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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

 

For Immediate Release

 

 

 

Three Lapses: Where’s Minister Mitchelmore?

 

Tracey Perry, Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “Recent lapses call into question the way Minister Chris Mitchelmore is administering his department.”

 

 

 

. The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society has reportedly been denied funding from the department for the next two years because of a minor application oversight, and the department apparently did not contact the society to get the oversight corrected before bringing down the axe. The Society runs the annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, a major event that features prominently in the province’s tourism marketing campaign.

 

 

 

. Minister Mitchelmore participated in and publicized an event launching a music recording service that reportedly will place a federal Crown corporation in direct competition with local businesses providing the same services. Only after the event did the Minister acknowledge that proper consultation and investigation might not have been done ahead of time. Then he tried to wash his hands of it.

 

 

 

. This follows Minister Mitchelmore touring a model biofuels operation in Tennessee and signing an agreement without the knowledge of at least two senior government officials managing a biofuels proposal for Botwood. In an internal email, his deputy minister told an assistant deputy minister: “It seems everyone is in on this file except you and I,” and concluded “Oh my.” Subsequently, the biofuels project planned for Botwood fell apart amid administrative chaos.

 

 

 

Perry said, “Things are not well on Minister Mitchelmore’s watch in the department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. Unfortunately for our province, this is the department that is supposed to be taking a lead role in growing economic opportunities through tourism, culture, the arts, and the industrial and innovation sectors. Not surprisingly, our province’s economy has been faltering without a plan. While the Minister and his colleagues keep dropping the ball, businesses are closing and people are leaving. This is no way to generate new opportunities where they’re needed in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

 

 

 

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications

 

Office of the Official Opposition (709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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