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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Underlying Message of Throne Speech Quite Clear

This week’s throne speech painted the provincial government’s direction for the coming session in very broad strokes.

Many items of importance, including the ongoing success of industries such as oil and gas, electricity, mining, forestry, agrifoods, fisheries, tourism, ocean technology and engineering were highlighted. The speech also touched on past and planned improvements in the employment market, education, health care, culture, poverty reduction, infrastructure, services, women’s rights, aboriginal issues and R & D. and spoke of planned whistleblower legislation to ensure accountability in government.

Overall the speech was very clear in its promotion of a strong and proud Newfoundland and Labrador. This is clear from the following excerpts. It remains to be seen how much will be done to address the issues outlined and if there will be a move from rhetoric to solid political action that will ensure Newfoundland and Labrador's treatment by the federal government for the past six decades is not allowed to continue unabated.

A full transcript of the speech from the throne can be found at: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2008/exec/0310n03.htm

The following are excerpts of the Speech from the Throne delivered at the Opening of the First Session of the Forty-Sixth General Assembly of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday, March 10, 2008, by the Honourable John C. Crosbie, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador:

…On the 9th of October 2007, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador were given the opportunity to make a choice. Our people were asked if they want Newfoundland and Labrador to be the master of its own house and control its own destiny within the federation of Canada. Our people were asked if they want to maintain the principle my Government adopted in 2003 of no more giveaways. Our people were asked if they want Newfoundland and Labrador to stay the course to self-reliance. On the 9th of October, the people of our province, in overwhelming numbers, re-elected my Government with a powerful mandate to build upon the initiatives of the past four years with pride, strength and determination to achieve at long last the promise of a self-reliant Newfoundland and Labrador…

The overarching goal of the term ahead is to move Newfoundland and Labrador boldly forward to self-reliance…

…our province’s influence is being felt and our voice is being heard all across the country and far beyond – everywhere, that is, except at the federal Cabinet table. In the federal forum that once mattered most, Newfoundland and Labrador is treated with little but contempt and condescension. Ours is not the only provincial government to be treated with disdain by the Harper Government, but no province has been treated more dishonourably. My Government has been deeply frustrated by the current Federal Government’s refusal to honour - among other promises - their explicit written commitment to remove nonrenewable resource revenues from the calculation of equalization, a commitment worth an estimated $10 billion to Newfoundland and Labrador according to independent economists. Given the magnitude of this commitment, my Government cannot, in good conscience, either forget it or cease to remind others of this broken promise. A Prime Minister who makes such a promise saying "there is no greater fraud than a promise not kept" stands condemned by his own words for refusing to keep it. By keeping their word, the Harper Government would have advanced our efforts to address our excessive burden of debt and achieve parity in the federation. Their actions are not only disingenuous but also dishonest. They have proven they cannot be trusted; but their great betrayal will do nothing to prevent us from achieving our goals on our own steam. Despite their opinion that they will win a government without Newfoundland and Labrador, our province will achieve its full potential as a prosperous and self-reliant partner within the federation with or without this Federal Government. We just want the opportunity to utilize our natural resources to become self-sufficient. We will resist any attempt to prevent this from occurring.

Ours is not the province it was two decades ago. Indeed, it is not the province it was five years ago…

…For 59 years, Newfoundland and Labrador has contributed enormously to the success of Canada. We have contributed resources of immeasurable value and, of even greater significance, we have contributed countless people – talented, tough and tenacious – whose energy and ingenuity have been powerfully instrumental in building the economies of our sister provinces and territories across Canada…The time has come for Newfoundland and Labrador to become a major centre of economic activity driving not only the Atlantic region but also the economy of Canada. It is time for people to take notice, because Newfoundland and Labrador is ready to lead the country.

…With renewed pride, hope and self-assurance, we are ready to continue the journey we have started together. Strong within ourselves and strong within our country, we are standing tall and striving boldly to bring Newfoundland and Labrador into its own. As masters of our own destiny, with our eyes focused clearly on the opportunities ahead, we will become stronger and more secure than we have ever been before.

…Among Newfoundland and Labrador’s most promising sectors is the energy sector. My Government in September released Newfoundland and Labrador’s first comprehensive, long-term Energy Plan: a strategy extending out to 2041 to prepare us for the expiration of the Upper Churchill agreements; a strategy to position us as an energy warehouse in eastern North America; a strategy to benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians first, while at the same time providing the right climate to promote development…Our vast energy resources – including oil, gas, hydro, wind and others – will be developed in ways that bring sustainable economic development opportunities to both Labrador and the island, while returning valuable royalties, dividends and other revenues to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

We also have great expectations for our fisheries – the backbone of many rural communities...

My Government is disappointed that the current Federal Government has not yet acted on its promise to impose custodial management on the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap, and will continue to press the Federal Government to honour their promise. Reform of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) is no substitute for custodial management, in terms of either timing or efficacy…

Our province’s unique culture has been shaped by our economy, our environment and people of many ancestries. My Government this year will build on the work of the Strategic Cultural Plan and proceed with a new Intangible Cultural Heritage Strategy to help preserve, strengthen and celebrate our distinctive and intangible cultural heritage, including languages, traditional knowledge and skills, customs, and music…

…We are today at a critical point in our history as we prepare to make the long-anticipated transition from a ‘have-not’ jurisdiction to a ‘have’ province. Our day is now beginning to dawn…the principle of no more giveaways is the right one. The principle of making our own way and taking control of our resources is the right one. The principle of demanding accountability for federal commitments is the right one…

… No longer can we afford to listen to those who try to impose on us their own outdated way of thinking. The time has come for us to chart our own course, to determine our own destiny, to think outside the box that others have tried to confine us within… When there are setbacks, we must learn from them... We must be prepared to try innovative approaches to ensure we remain relevant, on the leading edge of change, riding the global wave that will carry us forward from the subservience we have suffered for too long to the brand new future of self-reliance and sustainability that is beginning to dawn.

…Together, we will ensure our future is stronger than our past. Together, we will show the world we are a powerhouse of opportunities with the courage, competence, commitment and conviction to convert those opportunities into sustainable prosperity for the benefit of all. The promise is within reach. The future is ours. Proud, strong and determined, we will achieve our great promise by standing tall together, united as one, Newfoundland and Labrador.


Anonymous said...

I like the words and I like the stand taken so far but until the Premier moves past the rhetoric and backs a provincially managed federal party all the talk about Ottawa means nothing.

Calvin said...

Well,if it was anybody else but Danny Williams I would be laughing right now.

YUP,your right on the party thing ,thats kinda a " MUST HAVE THING "

Until then its just talk.

Mark said...

It's clear, following your and the Premier's logic, that the people who did not vote for him must therefore disagree with pride strength and determination.

By voting against Williams, according to your shared gospel, they must be in favour of shame, weakness, and whatever the opposite of determination is.

Shouldn't we round these people up and tell them they have to leave?

Really, if they are against pride, strength and determination then the only reasonable and logical conclusion is that they are traitors. Traitors to their province, traitors to their people, or as DW prefers, traitors to their "race".

By voting against a Proud Strong and Determined Newfoundland, they are haters of their province.

Maybe we should just shoot them all instead.

Therein lies the danger in reading too much into election results.

People voted for one group of dolts over another group of dolts. That's all that happened in the last election. And that's all that will happen in the next one. And ever thus.

History shows us that people who read too much into election results end up doing really stupid horrible things.

Patriot said...

Mark, I really love it when people put words in my mouth (he said sarcastically). In case you haven't noticed I can choose my own words.

Do I think everyone who didn't vote for Danny Williams is a traitor? Definately not.

Do I think everyone who voted for Danny Williams is a patriot or on the right track? Definately not

Do I think those who are willing to settle for the status quo of the past number of decades is a traitor? NO

I do believe many of them are well meaning but but they should not, as you put it, be shot. They should become informed and learn from the past and get some vision for the future.

Do I think those who intentionally bow and scrape at the feet of federalist Canada for whatever they can get for themselves are traitors? Absolutely but I won't say anything more on what I would like to see happen to them. There are laws afterall. There you can draw your own conclusions and put whatever words you want in my mouth.

Mark said...

Did the same person who put words in your mouth, also post his words on your blog.

Patriot, you must strive to become a master of your own domain...

Patriot said...

I already am Mark, can you say the same or are you one of the traitors you speak of?

Michael Williams said...

I don't see a Patriot, I see a greasy podunk with a chip on his shoulder and misused energy.

Calvin said...

Myles ,why do you allow yourself to be drawn into a debate with those that cannot see the forest because of the tree's.

Simple minds need simple solutions.

Silence is the best antitdote for thier hate and anger.I think you should worry about something more important.Like who's going to drive "Mom" to the shop saturday for grocery's.

Great article Patriot ,keep the work coming.You have to be doing something right,Cause your pissing someone off,lol. :)