Newfoundland Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s conflicting messages on the province’s economy will come under closer scrutiny starting this weekend when CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador launches its province-wide advertising campaign.
CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “Recent reports from two of Canada’s big banks say our province is expected to lead the country in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2013, with a surge of 4.4 per cent. By anyone’s standard, that is significant economic growth.
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“If anyone wants to know how our economy is doing, all they have to do is drive up Kenmount Road in St. John’s. They’ll see more new car dealerships going up than anywhere else in the country, and huge housing subdivisions going up with price tags that the people of this province could never have imagined,” he says.
“But now, when it comes time for thousands of our members to bargain, the finance minister announces this ‘surprise’ deficit and tells public employees they’ll have to tighten their belts. Who does Jerome Kennedy think he’s kidding,” asks Lucas.
“Our members are as confused as the next person about the mixed message that’s coming from our government on the economy. They just committed $664 million to Nalcor’s $6 billion dollar energy project,” says Lucas.
“CUPE members do not have unrealistic expectations for this round of bargaining, but we are not about to carry the can for the current government’s multi-billion-dollar mega-projects either,” he says.
A campaign website will launch Saturday, February 23 at www.FairnessNL.net. The campaign will feature TV, radio, print and online messages.