Executive Council
April 24, 2007

Achieving Self-Reliance by Becoming Masters of Our Own House:
Throne Speech 2007

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador�s 2007 Speech From the Throne laid out the province�s vision and determination to "achieve self-reliance by becoming masters of our own house." The 2007 Speech from the Throne was delivered today by His Honour, the Honourable Edward Roberts, Lieutenant Governor.

"Our primary message to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians today was that we will confidently move forward to strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador�s financial autonomy and strengthen our fiscal capacity to meet our own social and economic obligations," said Premier Williams. "We will achieve this vision for our province by reducing Newfoundland and Labrador�s burden of debt on our children, diversifying our economic base, pursuing a fair fiscal balance between levels of government and reducing our dependence on equalization payments."

The Premier added that the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has never been more ideally positioned to take control over its own destiny and lay out a path for renewal and economic prosperity.

"Our people have learned that the best way to achieve self-reliance economically is to take charge of our future as a people," added the Premier. "We have learned that we cannot rely upon those elected to offices outside of this province to deliver what is in our best interest. We must achieve that on our own as proud Canadians within this federation. So we will harness the desire among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to cultivate greater financial autonomy vis-�-vis the federal government."

Premier Williams said that his government will affirm Newfoundland and Labrador�s status as a distinct people, not uniform in lineage but multi-cultural, one nation inclusive of many nations living in harmony together. "As equal partners, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal together, we will write a new future for Newfoundland and Labrador, a future of our own design, where mutual understanding, justice, equality and cooperation are the order of the day."

Premier Williams said this is the time to stand firm and confident in defence of the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador. "After nearly four years of responsible fiscal management and rewarding investments in economic growth opportunities, never before have we been in such a position of strength to take a strong stand on the national stage. We will be unrelenting in holding Ottawa to its obligations and promises to Newfoundland and Labrador, but at the same time we will use the opportunities and tools at our disposal to grow our own economy and set our own course for a future of self-reliance."

Echoing major themes of the Throne Speech, the Premier said the way forward for Newfoundland and Labrador requires an unyielding commitment to advance economic growth and social justice, the two pillars of a stable society. The Provincial Government will continue to move forward decisively and strategically on both fronts, building the economy while continuing to invest in the security and well-being of the people. "We will achieve sustainable economic self-reliance by continuing to invest wisely in the fundamentals: infrastructure, a healthy business climate, natural resources, a strengthened fishery, innovation and the skills of our people," said the Premier. "In the meantime, and increasingly as our economy grows, we will invest in facilitating self-reliance for individuals and families, advancing reliable health care and wellness for young and old, and fostering public safety and justice for one and all."

The Premier recounted the great strides of the past four years in improving the province�s finances, sharpening accountability, strengthening social programs and investing strategically in initiatives to promote growth, sector by sector, region by region � initiatives that will be stepped up in 2007 as careful planning leads to concrete actions and new spending initiatives.


Media contact:
Elizabeth Matthews
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227

2007 04 24                                       3:30 p.m.


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