This is the letter I sent to all members of the provincial government in protest of the outrageous decision to tax books and close more than half our libraries!
30 April 2016
Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
Cathy Bennett, Minister of Finance
Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
This week I was humiliated by my government.
These are the most troublesome words I have written in a very long time. And I have written many words in my time, most all of them about a homeland that I care for deeply.
It is a homeland I wish to see grow spiritually and intellectually, one I wish to see prosper. As do you, I do not doubt.
But taxing books and forcing a mass closure of libraries is absolutely not the way to go about it.
The citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador are in a financial quagmire, and, true enough, it is not the present government that put us there. But it is the members of this government who must demonstrate our priorities as a society as we struggle out of deficit and debt.
Literacy must be a priority.
Safeguarding easily accessed, knowledge-based resources must be a priority.
There are some belts that as citizens in a civilized, forward-thinking society we refrain from tightening. The belt that preserves and protects intellectual well-being is one of them, especially in light of the small fraction of the overall budget represented by this tax and these cuts.
I urge you all to reassess and reevaluate the choices being made.
We, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, need the conscientious, enlightened judgment of you the women and men elected to serve us.
in outrage and in hope,