The numbers aren’t good for Newfoundland and Labrador. The province’s real debt is over $27 billion, when you include the debt of its public utility, NalCor. Its GDP is shrinking by .8% a year – the only Canadian province that is seeing a year over year decline. Its unemployment rate is 15%. And it is steadily losing population: over the next 25 years, between 20,000 and 90,000 Newfoundlanders are predicted to leave the province. As a result, by 2042, the average age in Newfoundland will be 65.
The situation is unsustainable. Unless something changes, many communities in the province will disappear. People will no longer be able to live in Newfoundland because the cost of living will be too high. Health care expenses alone will eat up most of the province’s budget. But there is a number that could change that equation: $1.4 billion. If the federal government paid down Newfoundland’s debt by $1.4 billion a year until 2041, it would solve its debt crisis. And Canada can afford it. $1.4 billion is just one-third of one percent of the federal government’s total budget. It’s a small price to pay to Save Newfoundland Now.