N.L. groups looking for reviews to budget cuts

Numerous groups in the province have voiced concern over budget cuts, arguing that like this week's reversal to some justice department cuts, they also deserve a second look.
NLTA President Lily Cole says Newfoundland and Labrador students can't wait for a balanced provincial budget. (CBC)

The reversal of some justice department cuts has a number of other organizations wondering when it will be their turn.

On Thursday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government reversed some of the controversial cuts made to its justice department.

Numerous groups in the province have voiced concern over budget cuts, arguing that, like this week's reversal, they also deserve a second look.

Erin Alcock, president of the Newfoundland and Library Association, said she wants the $1.2 million in cuts to public libraries reviewed.

"I recognize that justice is a pretty important part of how our society runs, but I certainly hope that they would listen to voices from everybody," said Alcock. "Librarians have a lot of specialized education and background ... and we wish more time and more forethought had been given to the whole decision."

Other voices chiming in include those who work in the province's classrooms.

Lily Cole, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association, said their members won't be able to provide the same level of service in September after the budget cut 160 positions.

"When you see a student who needs a service and you can't provide it ... then it's very, very disheartening to be a teacher," said Cole.

Cole said a review can't wait and she wants it looked at now — just like the justice department.

"Our students cannot wait for a balanced budget."

Sectors that weren't hit hard when the provincial budget was brought in are also calling for reviews.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association says cuts to things like adult basic education could eventually impact people's health.

NLMA President Dr. Tony Gabriel said a person's level of income and where they live has a big impact on their overall well-being.

"A lot of these cuts are affecting people who are already in the lowest [income] groups, and their health will be impacted negatively, badly," said Gabriel.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale said the provincial government is not entrenched in budget decisions, adding reviews could be considered elsewhere — if she hears a compelling argument to do so.