Follow progress on Muskrat Falls at muskratfalls.nalcorenergy.com/newsroom/reports. See the Benefits Reports.
2013 Report to the PC AGM
From Premier and PC Party Leader Kathy Dunderdale’s address to delegates attending the Party’s 61st Annual General Meeting on September 20, 2013:
Let me start off this evening with a few facts people are not likely to hear on open line shows, read in Telegram editorials or get from our political opponents.
Whenever someone tells you how bleak things are these days in Newfoundland and Labrador, set the record straight.
Tell them all five of Canada’s major banks have announced that Newfoundland and Labrador will post the fastest economic growth in Canada this year.
The Conference Board of Canada says we’ll post the strongest growth, not just this year, but over the next two years.
This province that I am so proud and honoured to lead is leading the country!
We are standing strong. Our province is growing. Confidence is on the rise. Opportunities are on the rise. Families are reaping the benefits!
We have more doctors and nurses delivering health care in our province today than ever before in our history – greater access to advanced medical equipment and services, shorter wait times, and better outcomes.
Access to child care is greater.
The number of teachers per student in our classrooms is higher. Class sizes are lower. Costs to parents are lower.
The cost of a post-secondary education is lower. Job prospects for skilled workers are greater.
Newfoundland and Labrador is not the province we found when we took office a decade ago.
There are more people working in our province than ever before. People are coming home from across Canada and around the world to work here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Imagine that!
Incomes are higher. Taxes are lower. People are earning more and keeping more of the money they earn than they did a decade ago.
On measure after measure, the evidence adds up to one undeniable conclusion. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are much better off – and our economy is much better off – now than ever before.
The change our Party began working a decade ago to achieve is happening right before our eyes.
Not only have we lived to see it happen. We have made it happen!
YOU have made it happen!
You, here in this room tonight – you and a great many like you, throughout our Party across this province, have made this change possible. How? – by helping us get elected and remain in a place where we have been changing fundamentally the way our government works.
Don’t let anyone deny you the credit for the positive changes you’ve enabled our Party to accomplish throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
These changes would not be happening if we were not in a position to make them happen.
Blue Book implementation update
July 11, 2013
Minister Outlines Progress in Implementing Blue Book Commitments;
Reiterates Importance of Protecting Province’s Finances
Less than two years into its current mandate, the Provincial Government
has completed or substantially completed 43 per cent of its Blue Book
commitments. The Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Finance and
President of Treasury Board, today said that 228 of the 534 commitments have
been acted on,while considering the fiscal situation of the province and
ensuring long term sustainability.
“The Blue Book represents our government’s vision for the people of
Newfoundland and Labrador and lists out the priorities that our government
will achieve during the current four year term,” said Minister Kennedy. “The
Blue Book states, and the Premier has stated, that the commitments are
dependent on the fiscal situation of the province. In implementing future
commitments, we will continue to ensure that we manage the province’s
finances in a prudent manner. To do anything less would be irresponsible.”
Some examples of commitments achieved to date include; maintaining
personal income tax cuts, the low income seniors’ benefit, the home heating
rebate and other tax cuts and programs; lowering the age for breast cancer
screening; producing a provincial strategy on reducing wait times in
emergency rooms; continuing a freeze on post-secondary tuition rates; and
continued implementation of the Continuum of Care Strategy to improve the
placement options for children and youth in need of out-of-home care. See
backgrounder below for a complete list.
“Our government is proud of our record in implementing commitments we
have made to the people of the province and we will continue to do so in a
responsible manner,” said Minister Kennedy.
2011 Blue Book Commitments Either Complete or Substantially Complete
The following 228 commitments, representing 43 per cent of the 534
commitments in the Blue Book, have been confirmed by Provincial Government
departments, agencies and offices as being either complete or substantially
complete and moving towards implementation.
Advanced Education and Skills
- Ensure students are given regular information on the status of their
loans and repayment options.
- We will allow social assistance recipients to wait until age 65 to
apply for their Canada Pension Plan benefits so they do not have to take
a lifelong lower rate by applying at 60.
- We will develop a program to offset the costs of making
modifications to private vehicles to accommodate persons with
disabilities affecting mobility.
- Continue to promote opportunities for women to enter trades and
other careers in which women are particularly underrepresented.
- Continue to invest in the Self-Employment Assistance program.
- Provide educational opportunities in…post-secondary settings to
forge stronger connections with people in countries that are current or
prospective trading partners.
- Identify ways to ensure that members of society who continue to be
under-represented in some areas of the mining sector – particularly
Aboriginal people and women – can avail of the opportunities.
- We will continue to finance programs that will provide funding to
employ persons with developmental disabilities.
- We will expand the Labour Market Agreement for Persons with
Disabilities, which provides support for post-secondary students,
offsetting some of the significant costs of the additional educational
supports many require.
- We will review the Labour Market Development Agreement and Labour
Market Partnerships to better integrate the employment needs of
individuals while providing important and timely support to community
groups in meeting their missions.
- Continue to support the female industrial training officer position
with the Department of Education, based in Corner Brook.
- Expanding the government apprenticeship hiring program to allow for
additional apprenticeship placements within government departments and
- Working with employers and unions to set goals for female
participation in skilled trade employment opportunities.
- Working with labour to encourage greater use of apprentices among
employers and greater participation of member journeypersons in
- Develop a strategy on the inclusion of persons with disabilities. In
the term ahead, we will publish and implement this strategy.
- Continue to freeze public post-secondary tuition fees.
Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading
- Examine best practices to strengthen initiatives that advance
residential and industrial efficiency.
Office of Executive Council – Communications Branch
- We will utilize social media as public information vehicles.
Department of Child, Youth and Family Services
- We will be vigilant in examining and identifying any deficiencies in
child protection in Newfoundland and Labrador; consolidating the
recommendations of reports regarding child protection; examining the
best practices of other jurisdictions; and making recommendations for
improving child protection.
- Provide supports for home-based child care business providers
offering regulated child care for children of a mixture of ages, with a
maximum of six children per home.
- Provide start-up grants for operators.
- Provide annual infant stimulus grants for offering regulated infant
care to children 24 months of age and younger, with a maximum of three
children per home.
- Improve the child protection case management system to ensure all
children in need receive the timely and effective care they require.
- We will build on actions we have already taken to provide greater
resources to support foster parents.
- We will develop and implement a continuum of care for children in
care including additional support for specialized foster homes.
- We will bring forward progressive policy changes that free foster
parents from unnecessary administrative responsibilities.
Department of Education
- Place interactive white boards in all schools in our province.
- We will encourage young women in our K-12 schools to consider taking
courses that lay a solid foundation for careers in skilled trades and
other professions in which women are underrepresented.
- We will encourage educators to promote to young women in secondary
school the benefits of the skilled trades and technology program.
- Expand the Futures in Skilled Trades and Technology program to all
schools in the province.
- We will encourage schools and boards to partner with industry and
labour to promote career options in the skilled trades and technology
- We will encourage schools to engage professionals in many different
career disciplines to give students early insights about career paths.
- Coordinate an online body of information to enable teachers and
career counsellors of junior and senior high school students to provide
the facts students need to make sound career and curriculum decisions,
including information on emerging provincial career opportunities.
- Provide educational opportunities in K-12…settings to forge
stronger connections with people in countries that are current or
prospective trading partners.
- Adjusting the physical education curriculum to engage students who
face particular challenges.
- We will ensure healthy foods are available in all schools and other
public institutions. We will require these institutions to limit access
to sugary, fatty and salty foods at the same time that they are
improving access to healthier food choices.
- In selected classrooms, we will pilot the “Move 2 Improve” program.
- Explore the reintroduction of the Canada Fitness Test program, or an
updated version, in schools to promote fitness targets by age level. We
need to work with health care professionals and others to ensure this
program is designed to include the least fit individuals and also to
include males and females with disabilities and health conditions that
pose special challenges.
- We will work with educators, parents and students to develop and
apply a wide range of initiatives to combat bullying (including
cyber-bullying) and other forms of aggression and violence against
- Support high school initiatives, such as the Skilled Trades and
Technology program, that encourage greater participation of females in
Department of Environment and Conservation
- Establish a risk alert system to warn local residents and travellers
when flood risks are high.
- We are committed to developing a Moose Management Strategy. This
strategy would address issues like an appropriate target population,
hunting quotas and research requirements.
- We will provide seniors with a 35 per cent discount on licences to
hunt, fish and engage in various other activities for which permits are
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
- Continue to invest in aquaculture.
- Complete and implement the Aquaculture Sustainable Management
- Work to grow fish species that can be processed locally into
lucrative value-added products, and work with processors to make this
- Promote local consumption of locally-grown fish.
- We will ensure optimal use is made of the Centre for Aquaculture
Health and Development, located in St. Alban’s.
- Explore new opportunities to develop farmed and wild fish products
that cater to Asian markets.
- Explore new ways to process farmed and wild fish and add value to
the products we market.
- Continue to address trade concerns such as tariffs so our products
can compete more effectively in the marketplace.
- Ensure aquaculture developers file rehabilitation and close plans
and post financial assurances for site liabilities prior to starting
- Continue to invest provincial funding in our new fisheries
scientific research initiative.
- We will continually update information on best practices in
aquaculture health on a global basis.
- Follow through in putting the Coastal and Ocean Management strategy
and policy framework into practice.
- Examine the best practices of other jurisdictions with a view to
establishing a fisheries loan board that will strengthen the fishing
industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Forestry and AgriFoods Agency
- We will work to increase the production of food to enhance food
security and reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transport.
- We will work with farmers to ensure Newfoundland and Labrador is
able to supply increasingly more of the foods we consume, thereby
increasing food security.
- We will work to encourage Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to
purchase and consume more locally produced food products.
- We will promote the growth of a local food security network, develop
domestic produce markets and assist growers.
- We will cooperate with our agricultural industry to aggressively
market the full gamut of homegrown products both locally and in markets
beyond Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Advance the establishment of an online database identifying
locally-produced agricultural products.
- Maintain the provincial Agrifoods Assistance Program.
- Work with the Egg Producers of Newfoundland and Labrador to
strengthen and expand the local industry, seizing opportunities to claim
a greater share of the production of egg-based value-added products.
- Work with the Chicken Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador to
facilitate an expansion in the size and value of the local broiler
(chicken) industry, addressing barriers to competitiveness such as the
high costs of feed and rations.
- Work to expand the local sheep production industry, facilitating the
introduction of sheep that are specially suited to the local environment
and work with producers to identify opportunities to increase the value
of trade in local sheep products.
- Work to expand the size, diversity and value of the local fur
industry, working with farmers to facilitate expansion in an
- Support research and development initiatives focused on the
development of new or improved crops.
- Work to increase the value and marketability of local cranberry,
strawberry, bakeapple, partridgeberry and blueberry products.
- Maintain support for the Fruit and Vegetable Storage Program.
- Continue to provide off-farm access roads and electrical services
for agricultural operations.
- Work with farmers to promote professionalization and succession
planning in the province's agriculture industry.
- Explore opportunities to gain a greater share of the growing market
for organic foods.
- Work with organic farmers to identify incentives and other
assistance that may facilitate growth.
- Complete the establishment of the Centre for Forest Science and
- Continue to partner in the Model Forest of Newfoundland and
- Continue to invest in developing our province's expertise in forest
management and research.
- Invest, through the Forest Research and Innovation Fund, to advance
the work of the Centre for Forest Science and Innovation and the Forest
Innovation Strategy. Grants will support research as well as
modernization and diversification of forestry operations.
- Continue to require timber resource analyses and forestry
development plans to assess and manage our forestry resources
responsibly, strategically and sustainably.
- We will continue to examine the impact of climate change on our
forests and seek ways to avoid the worst consequences, such as soil
erosion, vulnerability to forest fires and pest infestations.
- Continue to work with Kruger to promote the success of the Corner
Brook Pulp and Paper mill.
- Continue to work with all sectors in the forest industry –
newsprint, sawmills, wood pellets – to promote competitiveness and
- Continue to sponsor the Junior Forest Warden Association, through
which young people have opportunities to learn about forest ecology.
- Build on the success of the 2009 "Futures from Forests" initiative
which was designed to get senior and junior high school students
thinking about the forest industry.
- Build on the success of the 2010 "Kids in the Woods" event,
tree-planting ceremonies, forest tours and presentations to school-age
children that coincided with National Forest Week.
Fire and Emergency Services Agency
- Continue to invest in firefighting equipment, vehicles,
infrastructure, training and services.
Department of Finance
- At least a third of any surplus will be invested in the pension
- Work to make Newfoundland and Labrador one of the most competitive
tax regimes in North America to promote growth and jobs.
- Review the tax regime – the Revenue Administration Act, … – to
ensure it strikes the right balance between providing appropriate
revenue to the province while remaining competitive in the global mining
- We will assess and deal with seniors housing issues such as property
taxes, home heating costs and other home expenses.
- Review our income tax rates and provisions to ensure that our income
tax system is progressive and competitive.
- Maintain…Personal Income Tax cuts.
- Maintain…Low-Income Tax Reduction.
- Maintain…Home Heating Rebate.
- Maintain…Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit.
- Maintain…Refundable Tax Credit for Seniors.
- Maintain…Heating Allowance.
- Maintain…Residential Energy Tax Rebate.
- Maintain…Voluntary Firefighter Tax Credit.
- Maintain…Child Tax Credit.
Department of Health and Community Services
- Undertake a comprehensive review of emergency response services
throughout our province, including our ambulance services, ambulance
operators, emergency responders, paramedics and other services and
- We will establish a Healthy Living Division of the government’s new
Population Health Branch to provide cohesive and focused oversight of
the government’s policies and programs promoting wellness, healthy
living, healthy aging, physical education, fitness, recreation and
- We will establish a transportation fund of $1 million to partner
with community organizations to improve transportation options for
- Within 90 days, we will conclude a review of whether it is
appropriate to lower the age to begin breast cancer screening.
- We are moving forward this year to release our new Chronic Disease
- We will support education and training for unpaid caregivers.
- We will assess the role of assistive technologies in helping seniors
remain in their homes and communities.
- We will commission research on housing requirements and supportive
care needs of persons as they age. We will improve the range of housing
opportunities that support healthy aging.
- We will also continue to invest to make these houses more secure,
ensuring they have ‘panic button’ connections with local police.
- We will work to make medications more affordable for patients.
- We will work with our schools and health care institutions to reduce
access to unhealthy foods and teach students about healthy food choices.
- We will work with tattooing, body piercing and pedicure
practitioners and identify the best practices of other jurisdictions in
developing appropriate standards for the non-surgical cosmetic industry
to protect public health and safety.
- Develop an interactive, web-based e-mental health service.
- We will also continue with our prudent, incremental approach to
improving access to dialysis services based upon need, number of people
impacted and availability of health professionals to ensure delivery of
a safe and high-quality service.
- As a pilot project, we will enable personal care homes that meet
certain criteria to accept clients who require a degree of care beyond
- Build on investments in health research and facilities, including
the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in
- Within the first 120 days in office, we will produce a provincial
strategy on reducing wait times in emergency rooms.
- Within the first 120 days in office, we will produce a provincial
strategy on reducing wait times for orthopedic surgeries for joint
Human Resources Secretariat
- Through programs like Opening Doors, we as a government will
continue to provide meaningful and rewarding employment opportunities
for persons with developmental disabilities.
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
- Work with Memorial University’s Faculty of Business and
representatives of the business community to identify and address
barriers to survival and growth facing local businesses.
- Initiate a review of the suite of programs available to the Small
and Medium-sized Enterprise sector with a view to coordinating efforts
and filling gaps to strengthen the sector.
- Review all programs available to enterprises in Newfoundland and
Labrador to ensure they are properly focused and flexible to meet the
needs of local entrepreneurs.
- Work with the Government of Canada to examine and improve programs
offered either jointly or exclusively by the federal government to
ensure they are properly focused and flexible to meet the needs of local
- Partner again with NLOWE and the Government of Canada in organizing
international trade missions to identify new opportunities for business
sales and international partnerships that can lead to greater success.
- Partner with NLOWE in sponsoring Supplier Development Sessions,
connecting businesses with government purchasers.
- We will promote youth entrepreneurship by encouraging successful
young entrepreneurs to provide advice and mentoring to other young
people interested in establishing small businesses.
- Identify opportunities to promote successorship planning, especially
in rural areas.
- Continue to support forums that encourage networking among
- We will strengthen efforts to work with existing firms to take
advantage of emerging global value chains in order to produce and
service products that are international in scope.
- Work with immigrant communities to build a better understanding of
the economies, cultures and languages of old and new trading partners.
- Adopt an improved technology incubation model.
- Support product development and marketing efforts of post-incubation
and independent start-up companies.
- We will advocate for businesses, departments and agencies to use
technologies developed by the local ocean technology cluster.
- We will explore the role of research and educational institutions in
developing and transferring skilled people and new technologies to
- Appoint an Assistant Deputy Minister for Oceans to coordinate the
government's activities in the ocean technology sector in cooperation
with the RDC.
- Under the Business Networks Program, continue to work with NLOWE to
make Newfoundland and Labrador an international leader in developing a
supplier diversity strategy for certified women business owners, and to
enable business owners to leverage the advantages of being certified as
a women-owned business by WeConnect Canada.
- Move forward with the Entrepreneurship Forum to target youth
- The Innovation Strategy identifies promising clusters in a range of
disciplines….. By nurturing collaboration and cooperation, we will
increase the number of high-value jobs, strengthen our industrial base,
aid in research and development, and bring homegrown efficient solutions
- We will continue to emphasize collaboration and partnerships among
institutions, between education and industry, and within strategic
clusters throughout our regions.
- Continue to demonstrate due diligence in working to capture venture
as well as research financing from a wide range of sources.
- Through the Rural Broadband Initiative, work with industry and
government partners, and within the confines of a sector that is
heavily-regulated by the federal government, to advance initiatives that
improve broadband access. The call for proposals creates the environment
to have formal discussions with industry and protects their intellectual
property while providing the government with the ability to address
- Provide greater access to funding for start-up firms and incubation
facilities through a new Ocean Technology Development Fund to complement
existing provincial and federal programs.
- Work with industry associations and private sector firms to
systematically identify and take advantage of import substitution
opportunities in all regions of the province.
- The Public Tender Review Committee will examine possible impediments
to local firms succeeding in procurement opportunities due to the nature
of tender and bid packages, and will provide suggestions with respect to
removing these impediments.
- We will put a special emphasis on working with young entrepreneurs
interested in creating sustainable businesses based on renewable
resource development, ecotourism or environmental protection to promote
- Continue to work toward the establishment and successful operation
of a comprehensive ocean observing system in the Northwest Atlantic
Ocean as a means of growing the ocean technology cluster in the
- We will collaborate with key stakeholders to identify international
markets where technologies, services and expertise developed by
locally-based companies fill an identified market niche or are
- We will cooperate with industry associations and non-governmental
organizations to develop improved market intelligence and provide a more
receptive channel for industry input into future government actions and
- We will target potential investors from traditional and emerging
- Work collaboratively with local business associations to develop a
plan for producing an online BUYNL catalogue to showcase
locally-manufactured products and their producers.
Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat
- Work with the affected Aboriginal governments and groups to ensure
that developments in areas under claim or subject to treaty are managed
efficiently and effectively for the benefit of those Aboriginal peoples
and other residents of the province.
- Identify ways and means of increasing our support for the Native
Department of Justice
- We will provide additional resources to enable the police to
identify and combat child exploitation.
- We will continue to build on our significant investments to
strengthen our police forces, to train more officers, to hire more
personnel and to provide the resources and infrastructure our Royal
Newfoundland Constabulary and RCMP officers require.
- We will provide additional resources to our police forces to
identify and combat cybercrime, including online child exploitation,
identity theft and online fraud.
- We will remain vigilant in adhering to the recommendations of the
late Justice Antonio Lamer regarding wrongful convictions and
shortcomings of our justice system.
Labrador Affairs Office
- Move forward to build on the achievements of the Northern Strategic
Labour Relations Agency
- Convene an advisory committee on the minimum wage in 2012 and every
two years thereafter.
Department of Municipal Affairs
- Introduce the new Municipal Operating Grants (MOG) formula.
- Provide incentives to sharing to advance regional cooperation
- Government will not force amalgamation on any municipality against
the will of its citizens.
- We will continue to fund regional recreational facilities such as
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
- We will support affordable and accessible rental housing for seniors
through the Affordable Housing Program.
- We will continue to provide rent supplement for low income persons,
including seniors, residing in Newfoundland Labrador Housing.
- We will identify and support other programs and services that allow
seniors to maintain or modify current housing.
- Universal design guidelines will promote accessibility for all
- We will apply the age-friendly lens to policies, programs, and
services that address seniors housing.
- We will explore measures that would encourage and assist homeowners
to add rooms and apartments and to undertake other renovations to
address local housing supply issues.
- We will explore ways to encourage the construction of small-size
dwellings to meet the needs of smaller families with limited financial
- We will provide incentives to the private sector to stimulate the
building of additional affordable housing units for persons with
Department of Natural Resources
- Ensure the agreements we enter into for resource development include
skills transfer components so Newfoundland and Labrador acquires
- We will promote underground mining in the Voisey's Bay region.
- Provide $2.5 million to further study small-scale hydroelectric
projects for Labrador coastal communities.
- Through Nalcor, continue to purchase existing proprietary seismic
data for reevaluation and acquire new data to fill the gaps.
- Establish a policy to obtain a 10 per cent equity position in all
future oil and gas projects requiring a Development Plan approval, where
it fits our strategic long-term objectives.
- We will focus on benefits requirements that target maximum
sustainable supply and service industries and employment where we have
the potential to create or capitalize on our competitive advantages.
- We will continue to promote the creation of rock kits for schools.
- We will also work with developers to put in place reserve funds to
finance cleanup work when industrial operations cease.
- Continue to facilitate the work of prospectors through support of
the Matty Mitchell Prospectors Resources Room in collaboration with the
Newfoundland and Labrador Chamber of Mineral Resources.
- Continue to invest in improving the collection of geoscience data.
- Ensure our legislation, regulations and permitting process for
mineral exploration, mine development and quarry development are modern,
balanced and reflective of the needs of the industry and the province.
- We will promote the development of technological solutions that may
assist in locating deeply buried mineral deposits, improving the
efficiency of exploration, providing metallurgical solutions to improve
extraction and efficiency of mining, developing innovative mining
techniques, and providing means of reducing the environmental impact of
- We will promote the search for commercially-attractive new deposits
of both conventional and unconventional mineral commodities.
- Take measures to ensure our mining workplaces are respectful, free
of discrimination and harassment.
Office of the Chief Information Officer
- Install Consolidated Service Architecture, including redundancy
backups to guard against catastrophic failures, in order to improve
reliability and reduce risk to government.
- Continue to expand the Information Management Capacity Assessment
Tool (IMCAT) across government departments to enable them to assess and
improve their information management capability.\
- Develop an e-government framework to facilitate an orderly
implementation of service improvement opportunities both within the
organization and for clients of government departments and agencies.
- Where appropriate, network with Newfoundland and Labrador-based
information technology firms and professionals to support the
government's initiatives while promoting growth in our province's IT
Office of Public Engagement
- We will build on the ‘Who Cares’ campaign to draw attention to the
work of volunteers.
Research and Development Corporation
- We will engage the province’s Research & Development Corporation (RDC)
and our province’s post-secondary R&D professionals, including Memorial
University’s Department of Earth Sciences and the Inco Innovation
Centre, to stimulate strategically-advantageous research and development
activity in our province’s mining and mineral exploration sector.
- We will explore new ways to monitor violations.
- Improve mine safety of worker regulations in light of the findings
of consultations undertaken through the Department.
- Introduce strengthened mine health and safety regulations.
- We will review and continually monitor occupational health and
safety legislation and regulations regarding mines, to ensure our people
are operating in healthy and safe workplaces.
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recretation
- Work to develop new tourism products in places such as Twillingate
- Work with the Province's outfitters on ways to provide more
moose-hunting opportunities for non-resident hunters.
- Increase funding for the Labrador sport travel subsidy so more
Labrador teams can travel to compete.
- Explore new opportunities for forest-based ecotourism.
- Consider opportunities to develop and interpret the ruins of the
original Fort Townshend, which are in large part beneath The Rooms.
- Explore opportunities to expand educational travel initiatives that
give more students valuable opportunities to visit sites of military
- Provide support for multi-artist performing arts symposiums and
- Open a discussion about the next step in promoting Marble Mountain,
including targeted advertising to capture a greater share of the eastern
North American market.
- Continue to invest in snowmaking equipment for Marble Mountain.
- Continue to develop and promote shoulder-season and multi-season
- Take our online tourism tools to the next level of interactivity.
- Be even more sophisticated in targeting online marketing to web
users according to search keywords, site themes and location
- Work collaboratively with artists to find effective ways to steadily
expand our cultural tourism offerings to increase the value, diversity,
and attractiveness of our tourism product.
- Invest in improving the look, friendliness and functionality of the
province's tourism gateways in such places as Port aux Basques, Argentia,
Labrador West, southern Labrador and our airports.
- Encourage producers of adventure tourism television programming to
showcase Newfoundland and Labradors' strengths.
- We will also partner with the private and community sectors on
initiatives, such as the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program, that enable
children to participate in sport and recreational activities their
families might not otherwise be able to afford.
- We will find ways to expand programming and coaching, including
volunteer coaching, so all students wishing to participate in team
sports are able to do so, not exclusively the very elite.
- In the interest of promoting fitness and in the spirit of
inclusiveness, we will also provide opportunities for all students to
enjoy the benefits of team sports…We will promote an expansion of team
sports to make room for teams of players not at the top level so all can
participate in competition with those at their skill level.
- The Premier’s Athletic Awards will continue to provide opportunities
to honour athletes who have risen to the challenge and excelled in their
- We will continue to provide grants to our elite athletes.
- Continue to support high-level competitions .
- Continuing to provide funding for regional recreational
infrastructure and initiatives.
- Maintain the Cultural Economic Development Program to grow our
province's cultural enterprises.
- Focus greater attention on developing and marketing winter tourism
opportunities in Labrador and on the island.
Department of Transportation and Works
- Satisfy our own transportation procurement needs to the greatest
extent possible from within the province.
- We will continue to invest in provincial wharves and terminals for
our provincial ferry services.
- Government is launching a suite of initiatives to reduce the number
of moose-vehicle collisions on Newfoundland and Labrador highways. These
include a wildlife fencing pilot project, a wildlife detection system
pilot project, a Collision Data Management System…additional brush
clearing , vegetation control and measures to improve driver awareness.
- Maintain the fleet of new waterbombers the province recently
purchased to better protect us from forest fires.
- We will be vigilant in ensuring the public buildings we construct:
are accessible to persons with physical disabilities that affect
mobility; contain features that make them accessible to people who are
blind or visually impaired; and, are equipped with visually-cued life
safety alarms and text-based telephone devices to make them accessible
to, and safe for, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Women’s Policy Office
- We will continue to invest in the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual
Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre.
- We will continue to engage the 10 Regional Coordinating Committees
of the Violence Prevention Initiative, providing the resources required
for them to work to identify regional needs.
- We will continue to sponsor campaigns in school, in the workplace
and through the media to draw people’s attention to the need to respect
- Working to ensure all workplaces foster an atmosphere of respect for
women and respond to disrespect promptly and effectively.
2012 Accomplishment Highlights
Here are some of the highlights our province’s Progressive Conservative Government celebrated in 2012:
- We sanctioned the Muskrat Falls Project after a lengthy period of public scrutiny and discussion, which included releasing Decision Gate 3 numbers, Manitoba Hydro International’s analysis and other reports demonstrating Muskrat Falls is the least-cost option to meet the province’s energy needs.
- We negotiated $150 million to replace construction work from Hebron going outside of the province. On January 4, 2013, our government celebrated the announcement by ExxonMobil to sanction the development of the Hebron Project, which is great news for the province and offshore industry and will bring significant employment and economic benefits for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The sanction decision ensures construction and fabrication of the platform, and commits to future drilling and production of the Hebron field.
- Mineral exports were on track to reach $4.1 billion in 2012 with iron ore and nickel accounting for most of the province’s mineral production.
- In 2012, mining employment is projected to be close to 7,700 person-years, a record high for Newfoundland and Labrador.
- We have provided almost $200 million in business and community development incentives, including a competitive tax regime.
- We have provided $4.1 million in new funding for apprenticeship opportunities and to support women and other under-represented groups in skilled trades.
- We increased the ratio of apprentices to journeypersons from 1:1 to 2:1.
- We reduced net debt from $11.9 billion in 2004-05 to $7.8 billion as of March 31, 2012 – a reduction of almost 35 per cent.
- Premier Dunderdale was recognized nationally as governing “with the best fiscal policy among 10 provincial premiers”.
- We were on track to achieve unsurpassed growth in capital investment for 2012. Newfoundland and Labrador was forecast to lead the country at 30.1 per cent with investment of an unprecedented $9.6 billion.
- Labour income increased 7.1 per cent in the first half of the year.
- Newfoundland and Labrador is recognized as a national leader in red tape reduction second only to British Columbia.
- With the reduction in taxes and fees over the past several years, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are paying approximately $500 million less than they did in 2006.
- At 11.9 to 1, we have the best student-teacher ratio of any province in Canada.
- Continuing our pursuit of employment equity, women’s employment plans and business access strategies are being negotiated for projects such as the Alderon iron ore mine, Muskrat Falls, and Hebron.
- We have allocated $65.8 million to complete Phase I of the Trans-Labrador Highway by 2014.
- We have provided $165.1 million, leveraging an additional $60 million in federal support for a total investment of $225.1 million for road and bridge infrastructure.
- We have provided $6.5 million towards initiatives to advance inclusion and access for persons with disabilities.
- Beginning in 2012-13, continuing until 2021-22, our government will double its investment to $56.0 million per year to provide a planned, systematic approach for enhancement of child care services across the province.
- As of September 2012, government has created 420 new regulated family- and centre-based affordable child care spaces since 2006.
- We have provided $115 million for new and ongoing K-12 infrastructure projects. Since 2004, about $567 million has been allocated for school infrastructure throughout the province.
- We have provided $66 million to reduce student debt through various means: freezing tuition for the ninth consecutive year, needs-based grants, interest-free loans and debt reduction programs.
- While student enrolment has been decreasing, our investment in early childhood and K-12 education since 2003 has increased by 47 per cent.
- We released a 10-year strategy document that will guide and transform the delivery of long-term care.
- We released two wait times strategies: to reduce emergency department wait times and to reduce joint replacement surgery wait times.
- We provided $130 million over two years for new municipal infrastructure projects.
- We provided $18.4 million over two years in a long-term continuum-of-care strategy for children who need placement outside the home.
- We have provided $13.6 million in cooperation with the federal government to create 244 new affordable housing units, including 71 fully accessible dwellings throughout the province.
- We have provided $3.7 million for seniors aged 65 and over, for a 35 per cent reduction on driver’s licence and vehicle registration fees, and other licences and fees.
- More people are working in Newfoundland and Labrador than at any other points in our history.
Links to More Accomplishments in 2012
Link to news releases providing more details of specific initiatives taken and accomplishments achieved in 2012 on the following fronts:
- Status of women
- Health infrastructure
- School infrastructure
- Municipal infrastructure
- Skilled trades and apprenticeships
- Forestry and agrifoods
- Rural investment
- Tourism, culture, recreation
- Waste management
- Emergency management planning
- Consumer protection
- Child, youth and family services
- Aboriginal affairs
- Government services
- Health care wait times
- Hazardous waste management
- Early childhood learning
- Workplace skills enhancement
Achievements by the PC Government Since 2003
Here is a list of some of the other achievements our Government has made for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians since we were elected to office in 2003:
- Reduced taxes by more than $1.2 billion since 2007, giving our people the lowest tax rates in Atlantic Canada.
- Reduced public debt by about a third, lowering interest payments.
- Earned significant credit rating upgrades from the rating agencies.
- Moved forward with an aggressive, unprecedented, multi-billion-dollar, multi-year infrastructure strategy for work on roads and highways, wharves and bridges, ferries and terminals, schools and hospitals, long-term care centres, public housing and municipal works.
- Signed a new Atlantic Accord and secured a $2 billion up-front payment for offshore oil royalties.
- Produced and implemented the province’s first comprehensive Energy Plan.
- Achieved unprecedented equity stakes and lucrative royalty regimes in three offshore oil projects (White Rose Extension, Hibernia South and Hebron).
- Developed and implemented the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador.
- Initialed the New Dawn agreement with the Innu Nation.
- Produced and implemented the Climate Change Action Plan and a new Sustainable Development Act.
- Raised education funding to more than $1 billion a year, capped class sizes in K-9, provided free textbooks in grades 9-12, eliminated school fees, improved school infrastructure, equipment and curriculum.
- Achieved the best student aid program in Canada and among the lowest post-secondary tuition fees.
- Invested an unprecedented $2.7 billion in health care in 2010-11 alone, for infrastructure, equipment, services, long-term care and community support, and much more.
- Commissioned the Cameron inquiry to get to the bottom of errors in hormone receptor testing, and took swift and effective action to implement the recommendations.
- Commissioned a task force on adverse health events and took action to implement its recommendations.
- Produced a cancer control strategy.
- Expanded coverage of medication costs to include tens of thousands of people.
- Provided funding for new vaccines for children, insulin pumps for children and improved dental care programs for children.
- Produced a healthy aging policy framework, a provincial wellness plan and a recreation and sport strategy.
- Produced an oxycontin task force report and a provincial policy framework for mental health and addictions.
- Commissioned hearings on long-term care and community support services.
- Invested $482.7 million since 2006 in the Poverty Reduction Strategy, which has been celebrated by national anti-poverty leaders as the model for the country; and then produced a progress report and undertook a new round of public consultations on the next phase of poverty reduction.
- Raised the minimum wage incrementally to $10 an hour.
- Established a provincial Disability Office in 2009 and undertook public consultations to develop a strategy on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
- Developed and implemented the Violence Prevention Initiative and the Safe and Caring Schools Policy.
- Established a new Department of Child, Youth and Family Services to focus on child protection.
- Organized and supported Aboriginal women’s conferences.
- Invested in fisheries renewal initiatives.
- Achieved unprecedented growth in the aquaculture industry.
- Secured the resources timber, water and energy resources used by AbitibiBowater, and provided transitional support for the regions in and around Stephenville and Grand Falls-Windsor.
- Negotiated the 2009 Canada-Newfoundland Growing Forward Bilateral Agreement which provides significant funding for agricultural enterprises, and provided significant other support to grow our agriculture and agrifoods industry.
- Introduced tough new animal protection legislation.
- Developed and implemented an Innovation Strategy and establish the province’s Research & Development Corporation (RDC) to oversee unprecedented investments in leading-edge R&D.
- Reduced red tape by about a quarter, launched BizPal and moved forward with a Supplier Development Initiative to support business growth.
- Established one-stop-shipping government services centres and streamlined key government operations using advanced technology.
- Developed and implemented the Strategic Cultural Plan.
- Launched a new Immigration Strategy.
- Developed the Newfoundland Labrador brand signature.
- Worked with Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador to produce a far-reaching tourism strategy called “Uncommon Potential”, and invested unprecedented amounts in award-winning tourism marketing.
- Decreased ferry rates, improved the ferry connection between Labrador and the Island and commissioned the construction in this province of new ferry vessels.
- Brought the Auditor General into the House of Assembly, commissioned the Green Report and led the implementation of its recommendations to overhaul the operations of the House of Assembly.
- Introduced the Transparency and Accountability Act, brought forward the Lobbyist Registration Act, and proclaimed and strengthened the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
- Plus many other initiatives.
Accomplishments By Theme
In the following pages, many of our government’s news releases since 2003 are grouped by theme to provide more details of our initiatives and achievements.
- Communities – includes Rural and regional development, Aboriginal affairs, Immigration, and Volunteers.
- Education and Skills – includes K-12 education, Post-secondary education, Disabilities, Youth, and Labour force.
- Energy and Mines – includes Energy and Mining.
- Governance – includes Accountability, Fiscal management, Insurance, Growth, Intergovernmental affairs, and Legislature.
- Harvesting – includes Fisheries and aquaculture, Agriculture, and Forestry.
- Health and Safety – includes Health care, Seniors, Recreation and sport, and Emergency response.
- Innovation and Trade – includes Innovation and R&D, Ocean science and technology, Business, Trade, and Air access.
- Poverty Reduction – includes Poverty reduction strategy and Housing.
- Protection – includes Children, Justice, and Violence prevention.
- Tourism and Culture.