"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Point of Order

Mr. Speaker — or, in this case, Mr. Utterly Gormless Deputy Chair who was presiding at the time — don't you think, in the face of the numerous fawning, slack-jawed, star-struck MHAs who are fishing for an Award for Special Achievement in Sycophancy, that you actually start doing your job?

The only place where the phrase "Premier Williams" ought to appear in Hansard is where it is inserted, in all-caps and bold face, by the Hansard editor, after you go home for the day.
MR. HICKEY: Mr. Speaker, my colleague before me certainly stated a lot about the fact that our government, since 2003, has come into its own. It has come into its own because of the leadership of Premier Williams and the vision that he has for this Province and the vision that we, as a collective caucus and Cabinet, have to ensure that this Province is going to take the right path and to ensure that our children and our grandchildren have a firm footing for a solid future.


We are going to see, and my hon. colleague alluded to it just before me - this year was a spectacular year - he mentioned the Hebron agreement. Again we talk about leadership, we talk about courage. If Premier Williams, with the support of our government, had not stood up to the big oil companies we would still be getting what we have gotten in the past, very little out of this resource. That is not what we did here, Mr. Speaker, and that is not what the Premier’s vision was here. His vision was to make sure that we get the maximum benefits for our resources.


MR. DINN: I guess, the most galling example of this Province getting the dirty end of the stick was the 100-year Upper Churchill hydro deal that gives Quebec the lion’s share of the profits and to us only a few crumbs.

Thank God these days are over! Premier Williams and his government, five years ago, embarked on a path of no-more giveaways, and recent deals and deals to be signed in the future under our watch will be signed only if this Province is the principle beneficiary.


Mr. Speaker, in the past few months we have seen many countries in this world sink into economic decline. It could go from recession to depression. What caused this economic collapse? Most experts say that out of control government spending, uncontrolled debt load, high taxes and a lack of infrastructure spending are the leading causes of this economic meltdown. When Premier Williams and his government took control of this Province in 2003 they certainly found an environment that contained all of the elements that lead to recession. The Province had an operating deficit close to $1 billion. The debt per capita was the highest in the country and infrastructure spending was close to drying up. Roads, bridges and public buildings were in bad need of maintenance repair or replacement. The place was literally in a mess.


MR. HEDDERSON: I can tell you, that time, those five years that I was in Opposition, were very, very lean times - coming in with district needs, roadwork up around $50 million, with regard to municipal infrastructure falling down around people’s ears, or with regard to our schools. I can tell you there were some bright spots, and I would be the first to admit there were some bright spots, but not enough of a light to shine to the path that we needed to get on.

During those five years, I learned very, very quickly what the issues were, where we needed to go, but it was also during that time that we did have come on the political scene a leader who saw what was needed for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador to get to that point where they could say that they were independent, that they could say that we were getting the most value out of our resources, and that was in the person of our current Premier, Premier Williams.

Premier Williams came on the scene and very quickly - and we look at him now as leading in government, but he led as well in Opposition. At that particular time he found ways in which to get things done, and clearly indicated to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that he was prepared to lead and prepared to take them down a path, no matter what it cost him personally, to his party which he represented, but he was determined, and that determination today speaks loudly.

As I look back on these last five years that the Williams’ government has taken over the reins in this particular Province, I can tell you that we have, as a government, moved this Province along. I would say to you that really I entered as an MHA as a have-not and I am very, very proud to stand here today and talk about being in a Province as a have-Province. People do not seem to understand how important that is to our future as much as it is to our present.


I did not believe in my lifetime I would be standing anywhere, let alone the House of Assembly, and talking about a Province now that is in the category of the have in this country of Canada, I tell you, Mr. Speaker. Where does it go back to? It goes back to an Administration, to the Williams government, who, as a team – and I stress the word team, because when we first got in, we were on the ground running. We knew where we had to go.


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