Question Period (04.17.2013)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s North.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. KIRBY: Mr. Speaker, public libraries are vital to literacy and life-long learning in our communities, yet government has decided to slash funding for public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador by over $1 million. We understand from the Library Association that there are now only nine librarians left to manage almost 100 libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Will the Minister of Education tell us who he consulted before he decided to cut public funding for libraries in this Province to the bone?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Education.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. JACKMAN: Mr. Speaker, beware of the man who gives misleading information. I am hoping one of these days he will ask me a question on the services for special education, which he clearly misinterpreted.

Mr. Speaker, we, as a government, went and had discussions with the Libraries Board. Mr. Speaker, we made a conscious effort that we were going to keep all – Mr. Speaker, I emphasize, all of our public libraries open. That means staff in those libraries are there; plus, Mr. Speaker, nine professional librarians to serve ninety-six libraries, a ratio of nearly one to nine.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s North.

MR. KIRBY: Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Education and the Minister of Justice met with a delegation from College of the North Atlantic in Burin and assured them that they would ask Cabinet to review the program cuts down there.

When will the Cabinet ministers from the Burin Peninsula be fulfilling their promise to ask Cabinet to overturn the cuts to the College of the North Atlantic in Burin?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SHEA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, we are at a point in time in Newfoundland and Labrador where over the next ten years we expect 70,000 job openings. Mr. Speaker, as we move forward and we look at the labour gaps we have to make sure that the College of the North Atlantic is positioned to offer the programs that will meet the labour market gaps of Newfoundland and Labrador and assist the people.

Mr. Speaker, there are –

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

I am sorry; the time for Question Period has expired.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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