The NL Fiscal Crisis
NL’s Fiscal Crisis and a Framework for Meeting the Challenge
Tuesday, March 29th, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
After several years of “have” status and high spending – both of these driven by huge increases in revenues – the government of Newfoundland and Labrador is facing an abrupt change in its financial position. Revenues have fallen drastically and large deficits have been incurred in the past two years, with larger ones are looming. Commitments to large capital projects make the borrowing requirements frighteningly high. This presentation reviews how the provincial government has come to be in this position and then sketches a framework for addressing the fiscal challenges, a framework that includes a new tax.
Dr. Jim Feehan is an economist with more than 30 years of experience in research, teaching and public policy. Originally from St. John’s, he holds advanced degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and Carleton University. He is a Professor of Economics at Memorial University where he has spent most of his career, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Western Ontario, Carleton University’s School of International Affairs, and the National University-Kiev in Ukraine.
Dr. Feehan has an international reputation in public finance and the economics of public investment, having published in academic journals in those areas. In 2003 and 2004 he was involved in a major international collaboration project dealing with public infrastructure, which was sponsored by the Economic Research Institute of Japan’s Cabinet Office. In 2006 he received the Faculty of Arts award for distinguished research. Also, he has served on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Economics and has been a member of the National Statistics Council as well as a member of the executive of the Canadian Economics Association. He is currently on the editorial board of the journal Energy Studies Review.
He has published academic research on many provincial public policy issues such as interprovincial trade, Churchill Falls, the health-care cost of smoking, sales taxes, Muskrat Falls, offshore oil development, fiscal federalism, municipal governance, and electricity policy. Additionally, he has completed various reports on provincial matters such as fisheries adjustment, bulk water exports, and federal presence.