Former premier Paul Davis has kept Premier Ball in the hot seat this week, and not just over Ball’s decision to merge departments and shrink the size/cost of the provincial government.

“The province’s Liberals have still not produced an economic plan for Newfoundland and Labrador, a year after promising one would be ready,” Davis says.” In the absence of a plan for growth, the Liberals’ 2016 Budget buried people in taxes that have smothered the prospects for new growth. At a time when low oil and iron ore prices were hurting key parts of our economy, the Liberals’ approach made matters worse instead of better.

“While people are struggling, most ministers and MHAs have gone into hiding, providing no leadership or answers to people who are wondering how they plan to get the province back to growth. The Minister of Business, instead of working with businesses here at home to stimulate growth, is traveling the globe and bringing nothing home to turn our economy around.”

Davis adds that The Liberals have not listened to local business leaders who are saying the barrage of tax increases made us less competitive than we have been in years. “If the Liberals were listening to businesses, they would be doing things differently to drive growth and attract new opportunities.

Worse Still They’re Helping Their Own in Hard Times?

According to Davis, Ball is being “shamelessly hypocritical” in his appointments, and “riding his high horse‎ on political patronage while calling Liberal Party friends in through the back door and handing them key ‘nonpartisan’ posts on the payroll of the province. Where was the ‘merit-based process?’ the Liberals had committed to for these appointments?”

“After committing to ‘take politics out of government appointments’, the Ball Liberals have been handing out top-level ‘nonpartisan’ government jobs to failed Liberal candidates, former Liberal staffers, and long-time Liberal friends.”

He is referring to hires like:

George Joyce: Former Liberal candidate (and cousin of Minister Eddie Joyce)
Lynn Sullivan: Former Liberal candidate
Paula Walsh: Former Liberal candidate
Ted Lomond: Former Liberal Party Executive Member
Tony Grace: Former Liberal Political Assistant in the Tobin Era
Carla Foote: Former Liberal Political Assistant (and daughter of Federal Minister Judy Foote)
Lauren Wiseman: Former Liberal Political Assistant

These are, or course, strong statements from the leader of a party taking flak for putting the province in the economic pit it’s in …