After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the finances in Newfoundland and Labrador became so desperate that Premier Dwight Ball sent a desperate plea to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In a letter dated March 20 that outlines the province’s dire straits, Ball tells the prime minister that the province would be unable to pay its bills without immediate federal assistance.
“As highlighted in discussions regarding changes to the Fiscal Stabilization Program, the Province has never fully recovered from the 2015-16 downturn in the economy when royalty revenues declined by over $1 billion,” Premier Ball writes.
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“To put it bluntly, our recent attempts to finalize our borrowing program, both short term and long term, have been unsuccessful. We have no other recourse to raise the necessary funds to maintain the operations of government,” he adds.
“Our Province has run out of time.”
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At a COVID-19 briefing, Ball told reporters the letter was necessary.
“It’s really just expressing where we as a province, where I see it going, and the need for the federal government to look at Newfoundland and Labrador as a unique province,” he said.