ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A senior policy advisor says he expects Newfoundland and Labrador to continue as a so-called have province for at least the next 20 years despite the looming deficit.
Wade Locke, an economist advising the province on the budget, says without change the current deficit trend will persist.
He also says with projects like Hebron, Vale and Muskrat Falls waiting in the wings and an aging workforce, labour will have to be imported in order to fill jobs.
However, Locke says wages will eventually be in line with Alberta’s and enhanced mining activity will help with the financial pressures from high debt levels and increasing health care costs.
Locke says the province will continue to benefit from revenues generated by natural resources.