Opposition Fisheries and Aquaculture Critic Sam Slade is questioning why the provincial government has neglected to schedule pre-budget consultation sessions in his district of Carbonear-Harbour Grace, or anywhere in the Conception Bay North region.
© Compass file photo
Slade was responding to the revised set of dates scheduled by the Department of Finance.
“Residents in this area have always had an opportunity to present their concerns directly to government at one of many pre-budget consultations in the past,” said Slade. “However, this year the minister has unexpectedly denied them that opportunity.”
Slade noted that hearings are also not being held in the district of Trinity-Bay de Verde, which is represented by Finance Minister Charlene Johnson, or in the neighbouring district of Placentia-St. Mary’s.
“Rural communities play a crucial role in driving the economy of our province. They should be given every opportunity to make submissions to government on the next provincial budget,” added Slade. “Instead, the minister is limiting consultations to just nine of the bigger centres in the province.”
Slade, who was elected in a byelection in November, has been hearing from community leaders throughout Conception Bay North who were anticipating that pre-budget consultations would be coming to the area.
Public consultations are ongoing, with the final meeting scheduled for Feb. 24 in St. Anthony. Meetings were also schedued for Stephenville, Corner Brook, St. John’s, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Labrador West, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Marystown, Clarenville and Springdale.