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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2015, 6:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
So much talk of Labrador separatism in the House. 3/4 Labrador MHAs have openly advocated for it.

"Labrador doesn't need Newfoundland", "We'd be the richest country in the world without you", etc.

It's only the PC member from Lab West fighting back. "How dare you stand in this sacred House and advocate separatism! You don't speak for my people!".

House is in recess. Debate continues at 12:10 a.m. Second all-night session in a week.
I've been wondering for awhile now how much wealth Labradorians think is being generated from Labrador. The budget estimates for this year say mining tax and royalties for the whole province will be about $94 Million. Where is all this wealth being generated from Labrador? I don't see it.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2015, 6:20 PM
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Labrador has mining, which is just as risky as oil. But if the entire mining industry collapses (and it hasn't been that stable in recent months anyway) there's nothing to fall back on. Labrador independence isn't in Labradors best interests.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2015, 6:41 PM
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Labrador has mining, which is just as risky as oil. But if the entire mining industry collapses (and it hasn't been that stable in recent months anyway) there's nothing to fall back on. Labrador independence isn't in Labradors best interests.
I think Labrador's case would be on the basis of it's small population, about 25,000, and minimal infrastructure. Their argument is that they'd generate substantial revenue from mining and have little in the way of costs and be able to weather the storm because of that in the same was as the Yukon. Minerals that are extracted wouldn't have been sent to Long Harbour, processing would have been done in Labrador. They'd have a large stake in electricity production and feel they'd be better off managing their own environmental matters (hunting and such) and conservation, as well as better relationships with respect to First Nations, who would be up front in provincial/territorial politics rather than more or less forgotten.

I think Newfoundland benefits a lot more from Labrador than many people give credit for, and that Labrador would be much more self-sufficient than people think.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2015, 12:20 AM
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Labrador definitely plays a bigger role economically than a lot of people think. The idea that being a territory means more control is not necessarily correct though. While the Harper government has given more control to the Northwest Territories, the federal government plays a bug role in the decision making of territories.

While I don't really have an issue in Labrador keeping its four seats, the idea that the percentage of gdp they contribute to the overall economy should be taken into consideration with regards to how anny aeats they hold is ridiculous.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2015, 6:55 PM
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While I don't really have an issue in Labrador keeping its four seats, the idea that the percentage of gdp they contribute to the overall economy should be taken into consideration with regards to how anny aeats they hold is ridiculous.
Why would it be ridiculous?

I would think GDP, as well as other economic indicators would play a partial role in the formation of electoral boundaries, but so would demographics, geography, population, etc. It might not be as heavily weighted in the equation - but to me it would make sense to include it at some level. Just say, for argument sake, that GDP does play a role (along with the other factor). Then it does makes sense (to me at least) to keep Lab West and Lake Melville electoral districts.

I also agree with keeping Torngat Mountains. This district is unique due to it's cultural and ethnic differences with the rest of the province and merging them with another district would create unfair representation.

However, I think Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair should be dissolved. It has a tiny population and very little industry. It does hold some historical and cultural significance with basque whaling - but I don't think that's enough for it to keep it's seat. Maybe I'm missing something here. Anyone with an argument for, please enlighten me.

I agree that Newfoundland benefits a lot from Labrador, but I think the benefit is mutual. Labrador is a unique territory that differs from the island on many factors, but it only contains approximately 1/20th of the population. I do think three districts is fair representation. Just my opinion, folks.

Last edited by statbass; Jan 24, 2015 at 7:14 PM.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2015, 7:14 PM
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Representation should be based primarily on population and not what resources exist in a certain area. Most people like the idea of all votes being equal but if we start looking at what certain regions contribute to the overall economic wellbeing of the province then we are moving away from that philosophy. (Reminds me a bit of how voting was once based on if you owned property or not) The St. John's metro accounts for 50% of the province's GDP but less than 40% of the province's population.

Why should someone's vote be worth more than someone's else's just because of where they live?
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2015, 7:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PoscStudent View Post
Representation should be based primarily on population and not what resources exist in a certain area. Most people like the idea of all votes being equal but if we start looking at what certain regions contribute to the overall economic wellbeing of the province then we are moving away from that philosophy. (Reminds me a bit of how voting was once based on if you owned property or not) The St. John's metro accounts for 50% of the province's GDP but less than 40% of the province's population.

Why should someone's vote be worth more than someone's else's just because of where they live?
Given that argument, Labrador should only have 2 districts at most and St. John's Metro should have another 3-4. So we know representation is not based solely on population.

I think all votes should be equal regardless of where you live - but that wasn't my argument. My argument was that formation of electoral boundaries should take into account multiple factors, population and economics being a part of it.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2015, 12:37 AM
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I agree that population cannot be the only factor taken into consider. Geography plays a major role, particularly in Labrador. Another consideration that needs to be taken into account in Labrador are the different Aboriginal languages spoken there.

However, saying that a regions economy should be a factor in seat distribution doesn't make any sense to me, we are suppose to be one province.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2015, 2:54 PM
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Professors call House of Assembly decision undemocratic

CBC NL
Jan 26, 2015
Author: Mark Quinn

Quote:
Two dozen professors — from Memorial University and from universities in Ontario — are calling on the provincial government to drop its legislation to cut the number of seats in the House of Assembly.

The professors have written a letter describing the legislation as undemocratic and ill-informed. Among the signatures is that of an associate political science professor from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Kelly Blidook told CBC News that he doesn't agree with the way Bill 42 was rushed through the House.

"Really [the letter] just expresses that we're extremely disappointed that government took this action — rushed it through as quickly as they could, had an all-night session, voted early in the morning — did basically everything to get it through quickly and not consult," he said.
...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...atic-1.2931239
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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2015, 6:14 PM
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Here's an interesting article from Independent (which usually drives me nuts).
http://theindependent.ca/2015/02/02/...on-tax-is-now/
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2015, 5:05 PM
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Here's an interesting article from Independent (which usually drives me nuts).
http://theindependent.ca/2015/02/02/...on-tax-is-now/
Sorry for going off this topic, but I'd like to use this post to broach another.

Whether you (general you, not you PoscStudent) like the Independent or not, whether you think the positions of their articles are fringe or representative, reasonable or bonkers, I hope you can agree that having news media free from commercial or political ties is invaluable in a functional democracy. Publishing with the Independent is way more accessible, for the average citizen, than going through one of the more established media, such as the CBC, NTV, VOCM, and the Telegram (outside letters to the editor or open line, at least).

In fact, I think it would be amazing for folks here to write and submit pieces on urban design and development. Articles may tend to lean further left than the norm, but seriously, don't let that stop you. Outside the editors, their regular and irregular writers are all volunteers, so any bent is perhaps more indicative of the passion behind their causes than an overall political one. I also believe that they, and the left, are not against urban development. The folks opposing dense housing in Kenmount Terrace are almost certainly not left-wingers; NIMBYs can come from all stripes. Basically, I would be very interested in reading your thoughts on development, and proposals for smarter growth, and I think the Independent would be interested in publishing them. I'm actually working on a related project (not through the Indy), but more on that later.

On those notes, I'm just going to suggest that anyone interested in this, any of the articles published by the Independent, or the Independent's goals donate to their fundraiser, which officially ends tomorrow:
http://theindependent.ca/goindy2015/
No matter your political views, independent media has awesome potential. This is especially relevant to politics with the upcoming provincial and federal elections. For the record, I have no affiliation with the Independent (other than knowing they operate on very little money).

Last edited by overboard; Feb 14, 2015 at 5:16 PM.
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2015, 8:05 PM
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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a report today saying that the government should look at cutting spending by $1.6 billion over the the next three years.

http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/arti...ng-report.html

According to Twitter Ross Wiseman has said that between cutting spending and raising revenue the government is looking for $1 billion.
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2015, 8:36 PM
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In hindsight I’m sure the Government wishes it had not spent at the rate it did for the past 10 years, but then again no one saw the drop in oil coming as it did.

Putting billions into the pensions to try and reduce the liability, extending generous raises to the public sector and spending billions on infrastructure were all good things, things that were needed, but perhaps it should have been done at a slower rate.

They can reduce spending on one-time things but it would be impossible to roll back any wages at this point. We might just have to suck it up for a few years and hope that revenues increase. I wonder if the Liberals really want to take over now?
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2015, 9:44 PM
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People were quick to put their hand out looking for more money and Danny was fine with giving it to them. In the end much of it was needed.

The Liberals criticize the government now for wasting all the oil money, though they never spoke up when it was happening, but a lot of the money went into much needed infrastructure upgrades. Running bigger surpluses and paying down more debt would have been great but it would have come at the expense of much needed infrastructure improvements. Alberta focused on paying off its debt in the 1990's and now they have a major infrastructure deficit and are trying to play catch up.
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2015, 8:09 PM
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Quote:
Privatizing some public services on the table for budget: Paul Davis

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis says he's considering privatizing some services in the upcoming budget, amid a predicted deficit of $1.5 billion.

A continued slump in oil prices means the province will experience revenue shortfalls for the coming fiscal year.

Davis said Thursday the province's financial challenges are short term, but he is considering increasing the role of private sector in delivering some services.

In areas like long-term care, Davis said the private sector already plays a significant role — a role he says could be increased to help save the province money.

...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...avis-1.2983139
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2015, 10:45 PM
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So Earle McCurdy is now leader of the NDP.
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  #37  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2015, 1:14 AM
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That will probably be the final nail in the coffin for the PCs. Not that it's necessarily an entirely bad idea in some of the public sector, but it's not going to do anything to regain popular support.
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  #38  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2015, 1:06 PM
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That's what I thought as well. I couldn't believe they'd suggested it.

But... as far as the DMV is concerned, at least, it would be a God send.

We have one DMV for about 250,000 people on the Avalon. It's not even in St. John's. And its hours are 9-4, Monday-Friday. You could not design a more annoying system.

In all other provinces, a city the size of St. John's would have many; in most, it'd have dozens. And they'd be open evenings and weekends.

In Manitoba, they have public car insurance but allow private companies to sell it. So even towns of a few thousand have three or four places you can go. And you can get everything in one stop - license, registration, and insurance. Takes 10 minutes.

Here, it kills half a day. And you miss work.
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  #39  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2015, 6:47 PM
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I'm delighted the premier mentioned privatization. Depending on what areas they look at and how they handle it I think it could go over fine with many people. Don't forgot Eastern Health privatized Tim Hortons. How many disagreed?

As well I think many automatically think of big things being privatized, like NLC, when they hear a politician mutter privatization. The premier mentioned long term care, the private sector is already playing a huge tole here. How many long-term homes are run by the province and how many are run by the private sector?

Other areas could be the maintenance of buildings. Private companies are responsible for the operation/maintenance of federal government owned buildings in the province. I heard someone mentioned that security in the hospital will soon be run by a private company. There are lots of small areas that the private sector could be responsible for.

I would love to see an Alberta model here for getting licenses, permits and what not. Private companies are in charge of all this in Alberta and it seems as though all services are under one roof. Unlike here where you go to Mount Pearl for some stuff and elsewhere for other things. That would be a big move though and I think it would be much smarter after an election. Do that in the first year, get the controversy of it out of the way, and then people will seen how good it is by the time the next election rolls around.

I think it's also good that we may see clearer visions for each of the party, as the Liberals have spoken out on this move and the NDP would never agree. It'd be nice for the public to have three clear choices come the Fall.
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2015, 1:28 AM
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Privatization talk is always so frustrating. It's a great way to appear to be cutting costs, but it takes it for granted that cutting costs is a good thing, and it really only shifts the costs and profits around.

Taking hospital security, for instance. What are the costs of "saving" there? If the government switches to a private supplier it still has to pay the full cost of security. If that cost is lower, which it may or may not be, it will almost surely be because private employees are paid less. Is it really better for the government to save a few bucks, while employee compensation (which contributes to income tax and spending in our economy) takes a hit, and the owner pockets the difference?

I can see the case for something like motor registration, because it is really hard getting out there for many people, but there are similar problems. Savings have to come from somewhere, and we or our neighbours end up paying more in other ways. A modest increase in spending could probably make all of those services more accessible, but we cry bloody murder at the thought of the government spending more. Privatization's a really great way of shifting public money into the hands of a few private individuals (usually conservatives, who knew!).
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