Budget 2021

The legislature resumed a degree of normalcy on March 25th with Labi Kousoulis, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, in new footwear presenting a budget and the opposition leaders having a chance to be heard. The budget has the right goals but the minister’s projections are probably too optimistic.
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Beware of Political Promises About Climate Change

Nova Scotian electricity consumers have seen their bills go up and up. The reasons for that are well hidden.
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Beware of Governments Announcing Bold Expensive Projects

Have you had a good look at your electricity bill lately? Some of the power you are paying, for now, will not be received for 35 years.
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Let The Owls Head Proponents Make Their Case

The 2017 mandate letter from then Premier Stephen McNeil to then Environment Minister Iain Rankin is the most up-to-date version as of March 19th. It instructed him to consider both the economy and the environment in exercising his responsibilities:

“I ask that the department continue to support a business environment which is conducive to innovation and economic development, striking the right balance, ensuring that effective regulation protects the interests of Nova Scotians while enhancing our provincial prosperity.”
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The First Test of a Leader is the People They Appoint

When filling crucial roles in government it is essential to find candidates with the right competencies. In the case of the Trudeau government, that has been crowded out by other considerations.
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Health Care: More Thoughtfulness In Party Promises Would Be Welcome

The McNeil government established an enviable track record of balanced budgets and fiscal discipline. The COVID epidemic has thrown spending caution out the window provincially and federally, not that there was much caution in Ottawa.
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We Need A Faster Pace Of Home Construction But There Are Not Enough Tradespeople

The single most welcome achievement of the McNeil years was the uptick in Nova Scotia’s population, which is closing in on one million and expected to continue strong growth. The new arrivals, many recruited from around the world by employers here, are a wonderful addition to our economic, social, and cultural fabric.
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Can The Government And The Teachers Union Get Along?

In 2015, the Liberal government issued an ambitious plan for improving our schools. Of particular importance were the recommendations for changes to be negotiated with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU). There have been many bends in the road since then.
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The Teachers’ Plan Deficit Needs to be Addressed

The government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union are doing a disservice to taxpayers and today’s teachers, who are paying for the inadequacy of past contributions by and for the teachers that retired long ago.

In contrast, the public-sector pension plans for civil service and health care workers are well-funded and can be expected to keep their promises to pensioners over the long term.

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There Is No Business Case For The Football Stadium

A year ago this month, an article in this space questioned the proposal for a football stadium in Halifax. The recently released update from Schooners Sports and Entertainment (SSE) confirms some of the year-ago concerns and adds new ones. Some of today’s text is repeated from a year ago.
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Transit Choices

A study of the possibilities for commuter rail is underway. It looks expensive. That is not the only option that should be considered. Read More »