05 December 2011

Stop your “more for me please” rants, Dundernomics edition #nlpoli

Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador is nothing if it is not funny.

Last week, Premier Kathy Dunderdale warned the crowd running the province’s fish processing industry  - and everyone else in the province too - that they can’t “constantly turn to government” to fix every problem out there.

So on Monday, the people who prompted her to make that decision – Ocean Choice International – is meeting with provincial officials to discuss what sort of cash the province is going to cough up to help workers affected by OCI’s decision to close two of its fish plants.

As VOCM reported:

Ocean Choice International is meeting with government today about support for a worker adjustment program. The company announced Friday it was folding their operations in Marystown and Port Union, affecting 410 employees. President and CEO, Martin Sullivan, says financial assistance to an adjustment program for workers is part of an overall package to be defined in consultation with government and the FFAW. He says it's priority number one for OCI. The company plans to work with the affected towns in the future. Sullivan says if their properties in Marystown or Port Union can become part of the solution to the community economic development, then they are more then willing to discuss the options with the communities.

And without any sense of hypocrisy, irony or even humour, Premier Kathy Dunderdale joined with her fellow Atlantic Premiers on Monday to demand that the federal government cough up more cash for health care, among other things.

Again, from voice of the cabinet minister:

Atlantic premiers want the federal government to put more money into social transfers to help cover the rising cost of delivering health care.

The four premiers met in St.John's today to talk about a number of issues including the amount of money they receive from the federal government. A joint communiqué calls on the feds to cover 25 per cent of the cost of delivering health care. Their share currently is at about 20 per cent. There will be a First Ministers conference in January at which time social transfers and other issues will come up for discussion.

The premiers are also concerned about federal debt reduction. They would rather see cuts made first in the National Capital Region than the Atlantic Provinces.

Stop your “more for me please, rants” indeed.

- srbp -