The following letter was published in the Telegram on January 11th.
We have been following any news or reports concerning the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team (PERT) since it was first announced. The recent resignation of Mary Shortall from the team, comments by Jerry Earle on his meeting with Dame Moya Greene and a recent CBC report by Terry Roberts which included the concerns of Prof. Russell Williams about the process PERT is following have us very concerned.
On Dec. 16, we sent the letter copied below to Premier Andrew Furey and the team. Except for an email acknowledgment from the premier’s office, we have had no response.
Dear Premier Furey,
As Newfoundland and Labrador citizens who care passionately about the economic future of this province and an environmentally sustainable future, we ask you to endorse and forward our concerns to the Economic Recovery Team for consideration:
1. Public consultations should be positioned at the start of the Economic Recovery Team’s mandate and should include the voices of all generations, Indigenous peoples and people of other cultures. We ask you to avoid the growing habit, notably at the federal level, of only holding public consultations after directions and recommendations have been decided.
2. We urge the recovery team to consider experiences from other countries, especially those that have recovered successfully from economic collapse, for example, Iceland's fishery. This is in keeping with the task force mandate to “review best practices from other jurisdictions.” Researching those options could be a civil service responsibility.
3. We ask that the recovery team explore a more diversified approach to our economic recovery than megaprojects and privatization. It is critical to adopt a perspective that empowers local initiatives. This must include the meaningful involvement of municipalities, Indigenous peoples, and all communities across the province, similar to the consultations currently being held by the Health Accord NL Task Force.
We look forward to taking part in these consultations.
On behalf of Avalon Chapter, Council of Canadians