Mar 29 2012
For immediate release
March 29, 2012
HALIFAX, NS – The NDP government has grown so out of touch with reality in Nova Scotia that they consider taking $743, and counting, in higher HST from every Nova Scotian to be “making life more affordable”.
“This is the greatest work of fiction I have ever seen,” said Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie. “It’s absolute fiction to tell Nova Scotians that they are putting more money back in their pockets when they have taken $743 from each of us in higher HST.”
“It’s fiction to tell people that they are investing in our kids and our schools when we know there are real cuts in the classroom,” said Baillie. “It’s fiction when they talk about their electricity plans for five paragraphs and not once mention the word ratepayers want to hear: ‘affordable’.”
“The throne speech is filled with outlandish claims about making life affordable when the NDP, on taxes and power rates, has made life far less affordable for Nova Scotians,” added Baillie.
“The biggest contrast between what the NDP is doing in Nova Scotia and what other provinces, like Ontario and New Brunswick are doing, is that those provinces have looked for savings on the spending side without asking people to pay higher taxes,” added Baillie. “Only in Nova Scotia, with the NDP, has the hardship been placed on the backs of families, each of which has already coughed up almost $3,000 worth of higher HST because of this out-of-touch government.”
The speech says in Yarmouth “you can see and feel the optimism for the future”. A line Baillie says is “completely out of touch with reality after the government’s decision to cut the ferry and cause tremendous hardship in the region”.
“It’s fiction to tell Nova Scotians that you are living within your means when you announce 16 new strategies, agencies, boards, systems, frameworks, plans, registries, reviews and programs in a speech,” concluded Baillie. “At least we can be clear about where all the HST went.”
1. The NDP celebrated Michelin’s contribution to jobs and the economy, even though according to Michelin, the NDP damaged Nova Scotia’s chances of future investment because of the First Contract Arbitration law.
2. The NDP talked about securing a 35-year price for hydroelectricity, but they have no idea what that price is because they have not done a cost-benefit analysis on our province’s role in the Lower Churchill project.
3. The NDP promised more access to care for seniors, but have not announced a single new nursing home bed since being elected. The waitlist has grown to the highest levels in years. The wait for nursing home bed in Cape Breton is over 400 days.
4. The NDP named three “gamechangers” as reasons to be hopeful for the future: the shipbuilding contract, the Lower Churchill project and the Shell Oil investment.
The speech says opportunities like these “rarely just drops into our laps. It must be pursued, planned for and seized.”
In the case of these projects, they did indeed fall into the NDP’s lap.
a) The shipbuilding contract began as the federal government’s merit-based shipbuilding procurement strategy (NSPS) and was won fairly by Irving Shipbuilding.
b) Interest in Nova Scotia’s participation in the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project began with a Memorandum of Understanding in 2008.
c) The Shell Oil commitment was secured thanks in great part to funding set aside after the 2007 Crown Share deal to begin detailed research into potential offshore sites. The funding was opposed by the then opposition NDP.
5. The NDP repeated their goal to get the province “back to balance”, which is where they found it. The fiscal year ended March 31, 2009 was in surplus.