Judy Foote, MHA for Grand Bank District and Opposition Critic for the
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, says while she is
pleased that a call centre has been attracted to Mount Pearl creating 600
new jobs, she has concerns that government is refusing to tell what
subsidies have been given to the company and the lack of research Minister
Dunderdale completed before agreeing to pay taxpayer dollars to the company.
"It is very encouraging when new employment is created in this province,"
said Ms. Foote. "However, I am concerned that government is refusing to tell
the people of the province how much of their money is subsidizing this
operation. In the past, the amount of public money used to subsidize each
new call centre in the province was made public. It is not acceptable to
keep this information secret. It is the people’s money and they have a right
to know how much of their taxpayer dollars are actually being spent to
create these jobs.
"It also concerns me greatly that obviously Minister Dunderdale did no
research into this company before granting these subsidies. Media reports
have identified lawsuits that are pending against Teletech in the United
States relating to labour problems. A simple search on the internet would
have identified these concerns, yet Minister Dunderdale said she knew
nothing about these lawsuits. This government must be more diligent in being
accountable to the people of the province for their decisions.
"This is another example of a government that is not open, not
transparent, nor accountable. If this government wants to be open,
transparent and accountable they should start by releasing the taxpayer
subsidy that will be paid to this company. This information should be
"Also, similar to the fiasco surrounding the Sino Corporation and their
proposal to develop the Lower Churchill, this government seems to be flying
by the seat of its pants without doing any research on companies they are
encouraging to set up business in the province. While Teletech is a
well-established company, more diligence is needed to ensure that the
interests of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are protected."