Canada's NDP

NDP

September 22nd, 2020

Harris looking for support for Newfoundland and Labrador in Throne Speech

St. John’s – “Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be looking closely at tomorrow’s Throne Speech for continued help for those still hurting from lost income and lost business during the COVID-19 crisis. People, businesses and the Provincial Government need help to weather the pandemic and make a recovery,” said Jack Harris, MP for St. John’s East.

“The severe drop in oil prices and production has also devastated the province’s income, making the fiscal situation even worse. We need the federal government to step up and help provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador suffering from the consequential drop in revenue.”

Harris believes that significant help for the province could come through major reform and expansion of the Income Stabilization Program, which is currently severely limited by a cap but is designed to help provinces with a sudden drop in revenue.

“The people employed in Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil industry are hurting and are waiting on the government to provide the leadership needed to build a healthy and strong economy. The NL offshore, with its lower carbon oil, has a contribution to make in that process. The Liberal government has committed to getting to net-zero by 2050 but hasn’t told us how they plan to get there, creating uncertainty for workers, employers and investors,” said Harris.

Harris also wants to see the federal government invest in the clean energy sector with good, sustainable jobs that will provide the economic stability that Newfoundland and Labrador families need.

“Throughout this crisis, people have continued to contact my office looking for help. They are struggling to hold onto their jobs, keep their businesses open, pay their bills and put food on the table, and are now facing uncertainty.

“Yet, the Liberal Government has needed prodding from the NDP throughout the crisis to ensure that programs provide the help people need. When our party was able to get the government to work with us, we delivered for students, seniors and people living with disabilities. We pushed for sick leave and 75 per cent wage subsidies for businesses,” said Harris.

That is why the NDP is now calling for:

  • Expanded health care – including Pharmacare and dental care. Taking profit out of long-term care.
  • Good jobs that fight climate change by building affordable housing and making the houses we live in better for the environment.
  • Help for workers who have lost their jobs and help for people who need it as the second wave of the pandemic hits.
  • Childcare so kids are taken care of and parents can go back to work.
  • Taxes for the super wealthy who have profited from the pandemic and closing loopholes so the ultra-rich pays for the recovery, not you.

“The pandemic exposed the gaps in our services and the inequalities people face. We can’t go backwards. We need to change what has not been working and create a society where no one is left behind,” added Harris.