05 March 2012

…fairness and balance for all the people of our province… #nlpoli

clyde_wells_1989Excerpts from remarks by Clyde Wells, Leader of the Opposition, in the House of Assembly, in reply to the Speech from the Throne, March 10, 1988:

…We will vigorously oppose that which should be opposed.  We will criticize that which should be criticized.  We will examine and question everything.  It is our duty and our function.

Finally, we will approve the worthy and the proper.

Above all, we will discharge that great responsibility that all oppositions in the British parliamentary system have:  to make sure that government fully and completely accounts to the electorate for the expenditure of taxpayers’ funds, for the use of taxation authority, and for the management of the public affairs of this province, and we will not waver in our duty to ensure that they fully discharge the total responsibility with which they have been entrusted when they were given the awesome powers of being a government.

They are awesome powers but they are not theirs.  They are only holding them in trust for due exercise for the benefit of the people of this province and we will not waver in discharging our responsibility to make sure that the government does just that.

In doing so…we will act honourably.  We will neither unduly impede nor will we unduly facilitate, which, from an Opposition point of view, is worse than unduly impeding, … [If] you  unduly facilitate and you fail to fully and properly discharge your responsibility to be fully critical of the government and examine in detail what they are doing, you allow the government to do anything it wishes, the government deteriorates in quality …We will do so with respect for the function and responsibility of the government, we will acknowledge their good intentions, but we will expect similar acknowledgement and respect from government in return.

…the ultimate purpose of Opposition actions ought not to be to get them on the government side of the House.  As well as achieving that, our purpose is to ensure the betterment of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, to bring about a situation where the able are working productively and the unable are cared for and are included in the activities of the life of this province, where the old can feel secure and comfortable and the young are preparing for and are optimistic and have a reason to be optimistic about their future, where everybody is participating, where everybody has equal opportunity.

We will be taking steps to ensure that there is fairness and balance, always fairness and balance for all people of this province in all governmental actions and in all governmental expenditures wherever they live, without regard to the political stripe of their MHA…

- srbp -