Nfld. & Labrador

Population strategy short on specifics, goals, say opponents

A strategy to boost Newfoundland and Labrador's aging population is already facing some criticism over what was not included in Thursday's announcement.
Liberal MHA Cathy Bennett says very few details have been released on the population growth plan. (CBC)

A strategy to boost Newfoundland and Labrador's aging population is already facing some criticism over what was not included in Thursday's announcement.

NDP MHA George Murphy is concerned over how long it took for government to launch a strategy that was first announced two-and-a-half years ago by former premier Kathy Dunderdale.

"They should have addressed this years ago. This strategy has been too long in coming out. That's the first fault I think that everybody would find in this program, that's it's almost too little, too late," Murphy told reporters following the announcement.

Murphy said there is still a lot of questions that need to be answered. 

The Liberals noted there is a lack of any hard goals, and questioned how many people the province is attempting to attract with the plan.

The 'how'

"It lacks targets, it lacks measurables, it lacks accountability," said Liberal MHA Cathy Bennett. "Not surprising, it's consistent with the government, and it's important on an issue as critical as population that we have those measurements, targets and action plans in place.

St. John's Board of Trade CEO Nancy Healey looks forward to seeing details of how the province plans to hike the population (CBC)

Premier Paul Davis said the specific plan for the strategy will be unveiled over the coming weeks.

Not everyone was let down by Thursday's announcement.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association was part of the announcement, praising the strategy for addressing a lack of skilled workers.

It was a welcome announce for the St. John's Board of Trade, whose members have been feeling the pinch of few workers to choose from.

"We need to recruit people to come to this province," said CEO Nancy Healey 

"Whatever we implement we got to have some metrics behind it, some key indicators as to what we want to achieve. We want to see some specific numbers. I'd like to see some specific programs."

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