of that increase with borrowed money, which added significantly to the provincial debt over their four-year term.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy is in decline while economies are booming all around us.
We lost over 10,000 jobs in the past 4 years while labour markets boomed in most of Canada and the United States.
Our unemployment rate is close to a record high while our neighbours have near record low unemployment.
Family incomes are dropping and the bottom has fallen out of family savings.
Our population is going down, as our youth once again leave home for jobs in other provinces and the United States.
Our immigration rate is the lowest in Canada because there are no jobs.
The Liberal economic record may be the worst economic record of any government since Confederation.
It is plain to see in almost every economic statistic published by debt rating agencies, Chartered Banks, and Statistics Canada.
It is plain to see in the exodus of investment from our shores, in office vacancies, the decline in retail sales, and empty restaurant tables.
This election will be about the Liberal record and how we deal with it.
We cannot ignore the fiscal cliff.
Hard Times for Families
But the election cannot be only about Liberal mismanagement in government and the Liberal debt that we will have to pay.
It must not even be primarily about that.
This election must also be about the economics of families and communities that are struggling to make ends meet in the Liberal economy.
This election must reach out to Moms and Dads who have lost their jobs and who are desperately looking for jobs.
We must give some glimmer of hope to our friends and neighbours who are worried about losing their jobs.
This election must focus on families who are worried about paying the mortgage, paying for child care, paying for insurance, paying the grocery bills, repaying their debts, selling their houses, and wondering if they too will have to move away to find work.
All the worries that good jobs and secure jobs can cure!
These are the home economics conversations we must have with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in this failing Liberal economy.
Families are hurting. This election must be primarily about them!
We Can Do Much Better
The lack of good jobs, or even make-do jobs, is a lived reality for almost every family in Newfoundland and Labrador, and it is the real unsustainable drag on the provincial economy.
Job creation is the best economic policy for government and families.
Job creation is the best social policy in its own right and also to sustain public expenditure on health, education, and all other public services.
It is the only way to grow the population.
Attention to fairness and equity in employment is the best way to reduce economic and social disparities and build the more just society we all want.
Our priority in Newfoundland and Labrador will be more and better jobs.
Government cannot deliver jobs from the public purse. The public purse has been drained.
Government can no longer be the major job creator it once was or even the employer of last resort.
But a Progressive Conservative government will not be the last employer for the men and women who gave their careers to public service, and whose families depend on them.
We will not harm the livelihoods of working families.
Partnerships for Jobs
Progressive Conservatives firmly believe that the private sector can create the wealth we need for sustainable families, a sustainable provincial economy, and a sustainable democratic government.
Newfoundland and Labrador has the resource wealth we need.
Private enterprise has the investment wealth we need.
The workers of Newfoundland and Labrador have the skills we need.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador controls a range of polices – taxes, regulations, education and training, research, natural resources, and infrastructure – that reinforce each other in ways that can encourage or obstruct economic growth and job creation.
A Crosbie government will marshal all the job creating and job sustaining powers at its command in a focused and coordinated effort to protect jobs and create more and better jobs for you and your families.
We will bring together partners from industry, government and post-secondary into multiple Partnerships for Jobs (in fisheries, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, minerals, hydroelectricity, marine services, tourism, creative industries, and other industries with proven success in the province). The Partnerships will identify potential for growth in sectors of the economy where the province has industry leaders, strength in skill development, technology, research, opportunities in supply chain development, and strong links to markets. These Partnerships will advise government on appropriate policies tailored to the needs of each industry that will help build new capacity for jobs and growth. The ultimate goal will be to find ways to increase the size and scope of these industries in Newfoundland and Labrador and increase participation by local companies in supplying goods and services and creating jobs.
Our Ocean Economy
The vast majority of the resource and economic activity that underpin our economy – fisheries, marine aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, shipping, ports, maritime and coastal tourism – occurs in the waters and the seabed of the Continental Shelf. We brought our contiguous waters and seabed with us into Confederation in 1949 and they are now in federal jurisdiction.
The ocean economy has a profound impact on the provincial economy today. It already provides livelihoods for a significant share of our population and is worth billions of dollars, and it is expected to double by 2030.
Defend Economic Benefits and Management Rights under the Atlantic Accord
The significance of Ocean resources to our economy is why the Atlantic Accord, negotiated by the PC Government of Brian Peckford and updated by the PC Government of Danny Williams, is so important. It made us co-manager and the “principal beneficiary” of the Offshore Oil and Gas industry.
The Atlantic Accord is in peril.
New Federal powers under Bill C-69 will result in more costly and time-consuming regulations that threaten our resource economy. Investors may respond by moving their money to friendlier countries. We can’t move our resources.
Bill C-69 also diminishes the principles of joint management set out in the Atlantic Accord by transferring key management decisions to federal agencies and the federal cabinet.
A mistaken and grudging federal interpretation of “the principal beneficiary” provision in the Atlantic Accord denies Newfoundland and Labrador its full entitlement to benefits from our Offshore Oil and Gas resource.
Ocean industries are the bedrock of our economy today and our hope for the future.
Unlike the Ball Liberals who submitted to the unilateral federal policies that threaten our ocean economy, we will not surrender to any federal government of any political stripe.
We will fight for our rights.
Challenge an Unjust Equalization Formula
We will seek to exclude non-renewable resource revenues from the calculation of transfer payments in the federal Equalization formula as is already done for revenues from hydroelectricity. The federal policy rewards a province like Quebec that earns revenue from the sale of hydroelectricity, and punishes Newfoundland and Labrador for revenues earned from offshore oil.
It is an artificial and unfair redistribution of income from oil producing provinces to hydro producing provinces.
A Fisheries Joint Management Committee
The principles of joint management and economic benefits that operate in the Atlantic Accord should also apply in the fishery, our very first offshore industry, and the mainstay of our economy before the Atlantic Accord. We will seek a Federal-Provincial Agreement to co-manage all fish, shellfish, fish habitat, and marine mammals including harvestable quotas for all marine species on and over the seabed that is a contiguous part of Newfoundland and Labrador.
New Ocean Industries
While our traditional ocean industries continue to grow and innovate, a technology revolution is reshaping and diversifying ocean economies here and around the world. These include gas-to-wire technologies for generating electricity from offshore natural gas, offshore wind energy, tidal and wave energy, seabed mining, and marine biotechnology (the creation of product from marine organisms).
The long-term potential for innovation, investment, jobs and economic growth offered by new industries and the expansion of existing industries in our Ocean economy is impressive. As an example, no agrifoods industry in the world is growing as fast as marine aquaculture.
Now with our undersea electricity transmission link to North American markets, the green energy potential in our Ocean economy can help meet demand for cleaner energy in North America.
It can also entice heavy consumers of electricity to locate their industries here, near to an industrial scale source of clean energy.
We will ask leaders in ocean technology to advise the government on the potential for this province to be a world leader in the emerging ocean economy, and what we must do to ensure that companies, scientists, the university, workers and government are ready to meet the challenge.
Industry leaders and thinkers will also advise government on the actions that must be taken now to make sure the coming new ocean industries do not compromise the marine ecosystems and biodiversity on which they rely.
Mining is a multi-billion-dollar economic activity in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have a mineral-rich landmass bigger than many countries that remains relatively unexplored.
We are one of the most attractive jurisdictions in the world for investment in mineral exploration and mine development.
Abundant sources of clean energy make Newfoundland an attractive location for processing minerals into value added products.
Our major worry is that regulatory overreach by the federal government in Bill C-69 will discourage investment in mineral exploration and mine development. It is an issue we will take up with the federal government.
A Crosbie government will pursue policies to make Newfoundland and Labrador a globally attractive jurisdiction for exploration and development as the world’s need for natural resources increases.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s forestry sector employs over 5,000 men and women directly and indirectly, and contributes more than $250 million a year to the provincial economy. Our industry is a leader in sustainable forestry practices and in managing our forest for future generations. A Crosbie government will protect, promote, and partner with our forestry workers and companies to expand economic opportunities in our forest industries.
Agriculture and Agrifoods
The agriculture and agrifoods industry provides direct and indirect employment for 6,500 people and has sales valued at $500 million annually, led by the expansion of farms and value-added production in the dairy industry. Energy and feed costs are limiting factors on production and must be addressed.
A Crosbie government will immediately launch comprehensive consultations with farmers, and with processing and marketing companies to find the best way to ease the unique economic pressures on farming and food production in Newfoundland and Labrador, and identify the best ways for government to promote the expansion of fresh and processed food production.
Flexible and Fair Employment
Progressive Conservatives will work with thought leaders from business, labour, academia, and the not-for-profit sector to discuss today’s workplace challenges and chart a successful path forward (1) to build a highly skilled flexible work force that meets present demand, is able to adapt to coming changes in the work place, and can transfer their skills between sectors of the economy, and (2) to reduce employment barriers that can exclude people, including youth, women, older workers, persons with disabilities and immigrants. Much of this work will focus on improving labour market access and labour force attachment, and on providing appropriate social protections.
Focus on Excellence in Education
A Crosbie government will focus our schools on the foundational skills that are key to successful learning in school and prepare students for life-long learning in an innovative society. That approach will reduce achievement gaps between rich and poor, the learning advantaged and the learning disadvantaged, urban and rural, and students in our province compared to students in the rest of Canada.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is the leading global benchmark for assessment of the foundational skills and knowledge of students. A Crosbie government will give the Education Department and our School Boards a year to come up with performance targets that will:
- Close the PISA gap between Newfoundland and Labrador and the average for Canada by 2030;
- Reduce the PISA performance gap between rural and urban schools; and
- Reduce the PISA performance gap between the learning advantaged and learning disadvantaged students.
Our health care system must work for patients, seniors and families.
It is unacceptable that, with all the money we spend on health care, some people still don’t have a family doctor, languish on waitlists between a GP referral and further treatment, suffer on stretchers in hospital hallways; and seniors incapable of caring for themselves languish in crowded acute care wards because there is nowhere else to go.
It’s time for innovative reforms, within the parameters of the Canada Health Act, while maintaining health care funding, to get the person-centred health care system that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador need and deserve.
Standing Up For Our Province
- Joint Recovery Plan – hold Ottawa to its obligation to address our province’s depopulation
- Review the Atlantic Accord – the March 31, 2019 obligation has not yet been fulfilled
- Make Equalization Fair – hold a referendum that requires Canada to negotiate a new deal
- Oppose Bill C-69 – the “Impact Assessment Act” will delay and discourage investment in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil, mines and other resource infrastructure
- Defend Our Offshore – make a reference to the NL Court of Appeal to defend our Accord
- Let Canada Pay the United Nations – Ottawa made the commitment, so Ottawa must pay
- Make Quebec Pay – use the taxation power of “92A” to tax Quebec on the Upper Churchill
- Fight the Carbon Tax – it’s just a Liberal tax grab, not an effective way to reduce emissions
- Transfers Based on Need – health, social and other funding must reflect our circumstances
- Joint Fisheries Management – a seat at the table, like the Offshore Petroleum Board
- Gulf Ferry Affordability – lower the rates to lower the cost of living, make NL competitive
OUR FIRST 200 DAYS
The new PC government’s term will not truly begin until June because there’s a transition periodbetween administrations. Then, our new Ministers will have to be sworn in and get up to speedon their departments.
We will begin to prepare a new Budget, which will be tabled by the end of the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year. In the meantime, we will open the House of Assembly in June to pass Interim Supplyto get us to the new Budget.
The House – while reconvened in June for Interim Supply – will be asked to consider legislation on certain initiatives, to get them moving right away. Complicated actions will require more time and scrutiny, but we will move swiftly to bring forward flagship legislation on Honesty in Politics.
Our first 200 days will take us to about the end of the fall sitting of the House – to the end of the 2019 calendar year.
So fair warning. We’re going to hit the ground running. It will be a working summer.Within our first 200 days, among other things, we will:
- Move ahead on Partnerships for Jobs
- Bring in an Honesty in Politics Act
- Publish mandate letters for all Ministers
- Start the Premier’s Task Force on Health Care
- Bring in a new Budget
- Repeal the sales tax on insurance
- Repeal the levy early
- Change the policy on school busing within 1.6 kilometres in time for September
- Set a team to work on our strategy to tax Quebec on the Upper Churchill under “92A”
- Make a reference to the NL Court of Appeal to defend our Accord against Bill C-69
- Appoint members for the Air Access Strategy and set the mandate
- End the age limit on insulin pump coverage
- Remove the restrictions on access to Personal Care Homes
- Change the rules on coverage of medical transportation costs
- Launch our new child care plan
- Start erecting moose fencing
- Repeal the Liberal auto insurance legislation reducing the limitation period to take action from 2 years to 4 months
- Establish an All Party Select Committee on Democratic Reform with a one year mandate to report
- Start public consultations on a referendum on equalization fiscal unfairness