Real Solutions Require Collaboration
An open letter to the Newfoundland and Labrador Government from the St. John’s Board of Trade
Dear Minister Osborne,
Thank you for sharing our fiscal reality with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. You can only be empowered to make change when you are informed about why change is needed. You have provided the people of our province with much of the information they need, to know and understand why we need to make changes. For that, we are thankful.
What now? Where do we go from here? How do we change our course and ensure that we do not further burden future generations?
We are confident there are rational and effective solutions for tackling our financial situation. We also believe that there are dedicated, willing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who want to be part of the solutions, and who can help you inform the path forward. Together we can devise the actions that should be taken to change our current direction.
We understand there are realities that have played a part in where we are today. We recognize there were decisions made in the past that come with significant, long-term implications that cannot be un-done. We also recognize that we are somewhat at the mercy of a commodity-based sector which we have no real control over. And, we of course also recognize that there are financial consequences associated with taking care of a province amidst a global pandemic that were critical and unavoidable. We know all of this and now we need to think and act beyond it.
The time for real decision-making and action is now. We at the St. John’s Board of Trade, our members and the many business and community leaders who are committed to the growth and prosperity of our province can help you with the solutions. The fundamental point is: Government should not tackle this alone. Please leverage the expertise and insight that exists throughout our province to inform our path forward. We can help. Labour organizations can help. Opposition parties can help. The Federal Government can help. Economists can help. Let’s all be part of the solution. Let’s come together to have in-depth discussions. Call it a task force. Call it a think-tank. Call it whatever you want. The goal is more important than the label. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador does not need to do this alone. We aren’t expecting you alone to fix the problem. We and many others want to help fix it. Let’s assess everything from federal assistance, to jobs in the tech sector, and all points in between and beyond.
Our province is rich in ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit—it has produced some of the most successful organizations in our country and it must be applied to the fiscal disaster that our province is facing. We are here and we are willing to be part of the solution—let us help and let us change the path we are on, together.
Andrew Wadden AnnMarie Boudreau
Chair, St. John’s Board of Trade CEO, St. John's Board of Trade