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LETTER: Early April Fool’s, taxpayers

There will likely be many familiar faces seated in the chairs of the House of Assembly after the next provincial general election.
The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly . - SaltWire Network

It never stops, does it?

If it’s not that, it’s this; if it’s this, well, it can’t be that.

Why are we a poor province? That question could be debated for years, couldn’t it?

Most people could easily offer more than a few sound reasons for our continued indebtedness of billions and billions. Billions and billions in debt may not mean much to politicians and/or bureaucrats who use it like there is no tomorrow, money that is hard earned by the working population, money that is clearly not their own personal dollars but spent far too easily by those who should be far more responsible and accountable for its just spending as well as for the carelessness of spending.

There are, of course, other reasons which add to the ever-growing daily debt of our province. Not hefty sums but, nevertheless, things quite irritating to taxpayers.

Take, for example, the following scenario.

On any given day, taxpayers come home from a hard day’s work, they want to sit back, relax with their children, enjoy supper together before they have to rush them off to a birthday party, some athletic practice, dance class or any of numerous other activities of the modern family. The TV/radio/computer is on and, in the background noise of family life, one hears the following penetrate one’s ears, “Taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador are on the hook for $100,000.”

One wonders, now what is that about? It can’t be that serious, it’s a mere drop in the bucket compared to the shell shock of Muskrat Falls, (lest we forget).

Then one hears a little more... “The cost of the recent Liberal dust-up amongst its cabinet members and others will cost the taxpayers...”

Hey, wait a second. Hang on there a moment, let me think about this. What does Liberal party infighting, harassment allegations and the like have to do with taxpayers?

Another interruption... “it was learned that the House of Assembly Management Commission, made up of government and opposition members, decided that the taxpayers should be the ones to fork over the cash for their members’ blowup, indiscretions and bad behaviour.”

OK, buddy, that’s it. That’s enough. I’ve had it with politics, politicians, provincial, federal, etc., the never-ending perception of political abuse and legal quackery at the highest levels of provincial politics, and here we go again: blatant disregard, blatant disrespect, blatant waste of taxpayers’ dollars to serve their own ends.

Wasn’t this, for the most part, a Liberal party issue?

Wasn’t the alleged scandal set off by Liberal cabinet members in the House of Assembly? Wasn’t it just a few Liberal party members who couldn’t work together or with others, fighting like cats and dogs for weeks on end, both inside and outside the House of Assembly? And now we are told that it will be the taxpayers who will pay the legal costs/fees for their own self-inflicted disputes and personal harassment battles; not the politicians involved, not the Liberal party, not the Liberal party association, not the premier, but the taxpayers.

So, the politicians who were involved in this mess and who make well over $100,000 yearly are off the hook, don’t have to pay a single cent for their alleged personal attacks on each other and others in the House of Assembly?

So much for positive perceptions or any hope that party politics, politicians and legislative standards will be changing any soon.

Has political power and privilege gone too far?

Where are the oversight committees who should be scrutinizing and preventing irresponsible uses of the public purse from taking place?

Congratulations to the House of Assembly Management Commission and the Justice Department for their astute calls on this one; screw the taxpayer.

One hundred thousand carelessly wasted by the House of Assembly is a lot of money in a province indebted for billions.

Happy early April Fool’s to all patient taxpayers.

You’ll get your chance down the road to even things up.

P.J. Dwyer

Gander

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