Help modernize government

Overview

We are inviting you to share your ideas on how to modernize government in advance of Budget 2021. Solutions are needed to address long-standing structural issues such as the high cost of providing services to nearly 600 communities across a large geography, chronic deficits, dependence on volatile oil revenues, as well as a declining and aging population.

The economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic has deepened an already difficult financial situation. The deficit in 2020-21 is projected to be $1.84 billion. Annually, we are spending more than we are making in revenue and we have limited capacity to absorb further borrowing given our current debt load.

We are bringing together expertise from residents and stakeholder groups to hear big bold ideas focused on:

  • making a positive financial impact on government’s annual deficit situation;
  • minimizing impact on public services; and
  • contributing to a diversified and growing economy.

This insight, as well as the recommendations of the Premier's Economic Recovery Team and Health Accord NL, will inform our path.

The Premier's Economic Recovery Team is reviewing government expenditures, the province’s fiscal capacity and how services are delivered; and exploring growth sectors such as clean energy and investments in technology. The terms of reference are at https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/exec/1022n02/. An interim report to government is expected by February 28, 2021 with a final report due by April 30, 2021.

Health Accord NL will reimagine the health care system in order to best deliver services to meet the needs of people in communities across the province. They have launched a series of regional consultations. More information is available at https://healthaccordnl.ca/.

We have a strong foundation and much potential.

  • Innovative people and businesses
  • Educated labour force
  • More than 2000 new tech jobs expected to be in demand over the next three years
  • Increasing number of immigrants (nearly doubled since 2015)
  • Successful technology start-ups (e.g., Verafin, Kraken, Genoa Design and others)
  • Abundant natural resources
  • Offshore oil and gas: new discoveries in the Flemish Pass, tieback opportunities to existing projects, and significant resource potential of 63.6 billion barrels of oil and 224.1 trillion cubic feet of gas in just 10 per cent of the province’s offshore
  • Mining: gross value of mineral shipments forecast to be $4.2B in 2020
  • Fisheries: valued at approximately $1.4B; employs 15,000 people in over 400 communities
  • Aquaculture: major new projects expected to more than double the size of the industry
  • Agriculture: valued at $250 million; employs more than 3,000 people
  • Tourism: unique physical environment, $1 billion in spending and a significant employer
  • Success and potential in Newfoundland and Labrador’s film and television sector

Our financial challenges are real.

  • COVID-19 economic impacts
  • Lower oil price: $39 ($US per barrel) budgeted for 2020-21
  • Net debt $16.4B
  • Continued annual deficits based on status quo, including current year projected deficit $1.8B, leading to higher debt and increasing annual debt expenses ($1.1B for 2020-21)
  • Geographically dispersed: nearly 600 communities connected by almost 10,000 kilometres of roads
  • Declining population: more deaths than births since 2012; increasing concentration of NL’s population in larger urban centres; 529,426 as of July 1, 2016; 522,103 as of July 1, 2020

How can you get involved?

Given our financial situation is unsustainable, what would you do to:

  • Increase annual revenues
  • Decrease annual expenses
  • Modernize government’s delivery of programs and services

Submit your ideas online by emailing Budget2021@gov.nl.ca or by clicking here to complete an online questionnaire.

Feedback will be accepted until February 12, 2021.

Insight from residents and stakeholder groups, as well as recommendations from the Premier's Economic Recovery Team and Health Accord NL, will inform our path.

How will your input be used?

The information we receive will be reviewed by Department of Finance, along with other relevant government departments. Feedback will be considered as the Provincial Government explores how to modernize government in advance of Budget 2021.

Privacy Statement

The collection of information is done under the authority of section 61(c) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 for the purpose of collecting public feedback on the how to modernize government in advance of Budget 2021. Please do not provide unnecessary personal information in your submissions.

Any personal information that may be received will be governed in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and will only be used for the purpose of providing a response to submissions received and informing public engagement results at the end of the process.

If you have any questions about how this information will be collected, used and disclosed, please contact Diana Quinton by email at dianaquinton@gov.nl.ca or by phone at (709) 729-2477. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions or additional comments, please contact Diana Quinton, Director of Communications, by email at dianaquinton@gov.nl.ca or by phone at (709) 729-2477.