Newfoundland’s debt crisis is about far more than money. It’s about literally keeping the lights on.
Newfoundland currently has self-supported debt of $9.4 billion, tied to the province’s utility company, NalCor. If Newfoundland had to pay the interest on this debt, it would amount to $500 million a year. The government doesn’t have the tax base to shoulder this burden. To service this debt would require raising revenue in other ways – such as doubling electricity rates from 12 cents a KWH to 24 cents. But such a move would devastate communities and the economy.
Half of Newfoundland and Labrador’s electricity is used for home heating – an essential in the long Newfoundland winter. Thirty-five per cent is used in industrial operations, putting the forestry industry and light manufacturing at risk. The other fifteen percent is used by businesses such as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, and retail stores.
Newfoundland’s debt crisis could literally plunge the province into the dark. We can’t wait for this situation to get worse. During this election, tell our federal leaders that they need to act and Save Newfoundland Now – before the lights go out for good.