THE TIME TO ACT ON THE ECONOMY IS NOW: MCNEIL
“Nova Scotians can’t afford to wait any longer for this government to act decisively,” explains McNeil. “Rodney MacDonald has said this province won’t feel the effects of a downturn for six to eight months. This proves how out of touch he really is.”
McNeil points out that several major Nova Scotia companies are already suffering due to worldwide economic decline – a fact that has clearly eluded MacDonald.
“This government has expertly handcuffed our province’s economic growth for nearly a decade,” said McNeil. “The MacDonald-led Conservatives completely failed to manage the economy during what were relatively good times, leaving Nova Scotia with absolutely no financial flexibility to deal with an impending downturn.”
“The fact is that from 2002 to 2006, Nova Scotia’s economic growth was the worst in the country – 10th out of 10 provinces,” reminded the Liberal leader.
McNeil noted that he hosted a small business roundtable earlier on Wednesday, where Nova Scotia-made jobs led the agenda. The Liberal leader also plans on hosting a series of economic roundtables throughout the province in the coming weeks and months.
“Small business is the strength of any economy and that certainly holds true for this province,” contends McNeil. “Having this open dialogue with the business community will help us move the economy of Nova Scotia forward instead of simply waiting for a recession as Rodney would have us do.”
“While the United States is now coping with the effects of poor management at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Nova Scotia economy has been long suffering due to the repeated failures of Roddie Mac.”
Premier’s Priorities Are Mixed Up
The demise of the Atlantic accord gave us our first glimpse at the type of leadership brandished by the Harper-MacDonald team. Premier MacDonald threw Nova Scotians and MP Bill Casey under the bus in order to cater to Prime Minister Harper’s demands. Stephen Harper broke his word to Nova Scotians, and instead of demonstrating leadership by standing up for his province Rodney backed up the prime minister.
These days, it appears the old team is back together again. After a politically motivated Harper government yanked two coast guard vessels from our waters, the premier “defended” Nova Scotians by writing the prime minister a letter. A partisan political decision costs our local economy 124 jobs and an estimated $12 million, and the premier couldn’t even place a telephone call to his close personal friend?
The Harper-led federal Conservatives then attempted unsuccessfully to stop a provincial committee from exploring the loss of those same coast guard jobs last week. That provincial committee moved to condemn the transfer of the icebreakers and once again, the MacDonald government let Nova Scotians down. All three members of the premier’s caucus present voted in favour of moving the ships to Newfoundland; more to the point, they voted in accordance to the prime minister’s wishes without the slightest regard for their own province.
Throughout this federal election campaign, Premier MacDonald has repeatedly and purposely misled Nova Scotians by echoing Stephen Harper’s inaccurate rhetoric around the Green Shift. Whether from MacDonald or Harper, the people of this province are still not hearing about the federal Conservatives’ plan to put a price on carbon.
Every party and every leader, including Stephen Harper, will be putting a price on carbon in this country. However, only one leader plans to give that money back to Canadians, and that leader is Stephane Dion.
Under the leadership of Rodney MacDonald, Nova Scotians are coping with some of the highest gas prices in the country, thanks to a failed attempt at regulation. The premier’s political stubbornness and absolute refusal to admit his mistake with regulation is costing the public millions of dollars. We are being gouged daily at the pumps, and the only way to stop the suffering is by scrapping gas regulation immediately.
Liberals have been calling for the end of gas regulation since its inception; the premier refuses to listen.
A leader recognizes his mistakes and acts decisively to correct them. Premier MacDonald has failed on both counts.
Under the leadership of Rodney MacDonald, Nova Scotians are facing a fifth power rate increase in seven years and the indication that volatile electricity prices will only continue to skyrocket. A decade of Conservative neglect has left this province entirely addicted to imported fossil fuels and dirty coal. While the rest of the world is moving to renewable green energies, the premier lacks the vision to move Nova Scotia Power in that direction.
A leader has vision and a viable plan to secure a prosperous future for his constituents. Premier MacDonald has failed on both counts.
Without energy security, the future for Nova Scotia appears bleak. Green energy can provide that security and is the only way to stabilize the ever-increasing price of electricity.
Nova Scotia has tremendous assets in wind, tidal and solar power generation, but Premier MacDonald’s indifference is allowing those opportunities to go to waste. In our own backyard, other provinces have begun generating renewable energy that Nova Scotia simply can not take advantage of. The premier has allowed this province to become an energy island with no means to draw green power from regional sources.
The premier shouldn’t be acting like he’s still Stephen Harper’s campaign manager here in Nova Scotia; he should be acting like a leader by standing up for Nova Scotians.