What, them worry? (II)
NAPE, as any good advertising client would, will no doubt be getting a report on the effectiveness of its late 'Have Province' broadcast, internet, and print ad campaign.
However, if there was any doubt that it is having an impact — perhaps even the desired one — Jerome Kennedy, who is apparently Finance Minister again, spent another day in the House of Assembly on Tuesday thoroughly dispelling those doubts:
MR. KENNEDY: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Today, in these ten minutes, I am going to talk about a couple of things. I want to talk about the have Province concept, Mr. Chair, where a number of years ago – I remember this clearly; it was the first stint I had as Minister of Finance. It was around 2009 – it could have been November or December 2009 – and I went to a federal-provincial-territorial Finance Ministers’ meeting.
In the middle of the meeting, the Finance Minister for Canada, Jim Flaherty, announced that Newfoundland and Labrador would no longer be receiving equalization, that we were a have Province. We all, and the people of the Province, jumped for joy. From a pride perspective, it was great. Everyone said: Well, look, we are finally there. After fifty years of being seen as Canada’s poor cousin, we are no longer dependent on equalization.
Being a have Province, Mr. Chair, means we can pay our own way. It means that we make our own decisions, as I stated yesterday. Also, as I stated yesterday, Mr. Chair, being a have Province can mean that we have less money, because right now – and I outlined this yesterday – if you look at where our revenues comes from, in 2011-2012, midyear, 35.8 per cent of our revenues came from offshore royalties. You go back to 2004-2005, 34 per cent of our revenues at that point came from federal transfers.
SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!
MR. KENNEDY: – that is seniors’ benefits and that is the tax on energy. So, it is easy to see why we have gotten to the situation today where the deficit has arisen. We have spent wisely building infrastructure, building schools, but what has happened is that our federal revenues have decreased. Being a have Province, while being a source of pride socially and while meaning a lot to us as a people from an economic perspective, it means we have less money...
What we do, what we mean, by being a have Province is that we make our own decisions now. We generate our own revenues.
(Incidentally: anyone know which "decisions" Kennedy is referring to, which equalization-receiving provinces are not capable of making, or do not make?)