Newfoundland Labrador, Prime Minister, Dwight Ball discussed on As It Happens from CBC Radio
Dwight ball almost make his payroll last month. That's Dwight ball is in the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador the cost of fighting covert nineteen has hammered the province's finances so has the collapse in demand for its oil and gas. Last month the premier wrote the prime minister a letter it ended quote. Our province has run out of time. We reached Premier Ball in Saint. John's Premier Ball. How badly has cove in nineteen hit the finances of your province? Well it's Covert nineteen twenty twenty release since the beginning of the year. I've said many times. I think Newfoundland Labrador. They could take a Mulligan on twenty twenty. They would do it. We started with a huge snowstorm. That hit the problem. Shut it down for nearly two weeks. And then we had to deal with this pandemic and it's been Every operational costs that we have gone up and every revenue generator we've added in the private Pacific collapsed difficult time for slander. Labrador and so in a word or two. How would you describe the finances? tough shape right now. There's you know we were stage when we couldn't boil. We got some support from the Bank of Canada which helpless. But it's been very tough to describe this in in one word tragic today. The bank can't announced that it is going to buy billions worth of provincial debt. How much room is not going to buy for Newfoundland and Labrador? You know we can boil. It means that we can continue. Divorce wasn't able to do that with the issue for is not cam weebelow or really below. We will do that. Concern we have is once this is over. We will have a significant amount of debt on the capita basis in a very small province. There's not another problem from this confederation that would even remotely compares with. We are where we level of debt that were carrying the impact there is on a debt servicing. And and you know we're actually taking away services from people you know rightfully simply because thanks servicing and most people don't realize he still does not exceed people as Asian from the Federal Government. And so most of our situation they receive billions of dollars in many cases of transfer payments. We're not receiving you wrote the prime minister. Asking for help is what you're talking about what you ask them. Or what specifically did you ask? If the prime minister leaving into that marks the twentieth letter was banned by new. Were into the pandemic and I knew. Then you know. Federal budget with something that's Would be in jeopardy given these. What was happening. This thing around the world been working with the federal government for quite some time leading into this period when we were expecting a program like this goal bonds that would be able to help inflame the Labrador which also help without Alberta Saskatchewan as well when we became aware that the budget would not happen. This program without the available was very clear that we had little You don't WanNa finances and we were having struggled. We were struggling receiving boiling and then the Bank of candidates that that's the reason why I wrote a letter. It was just recognize and urgent message. Just and so. What do you say to people who say look Canada's oil dependent provinces Newfoundland and Labrador? Being one of them are facing a problem their own making that you should have taxed and saved more of that oil wealth when the going was good for us. You know we've been as provinces taxation. We are in the middle of the pack more. Were most of the marriage. We have a large geographical footprint and the other is very sparse population. We have an aging demographics. We have lots of chronic diseases. There that we see in other properties but not at the same pressler civil which we face other challenges and we ever. You know a significant dead going into this so we were not able to get out of that situation simply because we didn't have the time to be able to do it like other provinces stuff wasn't about taxation it wasn't really about services because it is more expensive to deliver services you know so the Canadians leaving flying. What part of this consideration? Where residents of candidates respect and deserve the same level services. Thanks tight societies and. Other problems will get so we just want getting the transfers When it comes to requires Asian or some other Cobra that other problems with the prime minister said today that We as a country are weeks away from loosening of restrictions on economic activity. How long can Newfoundland and Labrador hold on? There's no question we need. We need support from to recognize that. I think any of them know that. And so we're going to need something very unique or different Taylor towards the topics like us. And I'm not just saying this because it's a Home Office right now so this could easily be some other problems. In the near future if equalization was is what we don't have is as foundation underneath us that allows us whether the federal transfers would be required quickly. We have a lot of resources here. And we have the capacity within the system. A great workforce lots of Great Natural Resources Billet Academy and I would suggest that we could have one of the best economies in this country given the natural assets that we had to build on. But we're going to need support from not just can't do it alone we can do or we're going to be a lot. We're willing to do it. We got the courage to do it. But we're going to need a good apartments album and you know this at the prime minister is going to be calling you and your provincial counterparts. Tomorrow that he will be speaking with all of you. What are you hoping to hear from Justin Trudeau? Tomorrow that will thing I will say. Is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and I. We've he's an accessible. You understand your basis. What we had to deal with no different than the deputy prime minister. No different under settles finance ministers. Because I we actually care. There's something for our province right now. Given the situation that we're into a part of the country were a beautiful province and all we're looking forward to hear opportunity to work like other problems to get yourself back with us on economy. We want to contribute. And you'll contribute Canadian fabric and we had a lot of opportunities to do it. You just need a little boost when little right now to get well premier. Wait and see tomorrow if you will Getting here what what you would like to from the federal government. I appreciate you making time for us today. I know it's busy. Thank you thank you take good care. Bye-bye Dwight ball is the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. We reached him in Saint John's..