“The Ball government’s 2019 budget does not address many of the problems Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are facing right now,” says Sherry Hillier, president of CUPE Newfoundland Labrador. “Instead, it passes the responsibility of providing public services and debt to future generations.”

“It does not even keep up with inflation when it comes to funding health care,” says Hillier. “I’m very disappointed that it does not address the needs of health care workers, who are exhausted and working short-staffed. As well, our aging population is growing and this budget does not address their needs.”

CUPE NL is alarmed at the dangerous road the province is taking by building privately-contracted health care facilities. “We agree that we need to replace worn out facilities and we need more long-term care beds, but not in the expensive and wasteful way that the Ball government has taken by using public-private partnership deals,” says Hillier.

“Publicly-owned and operated is the way we have always built our infrastructure before this government. It works best and costs less. Dwight Ball is locking us into 30-year contracts that will have our children paying for expensive private contracts for years to come,” states Hillier.

“P3 projects have a track record of going well over budget and delivering less than what was promised. Because they wind up costing more than publicly-built facilities, they usually result in cuts to jobs and services,” says Hillier.

“This budget also failed to address issues staff are facing in group homes and transition houses. Workers are overworked and exhausted,” says Hillier. “There is some welcome new money for Iris Kirby House, but nothing for the rest of the sector.