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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Notable quotables

Some choice quotes from the recent past of debates in the House of Assembly:

The people of this Province clearly still remember the situation we faced in 2003 and they do not want to go back there. In 2003 we inherited a fiscal mess, massive deficits, the worst per capita debt burden of the country by far, crumbling infrastructure, beleaguered social programs, high taxes, massive out-migration, a lack of strategic planning in both the resource and social sectors, and, most importantly, an attitude of despair.

- Danny Williams , March 10, 2008

Those who do not want us to run a deficit, the only other option is to cut spending, but if we are going to cut spending then we cannot come up with money for new satellite dialysis units. If they want us to cut spending, if they want us to go back to a balanced budget then tell us what they want us to cut spending on because that is the choice? Raise taxes or cut spending, both of those policies, right now with a fragile economy, are wrong.

- Tom Marshall , March 23, 2010

I would like to talk more about other investments and what this government has done, but if the Opposition wants us to cut or raise taxes then maybe that is what we should do but I do not think we are going to do that, Mr. Chair.

- Clayton Forsey , March 23, 2010

When times are bad and the jobs are scarce, we want to provide opportunities for the people of the Province. We do not want to slam on the brakes. We do not want to raise taxes when there is a recession going or economic uncertainty going on. We do not want to cut spending when there is economic hardship and uncertainty going on. We want to do the opposite. We want to lower taxes when there is a recession. We want to spend more. We want to do the spending because the private sector is not doing it.

- Tom Marshall , May 31, 2010

As I indicated earlier in my remarks, because of the fiscal prudence of this government, because we ran four years of surpluses, we accumulated a lot of cash, and that money will be used this year to finance our deficit. Yes, we are running a deficit, but we are running a deficit deliberately. We ran a deficit last year deliberately because it is good economic policy; it is good governance to do so.

- Tom Marshall , May 31, 2010

From our perspective in Newfoundland and Labrador, I think for the first time, and I am not standing to take credit for this, I am standing to say on behalf of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, that I think we are in a really privileged position at this particular point in our development. We are in a bubble. I think we are in a protected bubble. The world situation is deteriorating. There is a lot of debt there, but one comment was made that the debt that is been incurred during the last twelve to eighteen months in order to get the world through the recession will not be corrected until 2030. A huge, staggering statement that it is going to take that long for the rest of the world to get up to speed. However, when I look at what is happening here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the fact that we do have our debt reduced, the fact that we have our pension funds under control, the fact that we have reduced taxes, the fact that we are doing things which countries that do not have the benefits that we have, that do not have the natural resources that we have – and that is in the area of research, development and innovation.

- Danny Williams , June 24, 2010

If you look at an example right now of governments that are running deficits in this country, well, how do you eliminate a deficit, whether it is in your health authority, in a department, or in a government? You either have to reduce services or you have to raise taxes. Now, I do not know, there may be other ways – or your revenues increase – but we are lucky in that respect, that our revenues are increasing. We always have to plan for the future, Mr. Speaker. We cannot simply continue to spend, spend, spend as if that will last forever.

- Jerome Kennedy , December 13, 2010

We decided that we would continue to stimulate the economy, and we deliberately planned a deficit of $194 million in order to provide jobs and opportunities for Newfoundland and Labrador families. Fortunately, things worked out, the economy grew. We did not have to raise taxes; we did not have to cut spending to balance the books. The economy grew. Because the economy was growing, it generated new income and enabled us to have a surplus now – the fifth surplus in the last six years.

- Tom Marshall , March 22, 2011

Now, Mr. Speaker, government only has two ways to find revenue. We either get it from royalties and taxes, Mr. Speaker, paid by industry, business, and the people of the Province, or we have to raise taxes. There are only two ways, Mr. Speaker.

- Kathy Dunderdale , December 13, 2012

In projecting a significant deficit earlier this year, we could have made the easy choice to raise taxes or to let spending increase, which could have increased our debt, but we will not jeopardize the progress we have made as a Province. You do not borrow to pay for day-to-day expenses and send the bill to your children down the line.

- Jerome Kennedy , March 26, 2013

We are certainly not going to embrace her solution, which she announced two weeks ago, to raise taxes on hardworking Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. That is not our plan, Mr. Speaker.

- Kathy Dunderdale , April 15, 2013

The position is clear; the Leader of the NDP has stated publicly that she believes in raising taxes. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a report commissioned by the Newfoundland Federation of Labour also agrees with the same. There is no question that the NDP position in this Province is raise taxes.

- Jerome Kennedy , April 17, 2013

What is interesting is that they want to raise taxes on the very union members who support them. I am going to show you today that taxing the rich in this Province is really somewhat of a suggestion. It is a suggestion that simply cannot work; there are not enough rich. It depends how you define that term.

- Jerome Kennedy , April 17, 2013

What we have is that the number of people who are in that $40,000 to $90,000 range is the majority of people. So, if you are going to raise taxes to the point that it has an impact – because I have already indicated, to add 1 per cent on people who make more than $100,000 will raise you $12 million. To raise 1 per cent on people who make more than $200,000 will make you $5.3 million. That is not the kind of money you need when your expenses are like they are today in terms of our expenses and expenditures. What would happen, we would be forced to, by adopting the NDP policy, tax the middle-income earners. Again, Mr. Speaker, they are the people we are trying to protect, along with the lower-income earners.

- Jerome Kennedy , April 17, 2013

We have heard from some members of the Opposition as well: Did we consider raising taxes? Who do we raise taxes to, Mr. Speaker? They accuse us of having the highest corporate business tax rates. They say we need to raise taxes, but who do you do it to? We already – if you listen to them say – have the highest business tax rates, so we are limited. We are limited in that, Mr. Speaker. We need to, but we do have a high economy. People have jobs, people are coming home.

- Glenn Littlejohn , May 2, 2013

Now, that is what they are going to do. That is how you are going to pay for it. What else are we going to do? What is left? What are government's options when it comes to getting money, Mr. Chair? You raise taxes, you increase your revenues, or what?

- Jerome Kennedy , May 9, 2013

So they have to raise taxes, and that is where it is, Mr. Chair, because that is what NDP governments do. They spend and they tax, tax, and tax. I do not have in front of me the Leader of the NDP's most recent promulgation on Open Line where she said: There are tax avenues open to the Province; they chose not to take advantage of them. To equate what we are doing here today as somehow or other creating unfairness, I really have difficulty with that. If you look at our Poverty Reduction Strategy and you look at the fact that 60 per cent of our spending is in the social sector, yet we are facing a deficit.

- Jerome Kennedy , May 9, 2013

Now, I want to come to the fee increase. The Premier, and I have said this before, could have taken the easy way out. The easy way out is simply to leave it to someone else. It is someone else's problem. Well, Mr. Speaker, what I was told last week in a meeting with a number of different agencies: If you leave it someone else long enough, then you will gather debt. Again, that is what you are going to have to do if you are going to have all of these wonderful programs that the NDP put forward. You either have to borrow or raise taxes. You will borrow so much you cannot pay your debt. When you cannot pay your debt you run into a crisis like we have seen in Europe.

- Jerome Kennedy , May 13, 2013

When this government came to power in 2003, the tax burden on families in this Province was absolutely excessive. Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that this Premier and this government is not going back there. In projecting a significant deficit earlier this year, we could have made the easy choice to raise taxes quite easily, but we did not. The fact that we have lowered taxes since coming into office speaks to our commitment to helping those working families. We have lowered taxes for working families in Newfoundland and Labrador by over a half billion dollars. We actually have in Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Speaker, the most competitive tax regime in Atlantic Canada – but you will not hear the parties opposite talking about that.

- Steve Kent , May 14, 2013

We need people who will be responsible. We need people in government who will make considered decisions built upon sound research. We need people who will listen to the people and will also be responsible and make sure that no, we are not going to raise taxes irresponsibly. We are not going to ramp the debt of this Province up to an uncontrollable level. We are going to be concerned about the future of Newfoundland and Labrador. We are going to be concerned about our children and we are not going to be irresponsible.

- Wade Verge , May 14, 2013

Mr. Speaker, I find it difficult to take advice on dealing with multinationals from the leader of a party who said that she would raise taxes and throw multinationals out of this Province if she ever became leader of the government. So I am not intending to take advice from her, but what I will say is to continue with what I said a few moments ago: that it is our government that has taken a leadership role every opportunity that we have been able to do so to support workers in this Province, to advance workers' causes and support them and their families.

- Darin King , December 3, 2013


Confidential to the PC Party of NL

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crazy but fun but true fact

If you can take a bunch of GIS shapefiles, mix 'em up in ESRI ArcMap, and then from ArcMap, generate a PDF that you then post to the internets...

...then you can also post the original source shapefiles to the internets:

In a related matter, does anyone have a clue why the staff cartographers within the government of Newfoundland and Labrador are so reluctant, if not downright stubborn, when it comes to releasing raw GIS files of government-produced cartographic data into the wild?

Steve Kent? Anyone? This thing on?


Friday, April 10, 2015

By popular demand

By popular demand, here are maps overlaying the proposed boundaries released today by the Electoral Boundaries Commission, on top of the current boundaries, colour-coded by the 2011 general election results. (Changes since 2011 as a result of by-elections and floor-crossings are not reflected.) Existing boundaries are the thin white lines; the proposed boundaries are the thicker black ones.

Click on any map to enlarge it.

Here is the general overview of Newfoundland (the four Labrador districts are unchanged, and so omitted for the purposes of this exercise):

The greater Corner Brook - Bay of Islands region:

The northern Avalon:

And the St. John's metro region:


Thursday, April 09, 2015


What is "Newfoundland Labrador Hydro"?