PC AGM 2016: Believe in Nova Scotia
Baillie blasts McNeil for repeatedly breaking Nova Scotians trust
February 5, 2016
For immediate release
HALIFAX, NS –Jamie Baillie kicked off the 2016 annual Tory convention by drawing a stark contrast between the McNeil Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. Baillie says the Progressive Conservatives believe in Nova Scotia, while the Liberals are content to manage decline.
The PC leader took aim squarely at Stephen McNeil tonight, calling him out for the Liberals’ dishonest changes to the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program.
“The McNeil Liberals know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. They have no idea how to build a better Nova Scotia. They don’t even know how to keep their own promises,” he said pointing to the Liberals’ biggest breach of trust so far with our seniors.
Last March, Health Minister Leo Glavine vowed, “While I am Minister of Health there won’t be an increase in premiums in Seniors Pharmacare.”
Not even a full year later, the Liberals jacked up seniors’ premiums by almost 20 per cent. Some people are hit with 200 per cent increases.
“Minister Glavine has got to go and the Liberal pharmacare changes must be stopped,” said Baillie to the packed room at the Westin Nova Scotian. “Seniors will not trust this government again.”
Seniors are now added to the growing list of people who are all living with the consequences of Stephen McNeil’s broken promises like those in the film industry and those who still pay high costs for electricity.
Baillie focused much of his opening remarks on the need to rebuild our economy and initiate growth.
“Job growth is our North Star. Everything we do is guided by building a strong, prosperous, self-reliant Nova Scotia,” said Baillie. “The best way to build new hospitals, secure a sustainable pharmacare program and have safer roads, is to turn on the economic taps and create good jobs here at home.”
Baillie took the opportunity to outline the next plank of his plan to fix the mental health system. He said a Progressive Conservative government will roll out a school-based adolescent mental health program right across the province. It will cover all the bases: education, diagnosis and treatment. It will empower teachers and students. It will connect youth who need help with the right community resources.
Fixing the mental health system is a priority for Baillie and the PCs.
“Give our children the modern tools they need and the help they need, when and where they need it, and we will make a real difference in their future and the future of this province,” said Baillie. “This is an investment we are prepared to make, because in Nova Scotia, we can always afford to do the right thing.”
Baillie left the Tory crowd with one final thought.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the Progressive Conservative Party, thank you for all you do. Thank you for standing with your elected PC Caucus,” he said. “We help our neighbors in need. We hope to welcome more and more people to call this place home. So believe in yourselves. Believe in Nova Scotia. The best is yet to come.”
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Leader’s Remarks: Believe In Nova Scotia
Good evening. It’s a great privilege to be back together with all of you again this year. You are family to me. Our great Progressive Conservative family.
I am joined once again by Sandra, Alex and Hannah; and also by my mom, Bev, and sister, Jackie. As you know, we recently lost someone very special to us: my Dad Bob.
It is a sad time…and we have been comforted by the many cards, letters, texts and emails of support we received from you. I read each and every one of them.
Thank you for your kindness, generosity and caring for me and my family.
I’d also like to thank our team of PC MLAs: Pat Dunn, Chris d’Entremont, Alfie MacLeod, Tim Houston, John Lohr, Eddie Orrell, Karla MacFarlane, Larry Harrison and Allan MacMaster.
They are terrific PC standard bearers. They are strong representatives in their areas. I am grateful for their support, particularly over these past difficult weeks.
So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the best political convention in Canada!
Let’s give a big thanks to the organizers: Brian Wong, Alice McCarron, and their terrific team.
By the way, I hear the Liberals are changing the registration fees for their convention. If you are over 65, the fee will triple. They say the increase is needed, but really they just want the extra money.
I do want to take a moment and thank a special friend of mine for her years of loyal service, as our President.
I am so proud of her. No one has worked harder for the grassroots of this Party. Thank you Janet F-D!
We have many special guests with us tonight, including the other Atlantic PC Leaders, and several past Premiers.
I have to single out one of them. You see, he is a constituent of mine: former Premier Roger Bacon!
I am pleased to extend a special welcome to the Leader of the Official Opposition for Canada, the Hon. Rona Ambrose!
Rona, welcome to the world of watching Liberals break their wild election promises. We are 2 years into it here.
We may even make a movie about it. We’re going to call it: “Pulp Fiction”. Then again, who would produce it. We all know what the Liberals did to the film industry here.
My friends and family of the Progressive Conservative Party, I know 2015 was a challenging year. We went through a lot together, and we stuck it out.
We were held together by our solid progressive conservative values.
These are the values that make our Party great. And we are very proud of them.
· Be PROUD that we are the Party that brought Nova Scotia into Confederation, creating the greatest country in the world.
· Be PROUD that we are the Party that modernized our school system under Bob Stanfield, ensuring every Nova Scotia child gets a good start.
· Be PROUD that we are the Party that brought medicare to Nova Scotia, so that every familygets the care they need.
· Be PROUD that we are the Party that got the offshore going, and negotiated the Atlantic Accord, ensuring that Nova Scotians would forever be the beneficiaries of our own resources.
· Be PROUD that our Party modernized the Community College: A big investment made within a balanced budget!
These are accomplishments that drew me to this great Party.
And they bring you and I together again here tonight.
And remember this: your Party, the Progressive Conservative Party, will always be:
· the first to elect a female MLA.
· the first to appoint a female cabinet minister
· the FIRST IN CANADA to recognize same-sex unions
· the FIRST IN CANADA to invest in health promotion
· the FIRST IN CANADA to create a Department of Immigration.
And someday soon, someday very soon…it will be the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia that will fix the mental health care system in this province…so that thousands of families will finally get the help they need and deserve!
Our party has an impressive history. And make no mistake; this Party has an exciting and bright future.
And I’ll tell you why. Nova Scotians needs us.
They need us to be strong. They need us to be brave. They need us to persevere. They need us to stay true to our proven values.
As Progressive Conservatives, we are at our best when we observe one simple truth:
It is our responsibility to represent those that need us…not only those that agree with us.
After 2 years of the McNeil Liberals, Nova Scotians need us now more than ever!
The Liberal have no vision. They offer no hope.
They arbitrarily cut and freeze things: and the deficit gets bigger. The debt goes ever higher.
The McNeil Liberals know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.
They have no idea how to build a better Nova Scotia.
They don’t even know how to keep their own promises.
· The McNeil Liberals said they would break NS Power’s monopoly. Now we know the only thing they broke was their promise.
· The McNeil Liberals promised real education reform. Then they traded it away in a backroom deal with the Teachers Union executive.
· The McNeil Liberals spent 2 years avoiding the Ivany Report, rather than accept responsibility for doing something about it. It fell to us to step up and dissent.
And their biggest breach of trust of all – they completely misled our seniors about the Pharmacare program.
Today’s seniors made this province. They worked hard for their money. For decades, they paid into their pensions and saved for their retirement.
Ladies and gentlemen, when the government takes more from seniors, they have a moral obligation to tell them the truth about why. Not half-truths. Not fudged numbers.
The fact is, they didn’t tell the truth. They should be held accountable for it. That’s why Leo Glavine has to go.
And the Liberal Pharmacare changes must be stopped. Seniors deserve a plan that is fair…and reasonable…and honest!
If the Liberals won’t do that, I can assure you WE WILL.
The Liberals don’t even trust Nova Scotians to do important work here.
Rather than believe in local industry, they outsource our jobs and tax dollars.
· They sent our tourism contract to Toronto. We would keep it here at home.
· They send our medical tests to Minnesota. The US medical system is doing our lab work!
They don’t believe Nova Scotians can do these jobs. Well, we do!
The Liberals don’t trust Nova Scotians to safely develop our own natural resources.
· We have an abundance of natural gas underground, representing thousands of new jobs. The Liberals saw this as a problem, and they banned it. We see it as an opportunity to be self-reliant.
· There are dozens of new, sustainable aquaculture sites waiting to be opened up. Real jobs in farmed mussels, scallops, and more. The Liberals sit on their applications. We want those jobs to start now.
· 3000 young Nova Scotians working in the film industry trusted Stephen McNeil. They paid for that trust with their jobs. The Liberals cut them off. We will bring them back.
The McNeil Liberals are the party of no hope, no vision, no growth, no opportunity, and broken trust.
They would rather manage our slow decline, than lead us to a brighter tomorrow.
I reject that. I believe in the promise of Nova Scotia.
As Progressive Conservatives, we will always choose growth and opportunity and hope.
If you remember one thing tonight, remember this:
Job growth is our North Star. Everything we do is guided by building a strong, prosperous, self-reliant Nova Scotia.
I still dream of that future day when, as Premier, I rip up the last equalization cheque, and tell the rest of Canada: “thanks very much, we will take it from here!”
So here’s a message to Stephen McNeil’s Liberals:
the best way to build new hospitals, secure a fair pharmacare program, and have safer roads, is to turn on the economic taps and create good jobs here at home.
THIS is why Nova Scotians need us now!
Over the past 2 years, it has been our job, as Official Opposition, to point out the challenges our province faces.
Now we must show Nova Scotians that we see the opportunities that lie ahead.
This is what I am calling on you all to do now.
The Progressive Conservative Party has a history of doing great things. It is a history as old and proud as Confederation itself.
Now we are being called upon to do it again. And we will!
Progressive Conservatives believe in growth and opportunity, ambition and vision, trust and compassion.
In other words, we believe in the future of Nova Scotia, and the Liberals don’t.
Our confidence is rooted in our time-proven progressive conservative values.
· Trust: Leaders do what they said they would do. The film industry believed this, and we support them.
· Accountability: Leaders are accountable for creating growth and opportunity. Nova Scotians believe this. That’s why we dissented so strongly when the Liberals ducked on the Ivany Report.
· Compassion: Leaders help families in need. That’s why we will be the ones to fix the mental health system.
These are the values that I learned growing up at One MacKay Court, Truro, NS.
Back then, on that street, we knew our neighbours. We trusted each other. We looked after each other.
We didn’t lock our doors at night. As kids, we knew we could go anywhere in safety. (We just had to get home when the streetlights came on.)
The Liberals have broken the trust of Nova Scotians. We will restore it.
I’m not saying we are perfect. We make our share of mistakes. We don’t have all the answers.
And we can’t run on sex appeal…alone!
But I will tell you this: I will always tell you the truth.
When I am Premier, Nova Scotians will be able to trust their government again.
So tonight I have a message for the thousands of Nova Scotians who are struggling with mental illness:
Whether you are a patient, or a caregiver, the Progressive Conservative Party is here for you.
This is one of the most pressing healthcare issues of our time.
Tonight we roll out the next step in our plan to fix the mental healthcare system.
We will focus on adolescent mental health.
Too many young Nova Scotians are struggling, and may not even know why. We will get them the help they need. All of them.
I’m proud to announce tonight that a Progressive Conservative government will deliver a school-based adolescent mental health program to every single young Nova Scotian.
It will cover all the bases: education, diagnosis, treatment.
Give our children the modern tools they need, and the help they need, when and where they need it, and we will make a real difference in their future, and the future of this province.
It takes vision. It takes commitment. And it takes money.
This is an investment we are prepared to make.
Because, in Nova Scotia, we can always afford to do the right thing.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Progressive Conservative Party. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for standing with your elected PC Caucus.
Thank you for the calls you make, the letters you write, the meetings you attend, and the kindnesses that you always show.
Thank you for standing together with me.
You and I know, in our heart of hearts, Nova Scotia can be so much more than it is today.
We don’t expect government to solve all our problems, but we know we can do better.
Nova Scotia can be optimistic, hopeful, and ambitious.
Nova Scotia can be strong, prosperous and self-reliant.
Together we will work hard, keep a fairer share of our earnings, help our neighbour in need.
And we will welcome more and more people to call this place home.
My fellow Progressive Conservatives, take pride in all we have done together.
Look forward with confidence to the great things we are going to do next!
Believe in yourselves. Believe in Nova Scotia!
Because the best is yet to come.