Budget becomes main focus of question period


Premier Robert Ghiz answering questions for the media. Conway photo.


    The Liberal government is proud to have created such economic growth during a time of economic downturn, said provincial Treasurer Wesley Sheridan during Question Period April 17.

    Montague Conservative MLA Jim Bagnall said the Conservatives feel the economy is not doing as well as the Liberals are saying that Sheridan can’t seem to ever know the proper economic figures.

      The argument began when Bagnall asked the treasurer about the $ 42.3 million deficit.

      “The budget that was put in by the previous government when you came into power had a surplus of $2.1 million. That would have showed three surplus budgets in a row. Mr. Treasurer, why did you revise the budget when you came in from a $2.1 million surplus to a $42.3 million deficit?”

       Sheridan said the province was just coming out of the 10 best economic years the province and the country as a whole have ever gone through and the Conservatives had nine deficit budgets.

       “Probably the most embarrassing piece of financial work I have ever witnessed.”

        Sheridan said there were a lot of problems caused by the Conservatives which the Liberals had to take care of when they took office.

         He said examples included a health care system which was ignored for 10 years, write offs in the beef industry and in the fisheries as well.

      “The things we had to clean up inside that first year were incredible.”

      Bagnall said the treasurer numbers were wrong and the fact was he had lost $39 million in his first budget.

     “How do you expect Islanders to have faith in your number?”

      Premier Robert Ghiz stepped in to answer the question.

      Ghiz said Islanders were actually very happy to have a treasurer with as much integrity and experience as Sheridan.

       “He is doing a tremendous job balancing the books of this province. I wish he had been in power 12 years ago when that government was in power because I think the Island would be in better shape than it is now.”

        Bagnall said the Conservatives were on the verge of a balanced budget.

        “But when the Liberals came in, we get a budget with a deficit.”

         Sheridan said the Liberals were there when Islanders needed help and the Liberals will be there to invest when there is a need for it.

          “Twelve hundred jobs will be created on the Island. Our model of a stimulus budget has been used accross North America and even the Obama government has followed our leader.”

          The discussion ended with one final question from Bagnall.

          “How can we have a deficit with the economy working as well as you said it has?”

           The Liberal party has seen other jurisdictions that are producing billion dollars in debt, said the provincial treasurer.

            “We have tightened our belts and don’t have that problem.”











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