Baillie talks about plan to rebuild the economy at annual Leader’s Dinner

October 20, 2014 at 9:00 pm

PC Priority: Jobs
Baillie talks about plan to rebuild the economy at annual Leader’s Dinner

HALIFAX, NS – Opposition leader Jamie Baillie says opening doors for new opportunities to create jobs, rebuilding our economy and bringing families back home is the PC Party’s number one priority.

Baillie, addressing the crowd at the PC Party’s annual Leader’s Dinner, said the McNeil Liberals’ ban on shale gas development is wrong because it puts more Nova Scotians on westbound flights in search of good jobs.

“The Liberals failed an important test. They could have said yes to new ways to create jobs. But instead, they said no. They lack the competence and courage to try something new,” said Baillie. “Nova Scotians deserve a government that works hard to make this province better, richer and more prosperous, instead of banning new ways to do so.”

Baillie talked about Rob Henderson. For the last two years, Mr. Henderson has been commuting back and forth to Alberta as a crane operator.  Last month, his family made the heart-wrenching decision to follow him and moved out west too.

Baillie said there is no fact or figure that makes a more powerful argument for why this ban is wrong, than the story of Rob Henderson and his family.

“I want this to be a place where people choose to work and build a better life. Not a place where they used to live,” said Baillie. “I want to be the Premier who rips up that very last “have-not” cheque coming from out west and says, ‘Thank you very much. We’ll take it from here.’”

Baillie was joined tonight by the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, the MP for Nepean-Carleton.

“Jamie is asking Nova Scotians to ‘say yes’ to jobs, low taxes, and responsible resource development,” said Poilievre. “So when he invited me to speak at his dinner I could only ‘say yes’, as well.”

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Background: PC Leader Jamie Baillie’s Remarks:

I know we are all here tonight because we want a better Nova Scotia.

We want our kids to know that they can get a job – and have a brighter future—here at home.
We want our province to be strong and vibrant.
Each one of us yearns to reject that awful “have-not” label that holds us back and instead embrace a better future.

But we can’t get there by saying no to new ways of creating jobs for Nova Scotians, here at home.

We face an important test. Will we be a province that boldly looks to the future and says yes to the opportunities that lie ahead?

Or will we keep saying no to new ways to move forward?

Saying no is exactly what the Liberals have done with their ban on onshore gas development.

With that ban, they say no to all those Nova Scotians who are working out west, but want to be home. They say no to all those young people, coming up through our schools, hoping they don’t have to move away.

They say no to all those parents and grandparents, who want a united family, here in their home province.

They expect people to stay, despite saying no to new ways to create jobs.

That’s why the ban is wrong.

Let me tell you about Rob Henderson.
For two years, Rob has been travelling back and forth to Alberta for work.
His family – his wife and two young children – are here at home, without their Dad.

Like thousands of others, Rob was forced to choose between living here – where his roots are, where his heart is, where his family lives and seeking work out west. It is a sad, but common choice.

But that is only part of the story. Last month, the Henderson family made another fateful decision. They want their family to be together. The only place they can do that and earn a decent living is in Alberta. They made the heart-wrenching decision to follow Rob and moved out west too.

That’s why the ban is wrong

My friends, there is lots of research into onshore gas development; but I can tell you, without any doubt, there is no fact or figure that makes a more powerful argument for why this ban is wrong, than the story of Rob Henderson and his family.

We all know a Rob Henderson.
Someone who wants a good job here at home.
Who volunteers in his community.
Who pays his taxes and quietly raises his family.
But who feels he has no choice but to leave.

That’s why the ban in wrong.

During this summer’s PC Jobs Tour, Nova Scotians from all over this province made a few things very clear to me.
They want jobs.
They are tired of going out West.

They miss their children, or their grandchildren.
They are crying out for meaningful, well-paying jobs that allow them to live and work here at home, and be with their families. Every day.

The Liberal ban on onshore gas says no to all those Nova Scotians. And condemns them to more west-bound flights.

That’s why the ban is wrong.

And it’s all because the Liberals lacked the competence and courage to say yes to something new.

The recent Wheeler Report gave them a path forward. A way to say yes. A difficult path for sure, with hard work to get there.

But the Liberals chose not to take the hard path. Or do the hard work. They just said no. We’re not ready for it.

There is no courage in that.
There is no leadership in that.
And there certainly aren’t any jobs in it.

It’s exactly the same kind of old, incompetent, political decision-making that has held us back for too long.

I’m sure that 40 or 50 years ago, someone said Nova Scotians were not ready for offshore development. Thankfully, we had leaders then with the foresight and competence to make it work.

I’m sure that 100 years ago, somebody said that Nova Scotians were not ready for the horseless carriage. Thankfully, somebody had the foresight to build a few roads and encourage private businesses to start selling cars.

Well, saying no can become a habit. A dangerous habit that holds us back. That’s why we must condemn a government that says no to new ways to create new jobs. Particularly at a time when the Ivany Report tells us it is “Now or Never.”

Nova Scotia is being held back. Again.
And we needn’t be — our province is blessed with great natural resources.

We have a world renowned lobster fishery, a great ground fishery.
We have Acadian forests that grow and make the best wood-fibre in the world.
We have offshore wealth and great onshore potential.
We have good schools and universities that graduate smart, young people who want to take on the world.

We have all the ingredients to transform Nova Scotia from a ‘have not’ province, to a ‘have’ province. All the ingredients but one – a government with the competence, and courage, to seize the opportunity for new jobs that is just within their grasp.

I have been particularly proud to hear the Progressive Conservative MLAs stand in the Legislature, on behalf of their constituents, and say clearly: this ban is wrong.

After all, we want to be a ‘have’ province.
We want to be a province that contributes to this great country, instead of cashing those ‘have not’ cheques.

I want to be the Premier who rips up that very last cheque coming from out west and says, “Thank you very much. We’ll take it from here.” That’s what I want!

And we know it can be done. Saskatchewan once faced many of the same challenges we face here.

Instead of telling the world Saskatchewan is “Closed-for-Business”, they found a sustainable way to benefit from developing their own resources.

Since then, 35,000 onshore gas wells have been drilled in Saskatchewan. Were there any incidents? Yes there were. As Premier Brad Wall points out:

“Here are the incidents that we found related to (hydraulic fracturing): Our kids are coming home. They are starting new businesses. We have jobs being created for young people here and we have a broader tax base in which we can afford education and health-care…”

That’s what we want for Nova Scotia!

In the last year, more jobs were created in Saskatchewan than anywhere else in Canada. At the same time, Nova Scotia lost another 8,700 jobs.

That’s why the ban is wrong.

Saskatchewan’s population keeps rising.
Nova Scotia lost another 1,200 people earlier this year alone.

That’s why the ban is wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want Nova Scotia to be a strong part of this great country. Paying in instead of taking out.

I want it to be a place where people choose to work and build a better life. Not a place where they used to live.

I want Nova Scotians to go to national conferences, Premiers’ meetings and business meetings, with their heads held high and speak proudly about what we’re doing to develop our part of Canada.

That’s why the ban is wrong.

The PCs say yes to all of this, and more. The Liberals just say no.

To me, that no is offensive to the very values we Nova Scotians hold dear.

It offends all those families who work hard to bring home a pay cheque that they earned themselves. Who make sacrifices to balance the family budget and maybe save a little money for their kids’ future.

It’s a slap in the face to everyone who tries to leave their small part of this province better off than they found it: who volunteer in their community, who go to the fire hall or the legion.
Who coach minor hockey or help out an elderly neighbour.

Proud Nova Scotians want to earn their way. They don’t want a handout, or to let someone else pay their way. And they want their own government to act as they do.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Liberals have not only put a big “Closed for Business” sign on our province. They’ve also put up a flashing neon sign across the whole country that says to all of Canada: “Please send money. We’re not willing to do it ourselves.”

That’s why the ban is wrong.

Let me be clear. We agree with Wheeler Report. It says go slow, but go!

We know we need strong regulations to protect our environment, while we develop a sustainable onshore industry.

We know we need a government with the competence to enforce those very regulations.

We know that instead of saying no, we must be the best at getting this right.

We know it because we have done it before, with our offshore resources!

Nova Scotians are looking for strong, competent leadership. They deserve a government that works hard to make this province better, richer and more prosperous, instead of banning new ways to do so.

At its heart, this is not really a debate about onshore gas. It is a debate about whether we will be a province that boldly looks to the future and says YES to the opportunities that lie ahead, or whether we will keep saying no.

Do we embrace the new, the untried, the challenging… And accept the rewards that will come our way if we just have the courage to try?

Or do we say no and send another generation down the road?

No matter what anyone tells you, remember this:

This is a great province. It is not a “have not” place. It is just a “hasn’t yet.”

But someday, someday soon, it won’t be held back any longer. This is a “have” province in waiting.

So join me in tossing aside the old, the tired, the sorry broken record of saying no and make your choice to say yes.

Say yes to Rob Henderson and his family. Say yes to Nova Scotia. Say yes to the rest of Canada.

Say yes to the opportunities that lie ahead and reach out for that better future.
We have a plan to rebuild our economy and bring Nova Scotia families back home.

So let’s get going.

Author: admin

Recognized and known for his strong leadership in the business world and as a public servant, PC Party leader Jamie Baillie has a strong plan to rebuild Nova Scotia’s economy and get us on the right track. He is a competent leader who will create more jobs and bring our sons and daughters home so Nova Scotia can grow.

For five consecutive years, Jamie was recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs. As CEO, Jamie led Credit Union Atlantic to steady growth and increased dividends for members. He is a member of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was named a Fellow Chartered Accountant, the highest designation for that profession.