Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball listens as Finance Minister Cathy Bennett presents the 2016 provincial budget at the House of Assembly in St.John's, Thursday, April 14, 2016. (Photo: Paul Daly/CP)
"There was no way in good conscience that I could support (the budget) moving forward ... because that's not what my constituents wanted."He said he made his decision to vote against the budget after a recent caucus meeting where he advocated backing away from the levy, and found his proposals were firmly rejected. He also questioned going forward with funding all-day kindergarten when other existing programs were facing lower budgets. "There was no way in good conscience that I could support (the budget) moving forward ... because that's not what my constituents wanted," he said. Lane said other members of the assembly are facing similar calls from the constituents over issues such as the closure of libraries and the increase in a variety of taxes and fees.
'I own this action'But he didn't predict a sudden rush of other Liberals following him out of caucus. "I can only speak for my actions. I own this action. I'll stick with it and live with any consequences," he said. The Liberal government has said it was forced to bring forward the new taxes, fees and the levy, along with a $1.8 billion deficit, due to the province's plunging oil royalties and other falling revenues. — By Michael Tutton in Halifax.