By Adrienne Bernstein
The throne speech on March 29th began the spring session at Province House, and despite being titled, “The Future Starts Here,” the speech actually discussed little about the future.
The throne speech listed past accomplishments such as lower power rates, more jobs, better health care, concentration of the arts and affordable post-secondary education–all attributed to the NDP government.
But Nova Scotia’s opposition leaders felt the speech did not paint a realistic picture of the province.
|baillie on throne speech
Jaimie Baillie before the throne speech.
“This is the greatest work of fiction that I’ve ever seen,” Jaimie Baillie, the PC leader, said before the speech. “So we are treating this as it deserves to be treated: as evidence that the government has completely lost touch with reality.”
|McNiel on education
Stephen McNeil on the throne speech and education.
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil said, “Nova Scotians will be disappointed from what they hear today. There is nothing in this throne speech that addresses the rising power costs in Nova Scotia. Nothing in this helps Nova Scotians with the rising cost of gasoline. The only thing that they’ve done in this province for students has been cutting funding from education,” said McNeil.
Another issue brought up in the speech was the plan to move government jobs out of Halifax and into more rural areas of Nova Scotia. Though the plan could potentially create more jobs across the province, oppositions leaders didn’t like that either.
“Our concern is that they are not moving jobs, but growing bureaucracy,” said McNeil. “We are seeing the fruits of the labour of this government by the fact that there are fewer Nova Scotians working full-time then there were when they took power.”
Premier Darrell Dexter stressed the fact that this was not just about relocating jobs, but setting up departments in rural areas where they could be more effective.
“What we are talking about is that there are some services that can be better delivered from communities outside of Halifax,” Dexter said.
As for who would move, Dexter was reluctant to name departments, but was confident that they would be revealed as the session went on.