Premier Dunderdale unveils New Energy Blue Book
September 22, 2011
Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, unveiled New Energy, the party’s Blue Book, today in Grand Falls-Windsor.
“New Energy lays out a strategic, fiscally-responsible plan for more jobs, better health care, stronger partnerships, and continued resource development,” said Premier Dunderdale. “We will continue to cultivate conditions conducive to growth: responsible fiscal discipline, a solid foundation of reliable infrastructure, competitive taxation, minimal red tape and progressive public services, including a range of instruments and initiatives to help businesses grow and families thrive.”
At the event launching New Energy Premier Dunderdale noted that fiscal responsibility is an underlying theme of the PC platform, balanced with meeting the needs of the people of the province, while driving the creation of jobs and economic growth. The Premier pointed to the Progressive Conservative’s Energy Plan as the guide for using revenues from non-renewable resources to develop renewable industries, creating a sustainable economy and secure future.
“Building a future for the benefit of generations to come will be a high priority for a Progressive Conservative government and one that is fueled by New Energy,” said Premier Dunderdale.
Highlights of New Energy include the following:
- Continued freeze on public post-secondary tuition fees
- Elimination of the provincial student loan, replaced with up-front needs-based grant
- Building of a sustainable economy through development of renewable resources
- Population Growth Strategy
- Continued tax rates that are low and competitive
- Excellence in advanced technology, science and mathematics in the K-12 system
- Improved access for young people in Aboriginal communities to post-secondary education and training
- Establishment of a workforce development secretariat to link industrial development and employment opportunities with those who perform the work
- Initiatives to advance apprenticeship opportunities
- Continued focus on increasing the number of women in skilled trades
- Continued investments in infrastructure, supporting community growth and development and driving the economy
- Continued investment to build upon the achievements of the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador
- Provincial Transportation Strategy
- Various measures to promote fitness, including the introduction of a fitness tax credit
- Targeted focus on the reduction of wait times for key health services, including wait times in emergency rooms and for orthopedic surgeries for joint replacement
- Implementation of the new long-term care and community support strategy Close to Home
- A continued focus on poverty reduction
- A 35% reduction for seniors on licenses to hunt, fish and engage in various other activities for which permits are required and a fee is applicable
- Implementation of a Strategy for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
- Implementation of Phase II of the Violence Prevention Initiative
- Advancement toward the elimination of the payroll tax
- Fisheries initiatives including a lobster license buyout, an exploration of options to establish a fisheries loan board, continued investment in fisheries science and aquaculture, support for marketing
- Increased focus on development of the ocean technology sector
- A series of measures to honour veterans and those currently serving
- Increased development and marketing of winter tourism
- Continued investments to protect residents and communities from crime, including the establishment of a new Drug Treatment Court aimed at reducing crime committed as a result of drug dependency.
The measures outlined in New Energy entail an approximate investment of $135 million annually. In implementing these measures, a Progressive Conservative government will ensure annual provincial expenditures do not grow beyond a sustainable level, and should fiscal priorities need to change, will consult with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on these decisions through the pre-Budget consultation process. With respect to fiscal responsibility, New Energy also notes that a number of expenditures outlined involve spending money to save money in the long run, with improving health care wait times as one example.
“Together, through a partnership of collective effort and individual responsibility, we as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador grows stronger and more prosperous than ever before,” said the Premier. “We have a strong team, energized and experienced, ready to work hard to implement New Energy for the benefit of our province.”
PC Party Election Campaign 2011