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The Right Choices: Momentum for Growth and Prosperity

Mr. Speaker, in 2003, our government was elected under the leadership of Premier Danny Williams to implement a comprehensive and far-reaching blueprint for economic and social development. On the second anniversary of our first budget, I am delighted to report that our economy is moving forward and the momentum is greater now than it has ever been. But rather than become complacent, our government believes now is the time to drive our economy even harder in order to reap even greater returns. Budget 2006 supports that fundamental belief.

Our change of circumstances is not the product of fate or chance. It is the result of responsible governing, careful planning and a great deal of cooperation and hard work. Our government entered office having inherited fiscal challenges that were clearly troubling and unsustainable. And though the future to some may have looked bleak, we had a vision of a stronger, sustainable, self-reliant Newfoundland and Labrador; and we also had a plan, an eight-year blueprint for prosperity to make our bold vision for this province a bright reality. We entered into a partnership with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and with our public employees to focus our strengths on developing strategies that would help us seize opportunities � opportunities that hold the promise of a new era of progress in Newfoundland and Labrador. Everything we have done in the past two years and everything we do in the years ahead in putting our plan into action is focused on laying a solid foundation on which we will build a future of growth and prosperity that touches every region of our province. Newfoundland and Labrador is on the right track; we are more confident today than we have ever been; and we are sensing the momentum of progress as our destination comes more clearly into focus with each passing day.

I want to thank our public employees and the people of our province for working with us to build a stronger, more sustainable Newfoundland and Labrador. The tremendous fiscal progress we have made together is among our greatest achievements. Together, we stood proudly behind our Premier when he fought for and achieved a tremendous victory on the sharing of offshore revenue under the new Atlantic Accord.
That victory, together with our other fiscal achievements in just the past two years, has strengthened the tools with which we are working to build a vibrant and self-reliant economy. With these tools in hand, we are strengthening our resolve to use them strategically, in the most effective ways we possibly can, so our efforts reinforce the foundation on which we are building and make Newfoundland and Labrador�s economy robust and resilient.
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