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Gerry Byrne, MP

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MP Byrne says time to take advantage of ‘reversal of fortunes’

Posted on January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015 – Corner Brook, NL – While the downward slide of the price of crude oil is taking a toll on the province’s finances and on many segments of the economy, Liberal Commons member Gerry Byrne still believes there might be a partial silver lining for the western Newfoundland region arising out of this reversal of fortune.

“The price of oil is down, way down, from six months ago and with it the Canadian dollar has taken a huge hit”, Byrne said. “And with that comes the long predicted hammer to the head for the provincial government’s finances. It also means a loss of an as yet unknown number of high paying jobs in the oil sector both here and out west. It’s going to be difficult for sure but the news may not be all bad. Low oil means cheaper operating costs for many local industries.  A low dollar means better returns on resource exports destined for markets outside of Canada. It also means increased tourism opportunities coming from American travellers and from Canadian travellers no longer willing to head south.”

Byrne said the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper mill is not only a huge electricity user, it is a big oil consumer as well. He feels the purchase of bulk supplies of Bunker ‘C’ at $47 a barrel is a much better proposition for the local mill then at $100 a barrel. But the biggest boost, the MP said, comes for the currency exchange.

“Newsprint prices are based on US dollars. When paper is sold in US dollars and that money is converted into Canadian dollars that are trading at between 75 and 80 cents US, it is the equivalent of Kruger receiving a 25 percent increase in its price per tonne. And that is good news indeed for us all.”

Byrne said the low Canadian dollar is also money in the pocket for the province’s seafood exporters as the same principle applies. He also said it means that Americans will find it much, much cheaper to visit Canada this year compared to previous years simply because, for every one American dollar they convert to Canadian, they are getting roughly a dollar twenty five back on their money to spend. He said western Newfoundland’s tourism product just became a whole lot more competitive if for no other reason than the currency exchange.

He cautioned, however, that for any of this to make a real difference to the local economy and to be a benefit to people, the paper mill needs to take those additional revenues and invest it back into the remaining unfunded liability in the employee’s pension plan and to mill improvements, fishermen and loggers need to get a dividend from the higher price paid to the exporter and the federal government needs to make Marine Atlantic more affordable and dependable so tourists can get here to spend their money to begin with.

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that will actually happen”, Byrne said.

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For more information, contact:

Gerry Byrne

709-637-4540

MP Gerry Byrne asking for an “Open Government” update on state of Marble Mountain repairs

Posted on September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014 – Corner Brook, NL – The Commons member for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte is asking the provincial government to provide the public with an update on any progress achieved to date in repairing Marble Mountain ski resort’s main chair lift. Lightning stuck in early August of this year, effectively putting the mountain’s main lift out of commission. Byrne said his biggest concern is that, with six weeks having passed since the damage first happened and an increasingly shorter construction season now ahead, the resort’s main chair lift may no longer be repairable in time for this winter’s ski season.

“Six weeks ago we heard from Marble Mountain Development Corporation’s general manager, Chris Beckett, who informed us that if quick action were taken by the corporation’s insurance provider, the lift’s manufacturer for the supply of spare parts, and the provincial government, which is required to authorize the repairs, the lift could be made operational again in time for this year’s ski season”, Byrne.

“Marble Mountain, or more precisely, Marble Mountain Development Corporation, is a crown corporation owned by the provincial government. The provincial government has a duty to update the public on what they have done or not done and what they know or don’t know about this situation. 120 direct jobs are on the line at the resort itself along with the 700 or more indirect jobs that are believed to be tied to the operation of the hill. Marble Mountain fills our local hotels, our restaurants, our taxis and our stores with thousands of new customers each winter in what would otherwise be a very hungry time of year.”

Byrne said that, under its Open Government initiative, the provincial government promised to provide the public with this sort of information on a more timely basis.

He also hopes the government’s message will be a positive one because he is already hearing that prior bookings to ski Marble from out of town visitors are being cancelled due to the limited lift capacity at the resort. He believes it would be helpful if some kind of re-assurance could be offered that the situation will be fixed soon.

Facilities at Marble Mountain, including the high speed chair, were developed under a federal-provincial cost sharing program.

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For more information, contact Gerry Byrne at 709-637-4540

Conservatives Must Stop Abusing Taxpayer Money for Expensive Litigation

Posted on December 11, 2013

December 11, 2013 (OTTAWA) – Today, Liberal Treasury Board Critic, Gerry Byrne, called on the Conservative government to stop abusing taxpayers’ money and put negotiation before litigation with Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.

“Time after time, we have seen that instead of cooperating and negotiating with Aboriginal Peoples, this Conservative government shamelessly pursues legal challenges in court – and often loses,” said Mr. Byrne. “Moreover, at huge expense, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has increasingly been using expensive private sector law firms, rather than using Department of Justice lawyers.”

Under the Conservatives, Public Accounts reveal that in 2012/2013, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada used outside legal help on 330 occasions, costing taxpayers $32.5 million. In contrast, the 2008/2009 Public Accounts show that this same department hired outside legal assistance only 61 times at a cost of $12.8 million.

“A 153% increase in hiring expensive private sector lawyers – in one department alone – at a time of fiscal restraint is proof that the Conservatives cannot be trusted to manage the public purse,” said Byrne. “Canadians expect and deserve a higher level of accountability and fiscal responsibility from their government.”

 

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Contact:
Office of Gerry Byrne, M.P.
709-637-454

 

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Le 11 décembre 2013 (OTTAWA) — Aujourd’hui, le porte-parole libéral responsable du Conseil du Trésor, Gerry Byrne, a exhorté le gouvernement conservateur à ne plus abuser de l’argent des contribuables et à privilégier le dialogue avec les peuples autochtones du Canada plutôt que les procédures judiciaires.

« Nous voyons constamment que le gouvernement conservateur choisit de régler les litiges devant les tribunaux, la plupart du temps en perdant, au lieu de coopérer et de négocier avec les peuples autochtones, a déclaré M. Byrne. De plus, Affaires autochtones et Développement du Nord Canada a de plus en plus recours à des cabinets d’avocats du secteur privé, très coûteux, au lieu d’utiliser les avocats du ministère de la Justice. »

Les Comptes publics révèlent qu’en 2012/2013, sous le gouvernement conservateur, Affaires autochtones et Développement du Nord Canada a eu recours à de l’aide juridique externe à 330 reprises, ce qui a coûté 32,5 millions de dollars aux contribuables. En comparaison, les Comptes publics de 2008/2009 montrent que ce même ministère n’a eu recours à de l’aide juridique externe qu’à seulement 61 reprises, pour un total de 12,8 millions de dollars.

« Cette augmentation de 153 % dans l’utilisation des services juridiques très coûteux du secteur privé, pour un seul ministère et à une époque de restrictions budgétaires, est la preuve que l’on ne peut pas faire confiance aux conservateurs pour gérer les deniers publics, a déclaré M. Byrne. Les Canadiennes et les Canadiens s’attendent à de plus grandes redditions de comptes et responsabilité financière de la part de leur gouvernement et ils le méritent. »

 

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Renseignements :
Bureau de Gerry Byrne, député
709-637-4540

Conservatives Waste Taxpayer Money on Government Advertising

Posted on December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013 (OTTAWA) — The Conservative government should immediately rein in its reckless spending of taxpayers’ money on government advertising, said Liberal Treasury Board Critic, […]

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Letter to the Editor

Posted on November 27, 2013

Dear Editor: An international trade panel, one assembled by the World Trade Organization at Canada’s request, concluded that ‘Moral Concerns’ can effectively trump the otherwise established […]

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Conservatives Waste Taxpayer Money on Partisan Branding

Posted on November 27, 2013

For Immediate Release November 27, 2013 OTTAWA– Today, Liberal Treasury Board Critic, Gerry Byrne, called on the Prime Minister to stop wasting taxpayers’ money on partisan […]

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Media Advisory – CETA

Posted on November 22, 2013

Technical briefing on information gaps in the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement pertaining to fisheries (November 22, 2013) Ottawa – Editorial staff and members of the media […]

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Prime Minister’s Office Wastes Taxpayer Money on Free Staff Lunches

Posted on November 20, 2013

November 20, 2013 – (OTTAWA) – Today, Liberal Treasury Board Critic, Gerry Byrne, called on the Prime Minister to cut the lavish, taxpayer-funded eating habits of […]

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Byrne asking for feedback on EI changes

Posted on January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013 — (Corner Brook, NL) –The Liberal House of Commons member for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, Gerry Byrne, is asking constituents who have been recently […]

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Byrne issues warning to feds on Mi’kmaq enrollment changes

Posted on January 4, 2013

(January 4, 2013) — Corner Brook, NL — The Liberal Commons member for Humber-St. Barb-Baie Verte, Gerry Byrne, is issuing a direct warning to the Harper […]

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