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RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Election speculation ramps up in Nova Scotia



CTV Atlantic
Published Monday, April 24, 2017 7:43PM ADT



Signs of a spring election in Nova Scotia are popping up like the crocuses.

Opposition parties are in full campaign mode, already taking shots at one another. The NDP officially launched its campaign on the weekend, and is taking shots at Opposition Leader Jamie Baillie in a news release, saying he's "desperate" to win.

For Dalhousie sociology professor Howard Ramos, it's a clear attempt by the third party to gain some traction.


Nova Scotia Opposition Leader Jaime Baillie has shifted into campaign move in light of recent funding announcements made by the provincial government.

“I think that's a bit of a strategy to try and chip away at whatever support the Conservatives have, who are currently ahead of the NDP in polling,” Ramos said.

Ramos believes the election will be called this fall, but either way, he says it's the Liberals' election to lose.

On the unofficial campaign trail Monday, Baillie said the election will be a referendum on Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil's leadership.

“I think people want an alternative that actually brings people together, that actually works with doctors, that works with teachers and nurses to make things better,” Baillie said.

Government will introduce its budget Thursday, but both the premier and the finance minister have stopped short of saying the budget will be debated and passed, leading some to believe the call is coming later this week.

“Whenever the call is, we will make sure to let everyone know,” said Premier McNeil.

The timing itself may become an election issue, if the budget isn't debated.

“It deserves a full examination of all the members of the legislature. We want to know what they're doing with our money,” said Baillie.

“When they bring forward a budget, ought to subject that budget to the scrutiny of the people's representatives,” said NDP leader Gary Burrill.

For now, MLAs will have to stop campaigning, as they return to Province House for the spring session on Tuesday.

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/ele.....-1.3383059
RCO





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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

April 26, 2017 12:08 pm

Liberal government loses support as Nova Scotia election looms: Poll


By Alexander Quon Global News



Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil's Liberal party have lost ground according to the latest MQO Research Poll


Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press



With an election expected to be called any day, a new poll suggests the Liberal government has been losing support throughout April.

According to an MQO Research poll released on Wednesday, support for the Liberal government among decided and leaning voters declined by 15 percentage points last month.

That leaves the government at 43 per cent support in the province.


Both the NDP and the PCs appear to have profited off the government’s loss in support with both parties gaining six percentage points according to the poll.

That pushed the Conservatives to 27 per cent while the NDP jumped to 24 per cent support.

Nearly 27 per cent of voters who responded to the poll said they were undecided.

The poll was conducted by telephone from April 4 to April 10 and included 600 randomly selected eligible voters from across the province. According to MQO, the survey can be considered accurate within +/- 4 percentage points 19 times out of 20

http://globalnews.ca/news/3405.....ooms-poll/
RCO





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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova Scotia provincial election set for May 30
.

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:50AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, April 30, 2017 12:37PM EDT


HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has called a provincial election for May 30, seeking a second consecutive mandate from voters.

McNeil dropped the writ this afternoon after meeting with Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at Government House in Halifax.

"I encourage all Nova Scotians to exercise their democratic right to vote," he said in a statement issued by the government before he headed to a party rally at a Lebanese cultural centre.

Stephen McNeil
Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil adjusts his tie as the budget is presented at the legislature in Halifax on Thursday, April 27, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

At dissolution the Liberals held 34 seats in the 51-seat legislature, the Progressive Conservatives had 10 and the NDP 5.

There was one Independent and one seat was vacant.

The election follows nearly two months of election style spending announcements by the Liberals and a budget tabled Thursday offering a broad, though modest tax cut to about 500,000 low and middle income Nova Scotians.

On Friday McNeil said that his three-and-a-half year-old government, which was elected in October, 2013, would run on its entire record and not just on what was tabled in the budget.

"I'm proud of the work we've done, we've had to make some difficult decisions. I think Nova Scotians have respected that."

McNeil defended a record that saw his government exercise strict wage restraint for public sector unions, including nurses and teachers, while it made a series of cuts to programs affecting areas such as seniors' long-term care and initiatives run by public service organizations.

It resulted in consecutive balanced budgets for the Liberals in the past two years, although McNeil said Friday any idea that the government hadn't been spending over its mandate "simply wasn't accurate."

"We haven't been saying no for the past three years," he said. "We invested in home care, we invested in education and we continue make investments as a government."

McNeil did concede however, that there was still more work to do to address doctor shortages, after promising a family doctor for every Nova Scotian during the last campaign.

It's an unfulfilled promise the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democrats are certainly expected to hammer hard on as the campaign unfolds.

Tory Leader Jamie Baillie has been sounding confident that his party, which last held power following the election of 2006, is poised for an electoral breakthrough.

That's critical for Baillie, who is leading the party for a second time through an election and may not get a third opportunity if expectations aren't realized.

"We believe we have a vision for where to take this province and a plan of action to make lives better for people," said Baillie.

He said his party also planned to turn the election into a referendum on McNeil's leadership. Baillie said the Friday premier's performance in dealing with public sector unions had not gone unnoticed by the public.

"When they see their provincial leader push people around, tell them they're greedy, confront Nova Scotians who are working whether they are in health care or in our schools, that leaves scars. We need a style of leadership that brings people together and that's what I'm taking to the people."

Gary Burrill is embarking on his first election campaign as NDP leader. He will be seeking a seat in the Halifax Chebucto riding, while reviving the fortunes of a party that had a dramatic fall from grace in 2013, when it was swept from government by the Liberals.

"We're ready to go," Burrill said Friday. "The commitments we have been talking about for months, about the need to move towards investment instead of a policy of retrenchment and of zeros, we're ready to go with a platform of this."

The election call comes after spring polling that indicated the Liberals had fallen in popularity, although they were still in majority territory as of March, according to Cape Breton University professor David Johnson.

Decided voter support for the Liberal party dropped from 56 per cent to 44 per cent, according to a survey of 1,210 adults conducted by Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates Inc. The Progressive Conservatives stood at 28 per cent, up eight points, and the New Democrats were at 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent, while five per cent supported the Green Party.

"They are pretty much back to where they were in 2013," Johnson said in an interview last month.

"Forty-four per cent will win them a strong, healthy majority government if that number hold up during the election campaign."

Johnson said the key would be holding onto ridings in metro Halifax.

"The Liberals dominate metro (currently) and whomever dominates metro, that's the pathway into a majority government," he said.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/n.....-1.3391427
RCO





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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green Party holds AGM just in time for likely election

Party Leader Thomas Trappenberg hopes Nova Scotia can mimic success of MLAs in N.B., P.E.I.

CBC News Posted: Apr 29, 2017 4:33 PM AT| Last Updated: Apr 29, 2017 4:33 PM AT

Green Party Leader Thomas Trappenberg says the party could use more candidates, but the ones they have are ready to go.


The Nova Scotia Green Party holds its annual general meeting at this time every year. Leader Thomas Trappenberg says it's just good luck that this year's AGM may be the same weekend as an election call.

Party members met at Dalhousie University in Halifax on Saturday, hearing from P.E.I. Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker and New Brunswick Green Party Leader David Coon, who both have seats in their respective legislatures.


Trappenberg hopes some of that success can rub off on Nova Scotia, where the party nearly folded last year due to an inactive membership and the death of the party's official agent, Ian Charles, who had volunteered to help build the party from its founding.

On Saturday, the party was in full swing, electing its provincial executive, discussing policy and identifying election candidates.

More candidates needed

Trappenberg said there is now a good team in place rebuilding the party, though he said he would prefer the election happen after the summer. He said they could use the time to continue rebuilding and they're still on the lookout for more candidates.

"However, we are ready whenever," he said. "This is why we are here."

Trappenberg said the Green Party has a reputation of being stuck in place because of its environmental focus, but in reality it's just the opposite, he said.

"In other countries they have shown that a sustainable, new green economy is doing very well," he said. "[Nova Scotia is] still opening coal mines and keeping the coal where we could have solar energies here which we actually manufacture here."

He said there are several candidates in place, but that every Nova Scotian should have a chance to vote for the party.

Sheila Richardson plans to be the party's candidate in Kings South.


She said she believes the party's so-called six pillars — ecological wisdom, social justice, participatory democracy,
non-violence, sustainability, respect for diversity — resonate with people.

"Hopefully they will come on board and vote for us," she said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4092092
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where the leaders are in the N.S. election


By: Staff The Canadian Press Published on Mon May 01 2017


HALIFAX — Where the N.S. leaders are on Monday.


NDP:


HALIFAX — NDP Leader Gary Burrill makes a policy announcement. (10:30 a.m., Coral Shared-Care Health Centre, Unit 4, 2751 Gladstone Street)


HALIFAX— NDP Leader Gary Burrill does community canvas. (11 a.m., Campaign office, 2071 Parker Street)


Progressive Conservatives:


HALIFAX — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie on CBC Information Morning. (7 a.m., 6940 Mumford Rd.)

HALIFAX — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie marks National Doctor's Day. (9 a.m., 2751 Gladstone St, Unit 4)


DARTMOUTH, N.S. — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie makes an announcement. (10:30 a.m., Guildfords, 25 Guildford Ave.)


CHESTER, N.S. — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie has lunch with PC candidate Julie Chaisson. (1:30 p.m., 3758 Nova Scotia Trunk 3)


DAYSPRING, N.S. — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie visits Riverview Enhanced Living with PC candidate Brian Pickings. (3 p.m., 171 Leary Fraser Rd.)


HEBBS CROSS, N.S. — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie campaigns with PC candidate Brian Pickings. (4:15 p.m., 16339 Highway 103)


LIVERPOOL, N.S. — Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie attends opening for PC candidate Kim Masland's office. (6 p.m., 190 Main St.)

Liberals:


HALIFAX — Premier Stephen McNeil makes an announcement. (10 a.m., 209 Kearney Lake Rd.)


ANTIGONISH, N.S. — Premier Stephen McNeil makes an announcement. (2:30 p.m., 50 Somers Rd.)

http://www.metronews.ca/news/h.....ction.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC rookies ready to rumble

FRAM DINSHAW STAFF REPORTER
Published April 29, 2017 - 7:00pm
Last Updated April 30, 2017 - 2:50pm

Rookie candidate Ray Mattie is ready to take on Finance Minister Randy Delorey on his home turf of Antigonish in Nova Scotia’s upcoming provincial election.

A former substitute teacher, the Progressive Conservative candidate is campaigning to cut hospital overcrowding, improve education and classroom conditions for teachers, and fix his riding’s roads, which he described as “atrocious.”

Mattie’s message to Delorey was blunt: “Drive your car through our rural constituency and let me know if you are willing to accept the condition of these roads.”

Fixing the roads will allow the Antigonish area’s economy to grow, attracting new industries and creating more jobs for local youth, Mattie said.

“I want to see Antigonish grow in the modern way.”

Over in Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, the PCs’ Keltie Jones is facing off against NDP incumbent Lenore Zann.

Jones said pounding the pavement and meeting constituents on their doorsteps is key to running a successful election campaign.

For Jones, the key to both winning votes and ensuring a prosperous future for Nova Scotia is supporting entrepreneurs and combatting poverty.

“I believe that (PC leader) Jamie Baillie has the leadership to provide for an exciting future for Nova Scotia and I’m excited to share that with other people,” said Jones.

As Jones and Mattie get ready to hit the campaign trail, fellow newcomer Kim Masland is running in Queens-Shelburne against the NDP’s John Davis.

While this is her first election, Masland is no stranger to politics, having worked for 18 years as a staffer in the South Shore-St. Margaret’s federal riding. Her riding is currently held by Liberal MP Bernadette Jordan, but was in Tory hands for nearly two decades before the 2015 federal election

“I remember at a young age going to the polls with my grandfather and many conversations across the supper table,” Masland told The Chronicle Herald.

For her, a positive vision for Nova Scotia coupled with strong yet humble leadership is a recipe for election success.

“I’ve never witnessed arrogance from the Progressive Conservative party in my entire career as I’ve witnessed from the Liberal government over the last four years,” said Masland.

PC candidates attended a workshop in Dartmouth Saturday after Jamie Baillie officially launched his party’s campaign at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Akerley campus.

While promising a different style of leadership to Stephen McNeil’s Liberals, Baillie did not reveal his party’s platform. The party will reveal it later.

Masland described Baillie’s Saturday speech as “uplifting.”

“I’m extremely confident about the campaign. I have a great group of volunteers,” said Masland.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/n.....-to-rumble
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contract for Nova Scotia election voter information cards goes to Ontario company



CTV Atlantic
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 7:30PM ADT



On the third day of the Nova Scotia election campaign, the agency that runs the election is making news. CTV News has learned Elections Nova Scotia has hired an Ontario company to print hundreds of thousands of voter information cards.

The contract for the voter cards was awarded without tender to a company called Gilmore Doculink, based in Kanata, Ontario.

For the last several election cycles, Gordon Russell and his 26 employees at Russell Marketing in Lower Sackville, were subcontracted to print and mail voter information cards for Elections Nova Scotia.



Elections Nova Scotia
“I knew we probably wouldn't be doing it because I hadn't heard anything,” says Russell Marketing president Gordon Russell. “I just decided to ask where it was being done because there are lots of people in Nova Scotia that can do this work.”

The company that was awarded the contract in 2013 was based in Halifax, but it has since been bought out; Russell says he is among several local companies that could take over the work, but that didn’t happen.

“Sure you can get it done cheaper in Ontario, but you can get it done right here, and create jobs.”

Voter information cards cannot be printed ahead of the election call, but they must be ready quickly.

“We didn't have the amount of time available to prepare all of the documentation to go forward with a tendering process,” says Andy LeBlanc with Elections NS. “We had to find someone who has all kinds of experience in that.”

This year, Elections Nova Scotia is distributing more materials along with voter information cards than it has in the past. The contract for this year isn't finalized, but in 2013 it was worth just shy of $95,000.

Nova Scotians can expect to see a voter information card in their mailbox by mid-May.

The ballots to be filled out on election day will be printed in Nova Scotia.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie


http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/con.....-1.3395211
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diversity an issue early in N.S. election campaign

Nova Scotia party leaders
NDP Leader Gary Burrill (left), Nova Scotia Premier and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil (centre), and PC Leader Jamie Baillie are seen campaigning on May 1, 2017.
.


Sarah Ritchie
Sarah Ritchie, Reporter

@SarahRitchieCTV
.
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 1:43PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 2, 2017 3:32PM ADT

This early in an election campaign, very little is certain. But Nova Scotians can be sure of one outcome on May 30: the next premier of the province will be a middle-aged white man.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil, Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie and NDP Leader Gary Burrill agree that increased gender parity and diversity are priorities for each party.

In fact, that was the focus of Baillie’s announcement Tuesday. Surrounded by female PC candidates, Baillie promised his government will encourage increased diversity by increasing the per-vote subsidy paid to parties by Elections Nova Scotia for candidates who are women, Indigenous or African-Nova Scotian. As of 2016, the per-vote rate is $1.65. Baillie says votes for diverse candidates will be increased by 50 per cent, “to incent political parties to do more to see that their candidates reflect today’s Nova Scotia.”


“This to me is one of the most progressive things a Progressive Conservative party can do,” Baillie said.

He also took shots at McNeil for comments the Liberal leader made to the media Monday. McNeil was asked to defend the fact that his party is running fewer women than the PCs or NDP.

“It’s one thing for parties to go out and identify people to run in ridings that they don’t think they have a great shot in, it’s quite another when you actually go out and elect people, so you get them elected,” McNeil said.

He went on to say his party has stood beside women to have them elected in “meaningful ridings.”

Tuesday, Baillie said the Liberal leader should apologize for suggesting some women are not running in meaningful ridings.

McNeil shot back, saying his party has elected more women than any other in Nova Scotia’s history, and that every riding is important.

“I have the great fortune of being able to appoint more women to the executive council than any other premier in the history of this province,” McNeil said. “I’ve changed the face of the judiciary. We’ve gendered it, but also it reflects who we are. I’m very proud of that. My own remark was that we need to get more women elected.”

MLAs Kelly Regan and Joanne Bernard were both at the Liberal campaign announcement Tuesday. When the legislature was dissolved, they were among the six women in the 17-member cabinet.

Neither McNeil nor Baillie would commit to ensuring that 50 per cent of their cabinet will be female.

For his part, NDP leader Gary Burrill says gender parity is “right in the DNA of the New Democratic Party,” and that there are funds set aside to help with special challenges faced by women running for office.

“The way our process of bringing candidates forward works, just organically and generically, addresses this matter. This is not a matter that I have ever had to address,” Burrill said. “We do not have a constituency association that would not very seriously look for candidates of diversity backgrounds and certainly have an eye toward women that could be potentially strong candidates.”

All three leaders highlighted the progress that has been made in recent years.

“Since I’ve been elected leader it has been one of my top priorities to elect new slates of candidates that reflect modern Nova Scotia,” Baillie said. “A third of our candidates today are female; that’s more than any time in our party’s history and more than the Liberals are running, quite frankly, in this election. I am proud of the progress we’ve made but I acknowledge there is more to do.”

There are 12 female Liberal candidates this year, out of a possible 51. There are 17 female PC candidates and the NDP says it will have 23 female candidates when all nominations are complete.

When the legislature was dissolved there were 15 women in the House of Assembly.

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/div.....-1.3394480
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarah Ritchie wrote:
Quote:
In fact, that was the focus of Baillie’s announcement Tuesday. Surrounded by female PC candidates, Baillie promised his government will encourage increased diversity by increasing the per-vote subsidy paid to parties by Elections Nova Scotia for candidates who are women, Indigenous or African-Nova Scotian. As of 2016, the per-vote rate is $1.65. Baillie says votes for diverse candidates will be increased by 50 per cent, “to incent political parties to do more to see that their candidates reflect today’s Nova Scotia.”


“This to me is one of the most progressive things a Progressive Conservative party can do,” Baillie said.


This is amusing. What do you say about these guys as principled conservatives? Or are they Joe Clark/Us too type progressive Conservatives?

Let's see how this works, maybe Progressive Tory can help me, he's from the east, maybe he has it figured out.

We are going to give female candidates more money -- for their campaigns -- than we would male ones, and we're doing this to achieve 'equality'?

That's a good idea. Maybe we could get rid of the female Olympic events and acknowledge institutionally that women can do most things better than men can. All we have to do is give women more expense money.

Think of it -- No longer will women be restricted to participation only in the slow events.

Presumably the thinking is that we ought to give the women candidates more money because they lack in other respects? That is, because they aren't equal? Just like we have special events for men and women. It's because they aren't equal. Not even close. And in giving this extra money, the good souls of Nova Scotia are saying women need extra help to get to the level men are at.

Just for the record, I would be against this, and you'd probably say I was a bigot.

It's good to laugh.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

N.S. Liberals leading in poll as election campaign gets underway



James Munson

Thursday, May 4th, 2017



The Nova Scotia Liberals are entering the provincial election campaign with a strong lead among decided voters, a new poll says.

Thirty-two per cent of Nova Scotians who have made up their mind ahead of the May 30 vote would stick with the incumbent Liberals lead by Premier Stephen McNeil, says a Mainstreet/iPolitics poll released Thursday.

The Progressive Conservatives, under leader Jamie Baillie, and the New Democrats under Gary Burrill are battling it out for second with 22 per cent and 19 per cent support, respectively, according to the poll. A quarter of respondents said they were undecided.

The 1,650-person...

https://ipolitics.ca/2017/05/04/n-s-liberals-leading-in-poll-as-election-campaign-gets-underway/
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nova Scotia election roundup

by The Canadian Press
Posted May 4, 2017 3:10 pm EDT
Last Updated May 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm EDT


HALIFAX – (NSElxn)

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is deflecting fire for a campaign decision to reinstate the Liberal communications director who pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman.

McNeil says Kyley 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.

He dismissed comments from federal Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, who says the appointment sends a bad message.

Nova Scotia Tory Leader Jamie Baillie says McNeil exercised poor judgment in putting Harris back into his inner circle.

(The Canadian Press)



(NSElxn-Liberals)

The Liberals are promising $78-million over four years to create and expand collaborative care teams across the province.

The funding would go toward hiring nurses, social workers, and mental health workers to work with doctors in collaborative care clinics.

There would also be a $5-million annual fund for the construction and renovation of collaborative care clinics.

Premier Stephen McNeil says his party also realizes more doctors are needed now, and that’s why a commitment has been made to hire 50 new doctors a year through another $2.4 million announced in last week’s proposed budget.

(The Canadian Press)



(NSElxn-NDP)

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says his party will increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 if elected.

He says the move would help an estimated 130,000 lower income workers.

Burrill says the plan includes a commission on the economy that would consult with businesses, corporations, and not-for-profits to determine how to help them adapt to the wage increase.

(The Canadian Press)



(NSElxn-Tories)

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie is pledging $150 million over 10 years to bring high speed internet to underserviced rural areas of the province.

Baillie says the funding would be cost-shared with Ottawa and municipalities, meaning the provincial contribution would be $7.5 million a year.

The problem has plagued a series of governments who have promised to connect all parts of the province, but Baillie says previous attempts have either set unrealistic timelines or taken a step-by-step approach that lacked planning.

(The Canadian Press)



(NSElxn-McNeil-Protester)

During a health care announcement in Halifax, Premier Stephen McNeil was greeted by a man who gave him a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Reg Andrews accuses McNeil of being a “dictator” who has failed to address problems in the health care system, including a lack of family doctors.

He says his wife had a heart attack and languished without a doctor for two years before she found one.

Andrews accuses the premier of failing to keep up with needs in hospitals, while at the same time spending millions of dollars to acquire land for a proposed clinic in suburban Halifax.

(The Canadian Press)



(NSElxn-Taxes)

Tory Leader Jamie Baillie says he has no interest in raising anybody’s taxes in Nova Scotia.

Baillie says the party’s platform will be released soon and will point to areas where they may be able to make some reductions, but he wasn’t specific.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says in order for the province to move forward some tax increases may be necessary.

He says it’s his view that it would be better if those making over $250,000 a year contribute “a little more to our overall common welfare.”

http://www.citynews.ca/2017/05.....roundup-4/
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tories offer go-slow solution to rural high-speed internet woes

PCs propose 10-year plan, while Liberals bank on community-by-community solution

By Jean Laroche, CBC News Posted: May 04, 2017 4:02 PM AT| Last Updated: May 04, 2017 4:03 PM AT

PC Leader Jamie Baillie said one of the reasons why past governments failed on promises to deliver high-speed internet to all Nova Scotians is their timelines were too ambitious.

When farmer Elspeth McLean-Wile wants to connect to the digital world, she either uses her cellphone or drives almost three kilometres to her business where there's internet connectivity.

McLean-Wile operates a farm market just outside Bridgewater and in the winter months, when the market is closed, she has to drive there to get work done.

"People on my road are only two kilometres out of town and we don't have anybody on our road that has high-speed internet," she said.

The party leaders are hoping to convince rural residents like McLean-Wile that they have the answer to their problem.


PC Leader Jamie Baillie promised Thursday to spend a total of $150 million over the next decade to lay the fibre-optic network that will form the backbone necessary to connect every Nova Scotian to high-speed service.

"Quite bluntly, in 2017 access to high-speed internet is an essential service that should not be out of reach to any Nova Scotian," he said.

"All of us should be able to sell our products, cultivate new markets, have access to social media. High-speed internet will allow rural businesses to grow and create jobs."

Déjà vu?

That sentiment echoes what PC premier Rodney MacDonald had to say a decade ago when his government promised a broadband connection to every home and business in Nova Scotia, within two years.

"Improving our infrastructure is one of government's five immediate priorities to help us reach our new Nova Scotia, and 100 per cent access to broadband is a vital piece," he said on Dec. 5, 2007.

Baillie acknowledged that promise when a reporter asked why voters should believe he can get the job done, given MacDonald's broken promise.

Failed promises by all 3 parties

"All three parties at times have set this goal. In each case, they either set unrealistic timelines, like two years in the case that you mentioned, or took a step-by-step approach without a real plan," said Baillie. "I'm here today with a 10-year plan and the funding to make it happen."

The PC's plan would expand the fibre-optic network to every community in the province, but leave it up to individual service providers to work with families to come up with the most practical and least-costly way to connect individual homes.

In their most recent budget, the Liberals said they would spend $14.5 million to improve rural high-speed internet service.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil likes the idea of expanding the fibre-optic network, but doesn't think it's a practical solution.

NS ELXN 20170501
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil campaigns in Halifax on Monday. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

"We know that in communities across the province, the cost associated with delivering fibre-op would be virtually impossible to deliver in the near term," he said. "In the long run, of course, everyone would like to achieve that.

"We need to ensure that people have access now, not 15 years from now."

Baillie suggested his plan might be completed ahead of the 10-year deadline, and is hopeful it would be done before then.

"Nova Scotians have been promised this before and I wanted to bring today a practical, realistic plan that does cover all Nova Scotians," he said.


The NDP plans to unveil its high-speed internet promises within the next few days.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4099375
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( an independent mla and former liberal minister has suddenly decided to withdraw from the election )

'Bizarre' end as Andrew Younger withdraws from Dartmouth East race

Former Liberal cabinet minister cites health and privacy reasons

By Michael Gorman, Jean Laroche, CBC News Posted: May 03, 2017 3:54 PM AT| Last Updated: May 03, 2017 4:55 PM AT

Andrew Younger has withdrawn from the provincial election.



Independent candidate Andrew Younger has withdrawn from the provincial election race in Dartmouth East.

In an interview with CBC News, Younger — a former Liberal cabinet minister — cited health and privacy reasons for the decision.

He said he made the choice in consultation with his wife after the news website AllNovaScotia.com posted a story Tuesday night that released "private family information and health information."

"While the story isn't exactly accurate in how it reflects the situation, my family and I have decided that we just don't want to be the targets of smear campaigns over the next 30 days."

Andrew Younger, wife Katia
Andrew Younger said he accepts what comes with being a public figure, but he wasn't willing for it to spread over to his family, including wife Katia, anymore. (CBC)

The story reported on an emergency protection order Younger's wife, Katia, sought against him. But Younger said that isn't what his wife intended to apply for and it was an error on the part of a justice of the peace that caused the confusion.

"What she was seeking was to deal with some custody issues while we were living apart and while this medical issue was dealt with."

Younger didn't elaborate on the medical issue.

Time in office

Younger was a prominent member of Stephen McNeil's cabinet after the Liberals won the 2013 election.

He carried the energy portfolio and oversaw issues such as a review on hydraulic fracturing in the province and certain terms related to the Maritime Link deal.

He would hold the portfolio until taking a leave of absence in 2014. It was later learned the leave was connected to Younger being the victim of an alleged assault at the hands of a former party staffer with whom Younger admitted to having an inappropriate relationship.

Younger would eventually return to work, and to cabinet, as environment minister.

Previous controversy

Younger found prominence in a particularly unwanted way in late 2015 when he was kicked out of cabinet due to decisions he made related to the assault trial.

He used his parliamentary privilege to avoid testifying, which resulted in the case being thrown out. The judge in the trial admonished him for the decision.

He was then fired due to discrepancies in what he told McNeil regarding his choice to invoke privilege. He sat as an Independent MLA for the duration of the sitting.

Controversy would continue when recordings Younger secretly made of conversations with McNeil's former chief of staff, Kirby McVicar, came to light. McVicar would later step down after he revealed personal health information about Younger during interviews with reporters.

Thanks family

Younger said he doesn't know what will be next for him, but it became clear he had to make his wife and son his top priority and that meant pulling out of the race.

"I haven't thought about it because obviously I was focused on the campaign. We felt pretty confident that we were going to win."

Offers of donations and volunteering, and requests for signs were "flooding" his office, he said.

But Younger said while he accepts that being a public figure means he's subject to certain things, it's not fair for those to spread to his wife and family.

"I know I haven't always been the best husband in the world, but I love my wife and I love my son very much and I have no shame in making this decision because it's about putting them first.

A bizarre end

The former municipal councillor described his political career as "varied," but said it's probably better to leave it to others to judge. He's proud of helping expand Shubie Park, clamp down on provincial government advertising and improving offshore liability.

Younger acknowledged there have been "a few bizarre things" in his political career.

"I guess maybe it's fitting that it goes out in a bizarre way."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4097684
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( a predictable promise from the ndp to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour )


NDP unveils plan to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour

Plan would be phased in over 3 years and affect 130,000 people, says party

By Michael Gorman, CBC News Posted: May 04, 2017 2:18 PM AT| Last Updated: May 04, 2017 3:22 PM AT

Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill makes a campaign stop in Halifax on Monday.



Liam Crouse knows how challenging it is to make ends meet while making minimum wage in Nova Scotia.

The NDP candidate for Hants East watched his family's small tea room in Elmsdale go under in 2007 during the economic collapse. Both his parents had to take on minimum-wage jobs. His dad worked 16 hours a day, but it still wasn't enough to support the family of six.

Crouse's dad eventually went West seeking work, but their struggle continued.

Liam Crouse
Hants East NDP candidate Liam Crouse says his family would be among the 130,000 people in Nova Scotia who would benefit from a higher minimum wage. (CBC)

"In 2014, my family for the first time had to use a food bank because we could not afford to put food on our table," Crouse said Thursday during a media event in Halifax.

Today, Crouse earns minimum wage as a security guard, and his mom and two of his siblings work minumum-wage jobs. They still struggle to pay off the debt from when the business collapsed.


It's stories such as Crouse's that inspire one of the NDP's central campaign planks: raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour within three years.

Nova Scotia's minimum wage increased by 15 cents in April and now stands at $10.85 per hour, the third-lowest rate in the country.

Annual increases for 3 years

The change proposed by the NDP would affect 130,000 people in Nova Scotia, more than half of them women.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill said it would mean thousands of people would have a better chance of participating more fully in their communities and of escaping poverty.

"What we are saying in our party with this announcement is that the road to prosperity in our province is not paid with poverty-level wages," Burrill told reporters.

Burrill said his model, which would see an increase of $1 in the first year and $1.575 in each of the subsequent two years, is based on what's happening in Alberta, where a $15 per hour minimum wage will be in effect next year.

Exemptions

He said there could be exemptions under the legislation, including for some small businesses where the model is based on particularly small salary levels.

Burrill said the NDP has not calculated what the change would cost businesses, but he said there are benefits for everyone to the change, including having more customers with more money in their pockets to spend.

Almost half the people making minimum wage in the province work for companies that employ at least 500 people, he said.

"In Nova Scotia, we have such a significant part of our working population working for so little," he said. "Forty per cent of the people who live below the poverty line have a full-time, year-round job."

The NDP would also do away with the so-called inexperienced worker rate, which allows businesses to pay some people below minimum wage if they have worked for an employer for less than three months and have less than three months total experience in the work he or she has been hired to do. That rate is currently $10.35 per hour.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/.....-1.4099274
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELECTION POLL: Liberals lead, Tories, NDP trail

ANDREA GUNN | OTTAWA BUREAU
Published May 5, 2017 - 4:32pm
Last Updated May 6, 2017 - 10:49am



Nova Scotia’s Liberals have pulled out of a nosedive that started last November, leaving them in reasonable shape heading into the second week of the provincial election campaign.

A new Corporate Research Associates poll conducted for The Chronicle Herald and released Friday shows Stephen McNeil’s Liberals at 45 per cent support, up one per cent from February and ending a double-digit slide in the previous quarter.

“I think (they’re) in an OK position,” Margaret Brigley, president and COO of CRA said Friday.

“If you look to the election results of 2013, we had 46 per cent Liberal, 26 per cent PC, and 27 per cent NDP. If you look at voting intentions right now it would actually suggest that the Liberals . . . could in an election end up with a majority again,” she said.

The Progressive Conservatives now sit at 31 per cent and the New Democrats at 24 per cent.


Friday’s numbers show little change for any of the main parties from February. The Tories are up three points and the NDP are up a point. Support for the Green Party has gone from five to one per cent. The Atlantica Party has less than one per cent support.

With a fresh election call, more people have made up their minds, shrinking the undecideds from 27 to 22 per cent.

February was scary for the Liberals. They’d dropped a dozen points in three months — from 56 per cent in November — and saw a 36-point lead on the Tories cut by nearly two-thirds, thanks largely to the labour dispute with teachers.

“When we saw that shift . . . we wondered is this the beginning of a continual decline or not and these results suggest it’s stabilized,” said Brigley.

Friday’s results also show Liberal leader McNeil on top, with 33 per cent support. Tory leader Jamie Baillie is the pick of 23 per cent and Gary Burrill is favoured by 18 per cent.

All of those numbers are within two points of the February figures.


Interesting to note, however, that McNeil trails his party in support by a dozen points.

During the 2013 election, it was Baillie who lagged behind his party while McNeil was more popular.

Friday’s poll data also shows some major regional differences.

Brigley said the Liberals are polling ahead in HRM, followed by the NDP.

In Cape Breton, the Conservatives and Liberals are in a virtual tie, with the NDP far back.

“Cape Breton has expressed a certain level of discontent with the Liberals, particularly with the education system,” said Brigley.

On the mainland outside of Halifax, the Liberals lead, the Progressive Conservatives have about one-third support and the New Democrats are favoured by about one in five.



FINAL CH Graphs - Leader Ratings - May 6 2017 by WebEditors2016 on Scribd

HOW THE POLL WAS DONE

Corporate Research Associates conducted 500 live landline and cellular telephone interviews between May 1-4. Survey findings are weighted to ensure they match the actual distribution of adult Nova Scotians by region, age, and gender. The overall provincial margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Results for party preference are based on decided and leaning voters combined and have a margin of error of +/- 5.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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