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Friday, June 12, 2009

Comparing Report Cards - Harper vs. Williams

This week Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered his “report card” on the status of the federal stimulus spending. Ironically, Mr. Harper waxed poetic about how much money has been earmarked for specific projects, municipal leaders across the Country sat in stunned silence wondering where the money was.

Always one to turn a phrase to his advantage, during his address Stephen Harper was quite skillful in saying that money has identified for the many projects while knowing full well that approval and delivery are not the same thing.

What Mr. Harper intentionally failed to admit was that most cheques have not been cut and most tenders for development have not been issued because the money is still somewhere in the bowels of the Finance department tangled in red tape. Stimulus funding is wonderful stuff when it’s needed but it isn’t much good if the money doesn’t flow.

As much as the Prime Minister dislikes the place, perhaps Mr. Harper would do well to look toward the province of Newfoundland and Labrador if he wants to see how stimulus funding really works.

On the same day the Prime Minister delivered his report card to the Professor Ignatieff and the rest of Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, Danny Williams, and several of his Ministers delivered an update of their own.

The Provincial infrastructure stimulus package included in the 2009/10 budget was set at $800 million dollars and just yesterday that amount doubled to $1.6 billion and the program extended to include the 2010/11 fiscal year as well.
The biggest difference between the Newfoundland and Labrador package and the one touted by Ottawa isn’t in the numbers or the duration but in the delivery.

Perhaps Provincial Transportation and Works Minister, Trevor Taylor, put it best when he said at yesterday’s press conference, “It's one thing to make unprecedented commitments but it's quite another to get this money flowing and projects tendered quickly and that's just what our government is doing."

"Right now our Tendering and Contracts Division is the busiest it has ever been. On average, at any given time, the Provincial Government has between 20 to 30 tenders in circulation. We currently have 107 tenders out, which is a record for this province."

"We are issuing and awarding our tenders earlier than ever before and we plan to maintain this aggressive tender schedule as long as the commodity and labour prices hold and the industry has the capacity to do the work. Also, we are duplicating the designs of many of our new schools and health care facilities which expedites the process and makes it more cost-efficient,” said Taylor.

While there is no doubt the economic downturn is affecting the Province, as it is the rest of Canada, with increased unemployment and a lower GDP there are some positive indications for improvement over the coming months.

Finance Minister, Jerome Kennedy noted that, "At a recent meeting of finance ministers across the country, the Federal Government indicated that Newfoundland and Labrador is now leading the rest of the country with stimulus flowing to the economy in 2009 and 2010 relative to our GDP."

"In addition, thus far this year, our province is leading the country in a number of economic indicators, including investment intentions, retail sales, labour income and urban housing starts," said Kennedy.

Perhaps one of the best features of the Newfoundland and Labrador stimulus package is that isn’t overly dependent on Ottawa to provide a share of the funding. 85% of the program’s funding will come from provincial coffers with the remaining 15% being shared by federal and municipal governments.

It’s a good thing there isn’t too much dependence on Ottawa. We all know where that has led the Province in the past. In this particular situation and at the speed federal infrastructure funding is flowing the recession is likely to be a distant memory by the time the first cheques go in the mail.

It’s really too bad Stephen Harper and Danny Williams aren’t on speaking terms or the PM might have picked up a few pointers on how to handle an economic crisis.


Patriot said...

Hi Walter,

Sorry I couldn't publish your post but I don't do free advertising for federal spin doctors like the one on the blog site you provided a link for.

As for what you call my A$$ kissing of Williams, I beg to differ. I'm simply trying to convey to anyone not already blinded by the feds rhetoric that no matter what they might say in Ottawa there are ways to make stimulus work and to get it out the door.

Enjoy your spoon fed propaganda over at the spin doctor's site.

Patriot said...

By the way Walter, VOCM is reporting the following:

The president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador says he's pleased with the progress to date in the awarding of provincial infrastructure projects. Graham Letto, who is also mayor of Labrador City says he's particularly pleased with what's been happening in Labrador, including work on the Trans Labrador Highway, the hospital, and the College of the North Atlantic.

Compare that to the the complaints across the Country from municipal leaders that federal funds are not flowing fast enough and I guess you must be right, I guess I must be off base with my article comparing the two programs.

What ever was I thinking.

NL-ExPatriate said...

I thought I heard Flaherty say yesterday that he had agreements with all of the provinces EXCEPT Newfoundland & Labrador?

There also seems to be an increase in an underlying trend of Blame Danny for the ABC.

While your personal ballot may be secret as a Riding or as a province it certainly isn't and with a Petty leader like Harper and his Western alliance it sure shows.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of local Harperites and the "anti-Danny no matter what contingent" on open line shows saying, "Danny drove the Conservatives out and we can't expect anything from Ottawa because of him now". What a pile of crap.

Danny may be a loud mouthed one man show but he didn't drive anyone out. He might have wanted the Cons out but it was the voters, you me and everyone else, who decided to mark our secret X's for someone besides the federal Tory crowd.

These same people seem to think that a government is only supposed to represent the people who voted for them instead of the entire Country, what a sad perspective, even though it actually happens in practice. Anyway Ottawa never did much for NL even when we had "members on the government side" and that's no different now so who cares?

Harper is so slimy he leaves a trail of ooze behind him where ever he slithers.

Anonymous said...

WHo ever Walter is he's just too funny Myles. Liberal supporters in NL accuse the Williams government intimidation and forcing people into silence so everyone is afraid to say anything againt them yet I've read articles on your site where you went on the attack against the Williams government over things like the treatment of Labrador or how the Lower Churchill is being planned yet you're still here. How can that be? Why haven't you been stoned in the town square as a heritic?

Now as soon as you say the Williams government has done something right its the same Liberal hacks who come out of the woodwork to brand you an A$$ kisser or kool-aid drinker. Who's trying to intimidate who here?

The anti Danny crowd want to silence anyone who might even think the current government has done even one thing right and in the next breath claim its the current government trying to silence free thought.

What a bunch of mindless morons.

Anonymous said...

Myles, I wondered if you would have the balls to post my comments, and now I know where you really stand. You are a coward and a sycophant for King Danny. His stimulus is a lie and you know it. Actually, a number of lies. But he's good at lying and you're obviously great at kissing his ass. You also don't want to drive anyone to Ed's site where he posted the drivel that makes this so-called stimulus package stand for what it is: cheap political opportunism.

What's the matter Myles, can't handle other opinions? Gee, sounds familiar.

As for VOCM, give me a break. There's nothing objective about VOCM. These guys have been up Danny's hole since the beginning.

At least I sign my name, while you post only supportive stuff that isn't signed. You are a coward and I challenge you to be a man and post both of my comments instead of ignoring them and then slamming me without allowing any recourse.

Post the comments you piece of shit! I dare you!


Is ya on the govt teet? said...

"The anti Danny crowd want to silence anyone..."

I think you got your crowds mixed up.

Ussr said...

June 12, 2009 2:28 PM, lol

I love Coming here Patriot, because the TRUTH is so REFRESHING.

"Weather" or not you not to Hear it ,it is what it is ,and always will be.

" Republic Of "

Anonymous said...

hat Newfoundland and Labrador is now leading the rest of the country with stimulus flowing to the economy in 2009 and 2010 relative to our GDP." - Very Good point Here Patriot

Speaks to us our Culture and our true Nature, of Being a Caring People.

Patriot said...

There you go "walter" (if that is your real name.) I posted your comment so now everyone can see why I prefer not to post similar comments, because you are doig nothing but call names, be ignorant and make unsubstianted attacks.

You add nothing to the discussion but hatred and venom. Now, for anyone who wonders why I sometimes don't post comments that are sent in at least I can point to your post as the very reason I have to do that.

You have the mentality of a slug my friend. Normally I wouldn't have posted your comment but thanks for proving my point of needing to moderate the comments section.

Perhaps if you learn to make points without doing it like a spoiled 2 year old you might get a few more posted.

Ussr said...

WOW, these racist mainland types are all the same, and some here even say that I go too too far with this separation thing that I constantly fall back on.

This idiot has the sheer Gaul to put anybody and everybody into the same basket, and anybody that stakes a stand for this, there home, there province. It shows me that there are far deeper concerns here then what most would let on. You see if we all don’t just roll over and let “ Walter “ and everyone like him ( Mainly Mainland CANADA ) Have THEIR way with Newfoundland and Labrador ,and our resources then we are all just like “ The EVIL HITLER LITE , DANNY WILLIAMS “

Even us Displaced “ So Called Communists “, does this get any better.

You know Patriot, as long as Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans keep fighting each other, the faster and farther we are going to have to ship our sons and daughters away to find work. We have enough work in this province to keep half the country going. So don't drive us out of our homes anymore ,CAPTAIN CANADA.

“As long as they keep stealing, our natural resources, and calling US welfare BUM. The Longer I will always call CANADA, and her citizens THIEVES “

And Walter, go back to The Globe and The Mail Light, or is that Ed’s place and tell them to fix their encryption. Seb you’re an !)ERR)R, between the Chairs.

“Republic Of “

Anonymous said...

Would Walter please give his full name or else he is no more authentic than I am who is posting anonymously.

Would his name contain the initials WJM?

Starrigan said...

Very nice Walter. Hopefully we'll be out of your Canadian hair within a decade.
So then what, who will you blame for all of your ills. Who will be the cause of all your financial woes?? PEI, NS or NB? Who will be the new whipping boy? Who will be the bane of Canada?