PC, NDP leaders say they will vote against Liberal budget – Saltwire

Boisterous debate in House of Assembly
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — As Finance Minister Siobhan Coady listed measures in the provincial budget to address the cost of living, someone among the Progressive Conservatives shouted, “No better off!” and Speaker Derek Bennett called for order in the House of Assembly for the first of what would be 11 times during the boisterous 30-minute question period on Monday, April 3.
“I guarantee you we won’t vote for this (budget),” Progressive Conservative Interim Leader David Brazil said after he criticized the government for the five per cent increase to the seniors’ benefit, which he said works out to a maximum $72-per-year increase.
“Does the Premier believe $6 a (month) will lift seniors out of poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador?” Brazil asked.
After Brazil said he wouldn’t vote for the budget, Coady began listing everything he’d be voting against.
“He’s going to be voting against record investments in health care. He’s going to vote against record investments in provincial roads. He’s going to vote against an increase to the seniors’ benefit. He’s going to vote against an increase in the income supplement…,” she said, as her list was interrupted while politicians on both sides of the House shouted and Bennett called for order again.
“He’s going to vote against seniors receiving medicals — free medicals — to allow them to continue to drive. He’s voting against Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” she said.

Brazil replied, “Speaker, I tell you what I and my colleagues here won’t be voting for: the value of the seniors only being $6 a month. That’s what that government puts on the value of seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
At that point, Brazil was drowned out by shouts.
“Order, please!” Bennett called. “I can’t hear the member speaking.”
“Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, seniors are worth more than $6 a month,” Brazil continued.
“That might be their value of seniors. To us here, they’re worth unbelievable amounts of courage, what they contribute to this province.”

The back-and-forth continued, with Coady misquoting Alexander the Great and citing a non-existent Chinese proverb.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. That’s a Chinese proverb,” she said, to cheers from her colleagues.
She continued: “Alexander the Great said there is nothing impossible to those that do not try. Nothing impossible, Speaker.”
After question period, NDP Leader Jim Dinn told reporters he will also vote against the budget. He said it doesn’t address the social determinants of health, and the record spending on health care is just keeping pace with inflation.
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