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Letters to the editor: New Premier’s office not needed

The Premier’s office is establishing a new regional office in central Newfoundland. It will be similar to the Premier’s west coast office in Corner Brook, but the opposition Tories say it raises questions about the government’s priorities. (NTV News, Michael Connors, January 7, 2022)

I felt extreme disappointment, dismay and was thoroughly disheartened to learn that the provincial government has decided to open a Premier’s office in Grand Falls similar to the Office of the Premier in Corner Brook. Why are we taking on this needless taxpayer spending to open a purely self-serving political office in a town that already has an elected representative from the official Tory opposition? Surely the province can put this funding to greater use at a time when health care, housing, food, and energy cost for Newfoundland and Labradorians are maxed, as residents struggle physically and mentally through COVID.

Call it what one may, such a move by the sitting government to open an Office of the Premier in Grand Falls, in the district of Exploits represented by Conservative MHA Pleaman Forsey smacks of political pork barrelling – taxpayer money spent for the sole reason of generating political support. I feel extreme disappointment that the current Liberal government appears to be stepping into a minefield following the Rooms fiasco. Is this a sign of things to come?

Common sense needs to prevail as to why the Premier needs an office in Grand Falls and Corner Brook in the first place. One was always under the assumption that the Premier had an office in the Confederation Building in St. John’s. Now we are told he needs another one in Grand Falls and it is only going to cost tax payers $140,000. Apparently that figure just covers salaries, since there are additional surplus government spaces in Grand Falls to allow the Premier to set up shop rent free.

It is just another reason to explore surplus government space to re-sell, addressing issues such as a shortage of desperately needed housing initiatives. My uncle has an expression in reply to such weak argument to justifying spending the $140,000.

“Didn’t you hear me when I told you I was from Newfoundland, not Disneyland? Tax payers are not that blind to see the reasoning behind this!”

No one is gullible enough to take $140,000 as the only cost behind this new office in Grand Falls. And not now surely, for it is hard to comprehend what is the justification for creating two new jobs in Grand Falls. Allegations have surfaced stating those jobs are going to Liberal party faithful.

“Nay bye. That cannot be true. Does someone think we are that stun and cannot see through this move? There is no justification for the office! Full stop!”

Now it begs the question as to why does the Premier even need an office in Corner Brook. Surely the current outspoken cabinet minister representing the City of Corner Brook has ample space to share if the Premier decided to visit. It is another waste of tax payers’ money.

Once again, this evokes extreme disappointment, dismay, and thorough disenchantment from where one sits considering that we, the taxpayers, when requesting life saving diagnostic imaging technology in the form of a PET scan for our new regional hospital in Corner Brook to assist in the health care needs of the entire west, south west and northern peninsula have to wait.

The Liberal government has stated that, financially, it is not in a position to commit. No apologies. Has anyone visited The Rooms lately?

John Spencer, Channel-Port aux Basques

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