A quarter of a century ago, Doug House and the Royal Commission on Employment and Unemployment heard time and again of the the need to get rid of make-work programs.
Qualifying people for federal employment insurance benefits promoted a culture of dependence and destroyed innovation and self-reliance.
Some 17 years ago, the province’s Strategic Economic Plan introduced a bold, new approach in order to bring about fundamental changes within Newfoundland and Labrador. There’d be no more make work and government free gifts to businesses. Neither one worked to produce sustainable jobs.
Less than a decade after the Royal Commission – with the change of administration in 1996, in fact - things were heading back to the old ways of megaprojects and make-work schemes.
In 2003, there was a new crowd, who supposedly had a plan called the New Approach. Some of it seemed familiar. Doug House came back and then left again.
Oh, and let’s not forget hand-outs to business.