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RCO





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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Week 1 of the Nova Scotia election campaign: the promises



Sarah Ritchie
Sarah Ritchie, Reporter

@SarahRitchieCTV
.
Published Friday, May 5, 2017 4:43PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, May 5, 2017 8:00PM ADT

Monday

Liberals: Leader Stephen McNeil begins his day in Halifax with an infrastructure announcement. The Liberals promise to spend $390 million over the next seven years on projects like road maintenance, highway twinning, and school renovation and construction. McNeil says this would be “the largest program of infrastructure modernization” in the province’s recent history. The Liberals estimate this will create thousands of jobs.

Key quote: “For the past several years, Nova Scotians have worked hard with their Liberal government to restore the province’s financial health. Thanks to that hard work, we are now in a better position to responsibly invest in our future.” – Stephen McNeil

Progressive Conservatives: Leader Jamie Baillie introduces the first “major plank” in his party’s platform: the $2 billion Rebuild Nova Scotia fund. Baillie says this 10-year fund will be 50 per cent federal dollars, and will be directed toward projects like the QEII hospital rebuild, highway twinning, and rural high speed Internet. The $1 billion of provincial funding will be realized by “anchoring the province’s debt-to-GDP” at the current rate for 10 years and maintaining balanced operating budgets, Baillie says. The PCs estimate this plan will create more than 22,000 jobs over a decade.

Key quote: “I intend to be the premier to make the business case to Ottawa that we need them to work with us to rebuild our province’s infrastructure and put Nova Scotians back to work.” – Jamie Baillie

NDP: Leader Gary Burrill announces that his party will make a $120 million investment in front-line health care over four years to tackle the province’s doctor shortage. The NDP says there are 106,000 people in Nova Scotia without a family doctor and this investment will “move us very seriously” toward the goal of providing a primary care provider for every Nova Scotian. An NDP factsheet shows the party estimates it could staff 60 collaborative care centres with that funding.

Key quote: “A government of the New Democratic Party will make the providing of primary health care a singular focus and priority of our administration, and an NDP government will also be – I am happy to make this commitment – an active partner with doctors, patients and communities.” – Gary Burrill

Tuesday

Liberals: Leader Stephen McNeil promises investments that he says will encourage young people to stay in the province. Many of the initiatives were included in the budget the Liberals introduced last week, including doubling the Graduate to Opportunities program, which provides payroll subsidies to employers who hire young people. The total promise is more than $45 million.

Key quote: “These programs are a way of supporting businesses to lead in the growth of our economy and shape a workforce in Nova Scotia.” – Stephen McNeil

PCs: Leader Jamie Baillie says he will encourage all political parties to run more diverse candidates by increasing the per-vote subsidy for female, Aboriginal, or African Nova Scotian candidates by 50 per cent. Attacking the McNeil Liberals for running the fewest female candidates in this election (12, as compared to the PC’s 17 and the NDP’s 23), Baillie says he wants all parties to do more to ensure the House of Assembly reflects all of Nova Scotia.

Key quote: “When we’re not even discussing anymore the background of individual members of the House of Assembly, whether it’s their sexual orientation, whether it’s the colour of their skin, when that becomes a non-issue, I’ll know that we have succeeded.” – Jamie Baillie

NDP: Leader Gary Burrill makes an announcement about investing in long-term care. He accuses the McNeil Liberals of cutting funding to long-term care, and says they either don’t understand or don’t care about the impact of those cuts. Burrill promises the NDP will invest $8.3 million in long-term care facilities if elected.

Key quote: “There are priorities, like the lives of seniors living in nursing homes, that we have to see dealt with. And it is not appropriate to say that a balanced budget is so important that we cannot support the budget of diet and programming in nursing homes.” – Gary Burrill

Wednesday

Liberals: Stephen McNeil announces a Liberal government will create a pre-primary early learning program for all four-year-olds in the next mandate. Unveiled in the budget last week, the plan begins with an investment of $3.7 million next year to create 750 spaces in 30 locations. By the end of four years, it will cost $49.4 million a year and McNeil says it will save families up to $10,000 a year in childcare costs.

Key quote: “Currently there are children whose family can afford to provide them with this program, who are getting it. We want to make sure that every child, regardless of socioeconomic standing in life, that they get the right start.” – Stephen McNeil

PCs: Jamie Baillie attacks the McNeil government’s record on health care, promising to spend $13.5 million over four years to recruit and retain more family doctors and specialists. Like Burrill on Monday, Baillie is not able to say how many doctors will be hired.

Key quote: "We need more doctors now: Family doctors to get people to the front of the line and advocate for them in our system, and more specialists like surgeons to see that they get the surgeries that they need in a timely way.” Jamie Baillie

NDP: Gary Burrill makes a campaign promise about health care for the third day in a row. The NDP will aim to reduce emergency room overcrowding by promising to implement all recommendations of the NSGEU report “Code Critical.”

Key quote: “Health care, we understand, is difficult. We understand that it is complex, but it’s not impossible. Together we can make sure people get the care they need.” – Gary Burrill

Thursday

Liberals: Stephen McNeil promises an investment of $78 million over four years to create or expand 70 collaborative care centres. Another $5 million a year will go toward construction and renovation of clinics. McNeil says one of the biggest challenges facing every government is health-care delivery.

Key quote: “As long as I am the premier it will be my goal to ensure that every Nova Scotian has access to a family health care providing team.” – Stephen McNeil

PCs: Jamie Baillie promises to solve the problems with rural Internet access in Nova Scotia within his 10-year plan. The PCs will invest $150 million in total, and Baillie says half of that will be provincial funds. He expects federal and municipal governments will cost-share the other half.

Key quote: “We will begin in year one by building an open access fibre network, kind of like the highway of the Internet to all communities, and then tender out the provision of Internet services.” Jamie Baillie

NDP: Gary Burrill says an NDP government will follow the lead of Alberta’s NDP government in phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage. Burrill says the minimum wage will go up by $1 per hour in the first year, and by $1.57 in each of the two following years. He says research suggests a higher minimum wage will actually help small and medium-sized businesses by creating a wealthier customer base.

Key quote: “In Nova Scotia we have such a significant part of our working population working for so little. So we know, for example, in Nova Scotia that 40 per cent of the people who live below the poverty line have a full-time year-round job.” – Gary Burrill

Friday

Liberals: Stephen McNeil commits to spending more than $34 million over four years to fund mental health care services. This includes expanding the SchoolsPlus program to all public schools, and creating a central intake system for mental health ($3.4 million over four years).

Key quote: “If there’s one thing I’ve heard from mental health providers, it’s your decisions have to be evidence-based, don’t make a decision because you think you’re trying to fill a political hole.” – Stephen McNeil

PCs: Jamie Baillie promises specific highway twinning projects under the Rebuild Nova Scotia fund. Over the next seven years, $759 million will be spent on twinning and safety measures. The twinning projects are very similar to what the McNeil Liberals have promised.

Key quote: “We intend to enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the federal government that sees them covering half the costs.” – Jamie Baillie

NDP: Gary Burrill says an NDP government will immediately reinstate the film tax credit that was ended in the Liberals’ 2015/16 budget. Burrill says the Liberals created “chaos” for the industry when it created the Film and Television Incentive Fund in place of the tax credit. The NDP expects the credit to cost about $23 million in the first year.

Key quote: “We think this is the kind of an industry that requires serious investment by the province.” - Gary Burrill

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/wee.....-1.3400419
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tories will take tolls from Cobequid Pass when highway paid for



Baillie says no motorists will pay to use highway


Darrell Cole webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on May 5, 2017


an-cobequid-pass_webcc.jpg

Cobequid Pass

©Google Earth image


AMHERST, N.S. – A PC government will remove tolls for all users of the Cobequid Pass the moment the highway is paid for, says party leader Jamie Baillie.


“Why would we continue to ask people to pay for tolls when the highway is paid for?” Baillie said.
While Baillie’s pledge is similar to a recent promise by Liberal Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan, that tolls could come off as early as 2019 when the bond is paid on the 44-kilometre highway, the Progressive Conservative leader said that has been his party’s stance all along.


“The Liberals have shown that they can’t be trusted with toll money,” Baillie said. “When I first called on them to remove the tolls when the highway was paid off they told me it could not be done and that I was wrong. On the eve of an election they suddenly saw the light.”

When the highway was originally financed in 1996, the province entered into a 30-year agreement with bond holders that would see tolls paid by motorists through 2026. Several years later, a PC government recognized that revenues were higher but instead of lowering the toll opted to maintain them with the understanding the highway would be paid off sooner.

Several months ago, Baillie accused the Liberal government of punishing Cumberland County users by pushing the bond payment date back out to 2026, although the minister said the tolls would be removed if the highway were paid off earlier.
In announcing tolls would be removed by 2019, MacLellan said the

province is considering maintaining tolls for non-Nova Scotian vehicles and possibly the trucking industry. He said this would be explored to raise revenue to maintain the highway, but also to protect the jobs that could be impacted by changes to the Cobequid Pass.

“Trucks are our economy, trucks represent a lot of jobs. Why would you continue collecting the toll if the debt is paid off?” he said. “To me that’s a tax grab. The road’s paid for, everyone should be able to travel without the toll.”

Baillie said earlier Friday that his government would spend $729 million over seven years to twin sections of Highway 101, Highway 103, Highway 104 and build a four-lane, divided Burnside Connector (Highway 107).
He also committed to investing another $30 million in safety measures on untwined sections of highway.

Baillie plans to accomplish this through a Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund that will invest $2 billion in roads, bridges and public infrastructure over 10 years

http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.c.....d-for.html
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Provincial party leaders debate health care on the campaign trail

The Canadian Press
Published May 7, 2017 - 6:02pm
Last Updated May 7, 2017 - 6:51pm



HALIFAX — As Nova Scotia's party leaders fanned out across the province Sunday, health care emerged as the top campaign issue.

A rally on the downsizing of medical services in Cape Breton ignited debate among the leaders, with Premier Stephen McNeil defending the Liberal government's track record.

In an open letter to the Cape Breton Medical Staff Association, McNeil stressed that the Northside General Hospital in North Sydney will not be closing and that emergency room physicians pay will not change.

He said changes to health care under the Liberals have curbed administration costs and directed resources towards patients.

Investments in collaborative care, dialysis treatment, new hospice units and efforts to retain more doctors in the province are some of the steps the Liberal government took to improve health care, said McNeil, who spent the day in Wolfville, New Minas, Kentville and Digby.

Progressive Conservative candidate Alfie Macleod said the doctor's rally in Sydney Mines shed light on the health care crisis in Cape Breton.

"Cape Breton is in desperate need of family physicians, specialists and mental health services," the Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg candidate, who attended the rally, said in a statement. "The list of problems plaguing the system is growing."

Tory leader Jamie Baillie said Nova Scotia has a list with 100,000 people waiting for a family doctor. In addition, he said the Liberal government failed to make mental health care a priority.

A Progressive Conservative government would ease the province's doctor shortage, he said, by doubling the tuition relief program to $6 million to keep new family doctors in Nova Scotia.

Baillie, who spent the day in Pictou Landing, the town of Pictou and New Glasgow, where he attended an open house at the Aberdeen Hospital, also promised to invest $13.5 million to bring more doctors to under-serviced areas and to recognize the credentials of Canadians who study medicine abroad.

NDP leader Gary Burrill attended the Cape Breton health-care rally and made stops in Glace Bay, New Waterford, and Sydney.

He spoke with doctors and residents at the rally to learn more about their health care concerns and "mainstreeted" with the party's local candidates in the area.

Meanwhile, McNeil also committed on Sunday to added supports for Nova Scotians with disabilities.

At L'Arche Homefires, a social services organization in Wolfville, he said a new Liberal government would invest more than $31 million over four years, including towards enhancing day programming for adults with disabilities, expanding support programs and respite care options.

The Liberal leader also pledged to build new small options homes, houses for three to four people with disabilities in a community setting supported by staff.


http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....aign-trail
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( also a new forum poll , although they say liberals have a strong lead , its not nearly as big as it once was )


Liberals Have a Strong Lead

May 7, 2017 @ 8:15 PM | Filed under: Uncategorized


Liberals Have a Strong Lead

But Leaders’ numbers show little distance between McNeil, Baillie, and Burrill

Toronto, May 8th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1042 Nova Scotia voters, for those decided and leaning, more than 4-in-10 (41%) support the Nova Scotia Liberals. A third (32%) say they support the Progressive Conservatives, and a quarter (25%) say they support the NDP. (2%) respond that they support another party.

Respondents most likely to say that they support the Liberals include those aged 65+ (53%), males (43%), earning $40,000-$60,000 (50%), with some college/university (51%), and living on the South Shore (45%) or North End (44%).

Respondents most likely to say they support the Progressive Conservatives include those aged 45-54 (41%), earning $20,000-$40,000 (35%), $80,000-$100,000 (34%), and the most wealthy (37%), the least educated (36%), and living in Cape Breton (36%) or the South Shore (34%).

Respondents most likely to say they support the NDP include those aged 34 and younger (44%), females (29%), earning $60,000-$80,000 (32%) or $80,000-$100,000 (32%), with a post-graduate degree (38%), and living in Halifax (32%).

McNeil edges Baillie as best premier, but they are virtually tied

More than a quarter (27%) believe Stephen McNeil would make the best premier, barely ahead of Jamie Baillie (25%). Fewer than 2-in-10 see Gary Burrill (17%) as best premier, with almost a third (31%) reporting they don’t know who would make the best premier.

Burrill slightly ahead of McNeil on trustworthiness, but they are virtually tied

A quarter see Gary Burrill (24%) as the most trustworthy provincial leader, but only slightly ahead of Stephen McNeil (22%) as the pair are statistically tied. 2-in-10 see Jaime Baillie (20%) as most trustworthy. More than a third (35%) say they do not know.

"The Liberals have strong numbers, which could account for their decision to call an election. Stephen McNeil, however, is tied with his opponents both on trust and for who would make the best premier, so the Liberals can’t celebrate just yet,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research.



Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.

http://poll.forumresearch.com/.....horserace/
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( they managed to get thru the BC election without any social media incidents , not so lucky in NS , an old tweet has came back to haunt a liberal candidate )



May 8, 2017 5:51 pm Updated: May 8, 2017 9:52 pm

Nova Scotia Liberal candidate removed for Down syndrome tweet

Steve Silva By Steve Silva
Video Journalist Global News


A Nova Scotia Liberal Party candidate has been removed from the campaign after Global News asked the party about a tweet about Down syndrome he posted nearly four years ago.


The tweet by former Pictou East candidate Matt MacKnight reads: “Phone rings: ‘what time does the other source [sic] store close at today?’ seriously a**hole? Call them not me! #downsydrome [sic] #stupidcustomers.”

It was posted on May 28, 2013 on the account which was also used for MacKnight’s campaign.

It appears he was describing an incident that happened at work.

The statement from the party regarding the matter reads: “The comments made previously by Mr. MacKnight are not in any way acceptable and run contrary to the values of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, our Leader Stephen McNeil and indeed all Nova Scotians. After a thorough review of Mr. McKnight’s [sic] comments, it’s clear he can no longer stand as a candidate for the Liberal campaign.”

The party spokesperson said it would not be doing further interviews on the issue.

Will Brewer, who has Down syndrome and is a board member of Halifax Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society, said in a phone call that the tweet is offensive.


“I find that ridiculous,” he said, adding that MacKnight should “maybe apologize.”

Martha Walls, another board member, said that, as a parent of a child with Down syndrome, she is “kind of accustomed to confronting this sort of ignorance.”

“I find it very disheartening to see these sorts of comments, particularly parlayed in kind of a public sort of way,” she said.


MacKnight’s account also includes tweets with the word “retarded” used in a derogatory manner.

Walls said she hopes he turns the situation into a learning opportunity for him to consider and explore the issues people with Down syndrome face.

“I think that it’s important that people recognize that words matter a great deal,” Walls said

http://globalnews.ca/news/3435.....ome-tweet/
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova Scotia Liberal party loses candidate, aide to separate scandals



Keith Doucette and Alison Auld, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Tuesday, May 9, 2017 11:36AM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 10, 2017 7:57AM ADT


HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says his campaign communications director resigned because he felt "under attack" after the Tories questioned the appropriateness of hiring someone convicted of domestic assault.

The resignation by communications aide Kyley Harris on Tuesday came a day after the Liberals dropped Pictou East candidate Matthew MacKnight over 2013 comments on social media.

McNeil said he didn't talk to Harris before he resigned, and added the aide had made a personal decision.



Kyley Harris
Kyley Harris pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman and was handed a conditional discharge that included nine months' probation and 30 hours of community service.



Matthew MacKnight
Nova Scotia Liberal candidate Matthew MacKnight (Nova Scotia Liberal Party)

"I believe he thought the issue that was brought forward was used by other political parties to attack my record," said McNeil. "My record on women, I'm very proud of it -- it stands by itself -- and he (Harris) needed to continue to try to put his life back together and he wanted to do it outside the public eye."

In a letter to campaign chairman Chris MacInnes, Harris said he had tried to make amends, but "it is clear that is not possible in the current political climate."

Harris said he can accept that he will continue to be punished for the 2014 incident, but did not want his colleagues and McNeil "to bear that burden any longer."

MacKnight was ousted late Monday as a candidate in the May 30 election after MacInnes said he was made aware of unspecified "highly inappropriate" comments.

MacKnight issued a brief statement Tuesday saying he takes full responsibility for the tweets and didn't intend for them to be derogatory or hurtful.

MacKnight apologized to two groups that represent people with Down syndrome, saying "it was an immature comment" that was not meant to be malicious.

"I cannot believe I made such comments. I have grown, and matured as a person since that incident," MacKnight said in the statement.

Global News linked to a photo of the alleged tweet, which had MacKnight purportedly calling someone an expletive and using the hashtags .downsyndrome and .stupidcustomers on May 28, 2013.

McNeil said MacKnight's comments were "inappropriate," and said candidates have to be mindful they are seeking elected office.

The premier drew a chuckle from several Liberal candidates who had gathered for an announcement Tuesday when he was asked whether the episode would change the party's Twitter policy.

He said nothing formal is planned, but he has often offered candidates advice.

"Stop doing it (tweeting)," McNeil said. "It can at times be completely be taken out of context. That's one of the challenges, you have very few characters to explain yourself ... and then you are spending as much time trying to defend that."

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie endorsed the decision to remove MacKnight.

"His comments were not only offensive, they were mean-spirited and targeted or made light of the situation of some of our most vulnerable Nova Scotians," he said Tuesday. "It's becoming a bit of a circus show coming out of the premier's office, to be perfectly blunt."

He said it was appropriate for Harris to quit because his actions "lower the dignity of the office of the premier" and send a hurtful message to victims of domestic abuse.

"You're sending a message to all Nova Scotians by that hiring that is one of despair for so many survivors of domestic assault who believe their government is not there for them," he said.

NDP leader Gary Burrill said engaging Harris in a key campaign role, coupled with McNeil's earlier comments about women and winnable ridings, has "put the premier in a position where there are questions that reasonable people would like to have answered."

Last week, McNeil defended his decision to reinstate Harris, who had pleaded guilty to the assault charge.

McNeil said Harris deserved "a second chance" after being handed a conditional discharge for striking a woman in the face during a domestic argument on May 9, 2014.

The matter resurfaced after federal Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose said on social media that his re-hiring sends a "terrible message," and that Liberal leaders "need to walk the talk on violence against women."

In his letter, Harris said he was grateful he had been given a second chance.

"That the opportunity was offered to me in the first place is a testament to the character and humanity of Stephen McNeil," he told MacInnes. "It is rare for anyone -- let alone a politician seeking re-election -- to have shown the bravery and loyalty Stephen has shown me throughout my efforts to rebuild my life from what was a grievous error in judgement."

Also Tuesday, Burrill brought up the Tories' candidate in Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, Matt Whitman, who Burrill said has demonstrated "a not altogether stellar capacity for judgment."

In a photo posted to Twitter, Whitman is pictured dressed as a Mexican Donald Trump. He is wearing a red Trump baseball cap and a colourful woven poncho.

Whitman also found himself in hot water recently for using racially insensitive language after he posted a video showing him yelling "Chinese fire drill!" as he and a friend scrambled from a car.

Baillie said Tuesday he stood by Whitman's candidacy, but also distanced himself from the Twitter photo.

"Look that's not my style, but I don't think that's a firing offence," he said.

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/nov.....-1.3404940
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova Scotia election roundup

The Canadian Press

May 10, 2017 12:14 PM

Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party leader Jamie Baillie tours Ledwidge Lumber Co. during a campaign stop in Halifax on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

HALIFAX — (Liberals-Caregivers)The Liberals say they will spend $25 million expanding eligibility for the caregiver benefit over four years.The program gives about $400 a month to those caring for people with severe dementia.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the program would be expanded to include 400 people who care for those with lower levels of dementia this year and another 1,200 people caring for those with mental illness in 2018.He says the change will mean about 1,600 more Nova Scotians will qualify for financial help.(The Canadian Press)---


(NSHA-Executive-Furniture)


The NDP released documents showing the Nova Scotia Health Authority spent nearly $500,000 on new furniture and renovations for its executive offices.The documents show the furniture cost over $257,000 while the renovations came in at just under $195,000.NDP Leader Gary Burrill says after cuts to long-term care in particular, Premier Stephen McNeil owes an explanation for the expenses.

McNeil says the cost of the furniture "makes no sense to me," and spending that kind of money at a time when money is needed for care in the health system is "excessive and inappropriate."(The Canadian Press)---

(NSElxn-Tories)Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservatives are promising to bring back a refundable film tax credit.

Tory Leader Jamie Baillie has announced $34 million to revive the credit in a bid to aid the film and TV industry.He says the industry was set back when the Liberals controversially axed the tax in 2015.---(NSElxn-NDP)

The NDP are pledging to restore funding for seniors' care if elected May 30th.Leader Gary Burrill says $60 million over four years would be put towards long-term care for seniors.Burrill says he would also freeze pharmacare premiums and lobby for a national pharmacare plan.(The Canadian Press)---

(Party-Nominations)Elections Nova Scotia says nominations for the May 30 vote have closed.It says 203 candidates have been nominated in the province's 51 electoral districts.The Liberals, Tories and NDP have candidates in all 51 ridings.The Green Party has nominated 32 candidates while the Atlantica Party is running 15 and there are three Independents

.(The Canadian Press)---(N.S. Election Roundup by The Canadian Press) -

See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/n.....NoZA5.dpuf
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dartmouth East — the open seat everyone wants

Independent Andrew Younger, who most recently held the riding, is not reoffering this election

By Paul Withers, CBC News Posted: May 11, 2017 7:00 AM AT| Last Updated: May 11, 2017 9:38 AM AT

View of Main Street in the riding of Dartmouth East.



Instead of knocking on doors, Andrew Younger is spending his days in shorts and a T-shirt packing up his MLA office on Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth and predicting doom for his former party in Dartmouth East — a seat he won as a Liberal with 64 per cent of the vote in the last election.

"In this riding, I see a tight race between the NDP and the Tories with the Liberals a distant third," said Younger.

Younger blames the unpopularity of Stephen McNeil, his government's handling of the provincial teachers' contract and axing of the Nova Scotia film tax credit.
■Find all of Nova Scotia's election coverage here

Given that McNeil fired him from cabinet, Younger's handicapping of the race should be taken with a grain of salt.

There's no doubt, though, that his abrupt decision to withdraw as an independent candidate for personal reasons has thrown Dartmouth East upside down and wide open.

Clearly recognizing that whoever gets his votes will decide the outcome, none of the contenders to replace him said a bad word about Younger.

PC candidate's dying wife blessed his run

In a riding already simmering with drama, Progressive Conservative candidate Tim Halman is trying to triumph over adversity in every sense imaginable.

Shortly after Halman, a teacher, was nominated for the Tories, his wife Ginette Thibault-Halman was diagnosed with breast cancer that progressed rapidly.

She died in March at age 43, just five months after being diagnosed, leaving behind her husband and two daughters.

Dartmouth East PC candidate Tim Halman
The Dartmouth East PC candidate is Tim Halman. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

Halman said he and his wife agreed he would carry on to show his children and his students "that no matter what you have to pick yourself up."

"After my wife had passed, I knew I had to get back to work. It dawned on me I could go back and teach or I could go back and try to fix the classroom. And I chose to try and fix the classroom," he said.

His sense of humour hasn't deserted him. The Tories picked up just 13 per cent of the vote in the last election.

"Based on those numbers, I don't think my opponents could accuse me of being an opportunist."

New Democrats hope to recapture seat

The New Democrats held the seat before Younger took it from them in 2009, an election that produced an NDP majority government.

Dartmouth East NDP candidate Bill McEwen
The NDP candidate for Dartmouth East is Bill McEwen. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

Candidate Bill McEwen is pitching the NDP campaign basics in 2017: a promise for a $15 an hour minimum wage, free community college and a dose of Stephen McNeil-is-the-bad-guy.

"A lot of people are saying we don't want McNeil," said McEwen, who works as an information technology consultant in a large cancer study.

His economic policy is old school-left.

"I think we need to see a big shift in our political culture to where we see investment in health care, education and other government services as what will trigger the economic boom that trickle-down economics has failed to deliver on," he said.

"I think the NDP under Gary Burrill represent that breath of fresh air we need to see."

Liberals send out 28-year-old articling clerk

The youngest candidate for the major parties is 28-year-old Liberal Edgar Burns, an articling clerk at the Dartmouth law firm BoyneClarke.

Dartmouth East Liberal candidate Edgar Burns
Edgar Burns is the Liberal candidate for Dartmouth East. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

During an interview Burns said repeatedly that voters he meets are enthusiastic about a young person engaged in the political process.

"For me, and why I'm such a big fan of Stephen McNeil, is he is willing to make tough choices to keep our financial house in order and that's what enables us to make investments that are priorities for Nova Scotians such as keeping young Nova Scotians in the province," Burns said.

Green candidate

The Green party is making a return to Dartmouth East, having not run a candidate in 2013.

The party gathered two per cent of the vote in 2009.

Mathew Richey is running for the Green Party.

Last word to Younger

As for Andrew Younger, he said McNeil is a drag on the Liberals but neither PC leader Jamie Baillie nor Burrill have captured the public imagination.

"You can't go door to door with McNeil and have your vote go up, but I'm not sure you can do that with Burrill or Baillie either so it's going to come down to the personal appeal of the candidates," he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4109482
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberal lead is eroding. Just 10 points separate the three parties. 37% for the Liberals, 32% for the PCs with the NDP and 27%.

I think the PCs need to figure out how to steal votes from the NDP as they're cutting into those who are opposed to the Liberal government.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....ightens-up
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progressive Tory wrote:
Liberal lead is eroding. Just 10 points separate the three parties. 37% for the Liberals, 32% for the PCs with the NDP and 27%.

I think the PCs need to figure out how to steal votes from the NDP as they're cutting into those who are opposed to the Liberal government.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....ightens-up



the race does seem a lot more competitive than people though it would be when other polls were released earlier this year .

I'm not that familiar with NS elections or all the various ridings but if those numbers hold , I'd have to say a liberal minority would seem more likely than another majority


also don't think the pc's need to worry about holding the ridings they already have , those are likely fairly safe , they need to find new winnable ridings in other parts of the province , like Halifax and Cape Breton
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova Scotia election: Why health care has become the number-one issue




Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:31AM ADT



HALIFAX -- For Janet Glazebrook, having to beg a doctor to test her sister for hip fractures after waiting hours in a crowded emergency room helped determine her vote in Nova Scotia's May 30 election.

"It (health care) is completely compromised. There are not enough doctors," she said in recent a telephone interview.

The Halifax resident says she "had to beg" a physician at the Dartmouth General Hospital late last month to admit her sister -- who has multiple sclerosis and epilepsy -- for tests that would later show she'd fractured her hip in two spots and needed surgery, after she'd waited unseen in a room for almost six hours.


"I don't believe a thing the Liberals say at this point," she said, despite being told of the party's plan for 48 new beds and eight new operating rooms at Dartmouth General.

Similar stories around the province are causing some worries for the incumbent party in the province's two-week old campaign, say political observers.

David Johnson, a political scientist at Cape Breton University, said Stephen McNeil's government is paying a price for failing to keep 2013 election promises such as ensuring all citizens have access to family physicians, and for overcrowding and long wait times.

"It's one thing to say things are getting better and it's a policy priority, it's another thing to see the lived experience of people dealing with health care," he said in an interview.

The political scientist said protests and outbursts at events in the campaign's first week undermined the party's core message that it has been making tough choices but is poised to improve the system if re-elected to a second term.

When McNeil announced he'd spend $78 million over the next four years on collaborative clinics and would hire 50 more doctors a year, a frustrated 68-year-old retiree arrived at the event to vent his frustration over his wife's two-year wait for a family doctor.

More than 500 doctors and citizens rallied in North Sydney last Sunday over a wide range of health care issues in the Cape Breton area.

Just prior to the campaign, The Canadian Press reported on the story of how Kim D'Arcy waited with her 68-year-old husband for almost seven hours in a Halifax ER corridor as he lay dying from pancreatic cancer.

The Liberals say the problems are being addressed.

Though specific figures weren't unveiled, the party has vowed to demolish the venerable Centennial Building of the Victoria General hospital -- where flooding has disrupted surgeries and pipes were fouled by Legionnaires disease -- after renovating other health facilities in Halifax.

McNeil published an open letter to the Cape Breton doctors, repeating earlier assurances the Northside hospital wouldn't be closed and ER physician pay won't change, and promising consultation with doctors would improve.

"We've made a lot of change on how we delivered health care in the province. The vast majority of it has been received very well but we've heard and I've heard that Doctors Nova Scotia wasn't consulted enough," McNeil said during a news conference a day later.

He also defended his government's creation of a single health authority, saying it's allowing the province to invest in front-line care such as dialysis units in Glace Bay, Bridgewater, Digby, Kentville, Halifax and Dartmouth.

Still, Don Mills, the president of Corporate Research Associates, said the issue recently rated as the number one campaign topic in his firm's quarterly poll.

"It's come out of nowhere, after health care has been third for a long, long time," he said.

"You only need five or six per cent of the population to decide they're not comfortable on health care to make a difference in the election."

Jeff MacLeod, a political scientist at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, argues that for all of the passion being expressed around the health issue, it's doubtful that voters are convinced McNeil's opponents hold all the solutions.

"The policy dilemma is the province spends about $4.5 billion on it (health), almost half the budget, and the policy outcomes never seem to live up to the stated goals of the system," he said in an email.

"It is where the Liberals are most vulnerable, but the opposition parties are not capturing enough attention or the imagination of the electorate."

Early in the campaign, Tory Leader Jamie Baillie unveiled a $2-billion infrastructure plan to target problems like the Victoria General building, but was criticized for an assumption Ottawa would make a major contribution to the project.

McNeil is calling it the Tories' "$1-billion hole."

As for the New Democrats, leader Gary Burrill faces wider criticisms from McNeil for his willingness to return to deficits to pay for his party's promised improvements to the health system, ranging from spending $120 million to hire more family doctors to an expansion of dental coverage for teenagers.

Nonetheless, as the campaign enters the mid-way point, Johnson say the health issue could still swing a number of votes in key ridings if McNeil's damage control measures don't work.

"I think there is some real vulnerability for the Liberals here," he said.

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/nov.....-1.3413015
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

McNeil attacks school boards in Nova Scotia election campaign


Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, May 14, 2017 3:53PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, May 14, 2017 6:51PM ADT


HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said he'll put the province's school boards under the microscope if re-elected because trustees' decision to vote themselves pay increases while cutting while cutting classroom resources has put them out of step with Nova Scotians' priorities.

McNeil told The Canadian Press Sunday that a proposed 24 per cent stipend increase approved by all but one board sends the wrong signal.

"We ask our school board partners to act like every other public servant. You need to make sure that your salary increases are in line with what the province can afford," McNeil said Sunday. "It is sending a very wrong signal to parents, teachers that school boards would vote themselves a 24 per cent pay raise and then try to justify taking funding out of classrooms that we specifically have increased so that it would be there."


McNeil said if his government is re-elected on May 30 he'll launch a review of school board administration to look for savings.

The Liberals say they'll freeze school closures while reviewing whether board decisions are in line with the province's commitments to classroom conditions.

McNeil says he wants to make sure schools have the space to put a tighter rein on class sizes in junior and senior high schools, provide universal pre-primary care and add 100 new teachers.

"The decision will still be made at the local level, but I think any reasonable person would expect that they should have all the information before they make the decision," said McNeil. "This is not a top-down approach. This is making sure that they (school boards) know that the broader public policy has changed."

The new policies come at the recommendation of a council looking at classroom conditions, which was established after the province imposed a contract on its 9,300 unionized teachers in February following a messy contract dispute.

McNeil said some teachers still have hard feelings about how the negotiations played out, but the Liberals have tried to strike a "balance" by giving them more input into classroom changes.

Schools that are slated to be closed would still proceed, said McNeil, and the review would wrap up by the end of the 2017 to take effect the next school year.

Tory leader Jamie Baillie accused McNeil of playing politics with education while several of the province's schools were shuttered on his watch.

"His government has caused chaos in our classrooms," Baillie said in an interview Sunday. "Teachers don't trust him. Parents wonder why he's suddenly taking an interest in school boards when he had three years to take action."

The Progressive Conservative Party has long endorsed a review of the province's school boards, Baillie said, calling them "overly bureaucratic."

Baillie said rural schools have suffered under a Liberal government, and if elected, he would work to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to benefit students.

The Nova Scotia School Board could not be reached for comment.

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/mcn.....-1.3413182
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atlantica Party releases platform

Published May 14, 2017 - 6:07pm
Last Updated May 15, 2017 - 7:36am




Nova Scotia’s Atlantica Party says, if elected, it will end handouts to business and get rid of corporate income taxes.

In a news release, the party also said it would privatize liquor sales in the province.

In other aspects of the party’s platform, released ahead of the May 30 provincial election, they say they would lower MLAs’ salaries and cut their pensions, bring in a system for recalling MLAs, and use a “citizens’ commission” to give them advice on electoral reform.

The party is running 15 candidates in the election.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....s-platform
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liberals Have a Strong Lead

May 7, 2017 @ 8:15 PM | Filed under: Uncategorized


Liberals Have a Strong Lead

But Leaders’ numbers show little distance between McNeil, Baillie, and Burrill

Toronto, May 8th – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1042 Nova Scotia voters, for those decided and leaning, more than 4-in-10 (41%) support the Nova Scotia Liberals. A third (32%) say they support the Progressive Conservatives, and a quarter (25%) say they support the NDP. (2%) respond that they support another party.

Respondents most likely to say that they support the Liberals include those aged 65+ (53%), males (43%), earning $40,000-$60,000 (50%), with some college/university (51%), and living on the South Shore (45%) or North End (44%).

Respondents most likely to say they support the Progressive Conservatives include those aged 45-54 (41%), earning $20,000-$40,000 (35%), $80,000-$100,000 (34%), and the most wealthy (37%), the least educated (36%), and living in Cape Breton (36%) or the South Shore (34%).

Respondents most likely to say they support the NDP include those aged 34 and younger (44%), females (29%), earning $60,000-$80,000 (32%) or $80,000-$100,000 (32%), with a post-graduate degree (38%), and living in Halifax (32%).

McNeil edges Baillie as best premier, but they are virtually tied

More than a quarter (27%) believe Stephen McNeil would make the best premier, barely ahead of Jamie Baillie (25%). Fewer than 2-in-10 see Gary Burrill (17%) as best premier, with almost a third (31%) reporting they don’t know who would make the best premier.

Burrill slightly ahead of McNeil on trustworthiness, but they are virtually tied

A quarter see Gary Burrill (24%) as the most trustworthy provincial leader, but only slightly ahead of Stephen McNeil (22%) as the pair are statistically tied. 2-in-10 see Jaime Baillie (20%) as most trustworthy. More than a third (35%) say they do not know.

"The Liberals have strong numbers, which could account for their decision to call an election. Stephen McNeil, however, is tied with his opponents both on trust and for who would make the best premier, so the Liberals can’t celebrate just yet,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research.



Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.

http://poll.forumresearch.com/.....horserace/
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova Scotia NDP candidate steps down over offensive online comments

The Canadian Press May 15, 2017 02:58 PM

HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia New Democratic candidate has stepped down after CTV reported on offensive language he used online several years ago.CTV says Dartmouth East NDP candidate Bill McEwen resigned after admitting to publishing sexist content on a website he hosted and using rude language to describe people who are gay.

In 2011, his website called The Bullpen published comments that said "in a world of breast implants, fast food and cheap beer, what's not to love about being a man."CTV says he also used offensive slang to describe people who are gay in Facebook posts from 2012 and 2013

.McEwen said he is supportive of equal rights and apologized for what he called misogynistic comments that reflect poor judgement.He is the second candidate in the run up to Nova Scotia's May 30 election to be embroiled in controversy related to inappropriate online comments.

Nova Scotia Liberal candidate Matthew MacKnight was dropped earlier this month over comments he made on social media in 2013.The Pictou East candidate purportedly called someone an expletive and used the hashtags #downsyndrome and #stupidcustomers on May 28, 2013, according to Global News.

Meanwhile, McEwen is a former naval officer, award-winning journalist and IT professional, according to his candidate profile, which calls him a "passionate defender of the public good."He won an Atlantic Journalism Award for his coverage of the Occupy Nova Scotia protests, the candidate profile said, and he was nominated for a National Newspaper Award for an article about immigration to Prince Edward Island.

He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada, had experience deployed overseas and worked at the military's Expeditionary Force Command Headquarters in Ottawa.In an interview with CTV Monday prior to stepping down, McEwen said he was "very, very sorry" for the material published online.He said the comments were a "really terrible thing" to have published and he apologized to "everyone affected by it.

""The misogynistic stuff, the stuff about the LGBT communities ... I'm very supportive of equal rights, and so that was really poor judgement and I want to apologize for that," he told CTV.He said he removed the website and deleted the Facebook comments because he was uncomfortable with the content, CTV reported.McEwen resigned late Monday. -


See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/n.....pDtVl.dpuf
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