SPRINGDALE, N.L. — Premier Dwight Ball was in Springdale Friday paving a very positive picture for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In fact, at the Springdale Chamber of Commerce luncheon he said the province will be releasing a tender for paving on the King’s Point road.
Although the funding details have not been released to date, he said the funds come from this year’s savings found through the five-year roads program designed to release tenders early.
“We have gotten the best value for our money we have ever seen in the history of our province,” Ball said. “Any savings we have seen in roads, we have put right back into the roadwork themselves.”
The announcement of funding for the road to and from King’s Point received applause from those gathered at the luncheon. The premier said the money for that road in particular can be seen as an investment in the people and the tourism sector of that area. The paving will be done over a two-year period.
Ball portrayed the future of the province as a positive one. He described the fiscal deficit inherited by the Liberal government in 2016 like climbing Mount Everest. Through planning, where difficult decisions have to be made and key investment continued, he said that climb will be successful.
“You haven’t got to worry about the future,” he said. “The future in this province is extremely bright, that I can guarantee you.”
He told guests at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon there are several key sectors that will drive success in the province —aquaculture, agriculture, the tech sector, mining, and tourism. Within these sectors there are lots of opportunities to create employment, specifically in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Given the assets we have available to us in all those sectors, I am extremely optimistic about the future of our province,” he said. “No matter where I go, the natural resources we have in Newfoundland and Labrador is unparalleled to what I would see anywhere in any jurisdiction. I have often said, we have the natural resources in our province that most countries don’t have, and we have the people here with the innovation that are equipped to do that.”
Investment is also important in small business, according to the premier.
That $2.7 billion deficit in 2016 will be wiped out by 2022 or 2023, Ball said. The province will see a surplus again by that time. It will no longer be dependent on the price of oil being a certain amount, he said, as government invests in its people.
In the Baie Verte-Green Bay district, the province is replacing the Green Bay Health Centre. The mention of this project again drew applause from those in attendance. The project began in 2015, but was put on held due to fiscal restraints in the province. $6.25 million was in this year’s budget to resume the project. The tender closed May 31.