NDP critic for Innovation, Business and Rural Development Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) says government’s approach to job creation in rural Newfoundland and Labrador is sadly lacking in vision.
“Government is dropping the ‘rural’ from the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development with cuts to RED Boards, Employment Assistance Services, and no real plan for creating jobs from the ground up,” Mitchelmore said in the House of Assembly today. “Megaprojects create boom and bust economies and forced migration, and tear away at the social fabric of our economy.
“When will the minister of IBRD get serious about rural job creation and prevent further mass outmigration from decimating the rural landscape?”
Mitchelmore says encouraging job creation in rural Newfoundland is a vital part of ensuring economic health for the province. He pointed to wharf development as one possible option that has worked in parts of the province and could work in others.
“Government has invested $23 million since 2003 into aquaculture, including six biosecure wharves,” he said in the House. “Without this investment some 1000 jobs and $400 million dollars would have been lost.
“The forest industry on the Great Northern Peninsula impacts more than 150 workers and can prove to provide significant returns.
“When will the minister of Natural Resources commit to providing a needed wharf to Roddickton port to sustain an industry, jobs, and rural communities as well as putting needed money back in the provincial treasury?”
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