HALIFAX, NS – Today, as the Legislature opens for the spring session, the Progressive Conservatives are taking aim at Stephen McNeil for his lack of vision and action over the last three-plus years.
“Stephen McNeil’s message has been to constantly tell us we are poor, we are have-nots, and that we can’t afford things like family doctors, proper long-term care and improvements to classrooms. I don’t buy any of that,” says Baillie. “I am confident and optimistic about our province’s future. I know unleashing Nova Scotia’s full potential requires a clear vision and the willingness to take action.”
Baillie says although he’s concerned there won’t be an opportunity to debate the budget, he intends to use what there is of a spring session to hold Stephen McNeil accountable for three years of crying poor, only to announce millions of dollars in spending on the eve of an election.
The lowlight of Premier McNeil’s last-minute electioneering and backroom dealing was the recent and very questionable purchase of the “Whopper Drop” land in Bayers Lake from a high-profile Liberal donor.
“There is no excuse as to why Stephen McNeil did not tender this land purchase or have better answers to basic questions about the deal,” says Baillie. “Buying the land from a past Liberal donor, just days before an election might be called, is another example of McNeil’s poor judgment. Nova Scotians can’t be bought. People can see this for what it really is.”
The PCs will introduce four pieces of legislation aimed at making lives better for Nova Scotians, including a bill requiring provincially-appointed judges to take specific training in sexual assault laws. The others include repealing Bill 75, while maintaining the commission on inclusion; requiring the Nova Scotia Health Authority to publish important information online; and requiring the government to file an intergenerational report every five years to assess the long-term sustainability of current government policies.
The PCs will also use the first day back in the Legislature to press for an emergency debate on electoral boundaries. In the winter, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal found that the process last used to set our electoral boundaries was unconstitutional and not justified. La Fédération Acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse has asked the government to address this immediately.
“Stephen McNeil should set up an independent boundaries commission immediately to address the electoral boundaries issue prior to going to the polls,” says Baillie. “This is a major issue that impacts every Nova Scotian. It’s stubborn and bullheaded for Stephen McNeil to push ahead with his own political agenda rather than making sure the boundaries are constitutional before an election.”