Notes from the Rotary Meeting 12.30pm Thursday, June 24, 2021
President Chris greeted everyone. 
He then welcomed guests Erin Bruce, Laura Bruce, daughters of the guest speaker Dennis Bruce later to be formally introduced by program-chair Jackie. Chris continued by welcoming Mayor Jim Parsons, Lionel Keeping, Jennifer Hartley, Craig Priddle, and Andre introduced his father-in-law Victor Kendall.
After the meal was finished, program-chair Jackie formally introduced Dennis Bruce before he began his presentation titled “Newfoundland and Labrador Fiscal Situation – A review of the Recent Evidence.” Dennis is the principal economist with HDR. Inc, an international consulting firm and is well versed in the economy of the province.
Dennis began by reviewing the recent fiscal evidence by identifying key points. Newfoundland revenue from 2019 indicated that the province had the highest revenue per capita but is one of the biggest provincial spenders per capita. The Howe report 2021 indicated that program spending needs to be restrained.  Lowering spending would be far better than increasing taxes, Dennis feels but the public needs to be told all the facts.  
 He went through the different revenue reports chronologically showing from the reports the conclusions drawn and the criteria that had been overlooked.  He noted that over the years no principal had been paid on the provincial debt and also when revenues drop it is not easy to change spending. The tax rate in the province is one of the highest in Canada. There needs to be a reset in the province but often in the reports such as the Peoples Recovery Discussion Paper on Provincial Spending the analysis was flawed.
 He finished his presentation by identifying some basic needs such as giving basic facts to the public and stakeholders and the action needed which should be transparent and follow due process. He feels comparing this province to the Maritime provinces is not reasonable, but the comparison would be better made to Manitoba and Saskatchewan as these provinces are more resource based.
Questions were asked after the presentation and then Dennis was thanked for his informative talk.
The meeting adjourned. The next meeting will be July 8 at which Chris will give his president’s report and the online auction will be reviewed.